CCL Program Application Process

Twelve curators are selected each year for the core CCL fellowship. Applicants must be full-time art museum curators; the ideal candidate demonstrates a track record of success with and commitment to the full range of the curatorial endeavor – management, care, and scholarly study of collections as well as the development and execution of exhibitions, publications, and community programs.

Timeline of Application and Selection of Fellows

The 2025 CCL Fellowship application will open in May 2024.

Online Application Procedures

CCL applications and recommendations are submitted online. Applicants must create an account to access the online application. You can enter information, save, and return anytime before the deadline to edit and continue the application.

Application Requirements

  • General information about yourself and your museum
  • Responses to four short prompts (250-300 words each)
  • Résumé (PDF, no more than three pages)
  • Two confidential recommendations (submitted through an online portal) 


Two recommendations are required for application. One should be from your museum director or, if that is not possible, the most senior person you report to at your institution. The second recommendation should be from a professional colleague from outside your museum. This can be a former supervisor or a peer in the field.

Applicants will enter the information of their two recommenders in the online application. We strongly encourage you to input this information as soon as you begin your application to give your recommenders adequate time to prepare their letters in advance of the deadline. When you click Contact Recommenders, the recommenders will receive an auto generated email with instructions and a link to the online recommendation page. Therefore, you should contact your recommenders and ask them to write on your behalf before you add their contact information to the application. Recommenders can prepare the text in Microsoft Word and then copy and paste it into the recommendation submission form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be nominated by my institution?

No. CCL encourages both institutional and self-nominations for this program.

Is this program open to other museum professionals (e.g., educators, development officers, etc.)?

The CCL core program is designed specifically for museum curators.

How will the participants be selected?

Applications are reviewed by the director of CCL and a small committee composed of museum directors and CCL alumni.

What kind of qualification will I receive?

CCL and Columbia Business School both confer certificates of completion.

How will I be paired with a residency host?

Through a series of in-depth conversations beginning in the fall, the director of CCL assesses the interests and goals of each fellow. In concert with the fellow, CCL coordinates the residency pairing before the program begins in January. Each fellow will be matched with a director whose experience, institution, interests, and talents complement his or her own.

When will I do my residency and where?

Residencies take place at a museum other than the curator's own institution, at a time that is mutually agreed upon by the CCL fellow and his or her host. Depending on the schedules of both parties, residencies ideally occur mid-fellowship in March or April.

What are the program costs?

CCL is proud to announce that, with the support of our Board of Trustees, the 2025 Fellowship will be tuition free. CCL covers the majority of travel, hotel, and food costs related to the program. For the two weeks in January in New York City and the final week of the program, the majority of meals and transportation from Monday through Friday will be organized by CCL; Fellows will be responsible for covering a small number of expenses for taxis and other incidentals. For the five-day residency, CCL will arrange the booking and payment of hotel and travel reservations and Fellows will receive a daily stipend for meals, transportation, and incidentals.

What is the Diversity Mentoring Initiative (DMI)?

At their home institutions, Fellows are tasked with creating and implementing an initiative that engages young people from backgrounds underrepresented in museum staffs and audiences. The resulting programs are many and varied, as curators tailor their offerings to reflect their interests, communities, and institutions.  

Will I be able to manage simultaneous commitments?

Fellows must commit to full participation in all aspects of the program. There will be four weeks of in-person sessions that are intensive and will not allow for concurrent commitments. Fellows are expected to prioritize CCL during the five-month Fellowship, including both in-person intensives as well as work completed independently at their home museums. 

If you are not able to fully commit, both professionally and personally, to all aspects of the CCL Fellowship, for the entirety of the five-month program, wait to apply in a year when you are more available. This is paramount not only for ensuring complete availability for all sessions, but for a wholly immersive Fellowship experience. 

What if I have previously applied, unsuccessfully?

Many admitted participants have been repeat applicants to the program. We encourage you to reapply and/or contact the CCL office for specific feedback on your application. 

If I have further questions, whom should I contact?

Please contact