Sheldon Werner Summer Studentships


Auckland Museum’s Summer Student Programme is open to promising undergraduate and postgraduate students from a broad range of disciplines. You will join other students for ten weeks over the summer to gain career-relevant work experience. You’ll have opportunity to work with Museum professionals and to gain an insight into the culture and heritage sector.  


Our Summer Studentships provide an opportunity to undertake a project tailored to your interests and aspirations.  A stipend of $6,000 is provided. The programme runs for ten weeks between mid-November and mid-February within a full-time work environment.


Applications can be considered if: 

* You have completed both your first and second years of tertiary study 

* You are enrolled with a New Zealand tertiary institution 

* You are resident in New Zealand 


Applications for our summer studentship programme have now closed. Thanks to all those who have applied!

We are now considering each application and will be in touch during the week of October 26th with more information. Keep an eye on this website for further updates.


Project descriptions for 2020/21 Summer Studentships:



Prisoner of War Camps WWII – Online Cenotaph   


More than 8,000 New Zealand military personnel were taken prisoner of war during World War II. Online Cenotaph has identified nearly 7,000 of these personnel listing the location of their internment. However, our list of Prisoner of War Camps is inconsistent and incomplete. This project aims to collate a complete list of Prisoner of War Camps, where New Zealand service personnel were held, during WWII. This project will focus on providing details of the POW camps and Work camps including location, size of population, and the name changes overtime. This will help to update and enrich our existing personnel records and will provide us with a better understanding of where New Zealand personnel were interned. The outcome of this work will be the enrichment of Vernon Authority Event File. The student will also be expected to write a blog article for Online Cenotaph stories.


Skills Needed:

* An interest in research 

* An interest in World War II military history 

* Intermediate Excel skills 



An Unfortunate Experiment – Documentary Heritage


Published in June 1987 the article, written by Sandra Coney and Phillida Bunkle, exposed unethical practices of doctors at New Zealand's leading women's hospital.  Heralding what would be a watershed moment in our history, its publication led to a Commission of Inquiry, headed by Dame Silvia Cartwright, that helped strengthen patients' rights and saw the establishment of a national cervical screening programme.  


The first part of this project is centred on collection development and review. As some of the material may be sensitive it is vital that we know what is in the collection before we move forward with the acquisition process. The outcome of this phase will be a collection inventory. The second part will be to investigate the ethical and practical considerations of holding collections related to medical practice within public archives. The outcome of this phase will be a short written report that will help guide future practice in this area. 


Skills needed: 

* An interest in research 

* An interest in women’s history 

* An interest in museum ethics 



Terrestrial Botany – Natural Sciences 


AK herbarium day to day practices – supervised and independent – 20% 

The student will acquire comprehensive knowledge how AK herbarium operates by going through the following day to day practices: 

* Local field collection 

* Pressing and drying to create herbarium specimens 

* Data Entry in Vernon CMS database 

* Label making for accessioned specimens 

* Mounting experience 

* Digitise and photograph specimens 

* Filing experience into the herbarium 


Taxonomic classification update to Angiosperm Phylogeny Groups IV to the herbarium filing systems – supervised and independent- 30% 

The AK herbarium is currently updating its liner herbarium classifications to the current system.  The work requires some degrees of understanding of the hierarchical classification scheme, basic botanical nomenclatural rules and filing systems; however, we will guide the student through each step. 


A floristic mini revision – supervised – 40 % 

The student will carry out her/his own project of a taxonomic revision on a plant group found in Auckland Ecological Region. This involves morphological based investigation using our extensive collections, and documentation. The student will be required to write up her/his results in a format of the formal revision to include a literature review, dichotomous keys, a list of entities and synonyms and their short descriptions.


Media releases – independent – 10 % 

The student will write at least one blog of their placement for the museum’s website and can have an opportunity to host a social media diary on the activities of the herbarium.  


Skills needed: 

* Biology student who has completed some courses with focus on botany 

* A highly motivated individual who demonstrates a genuine passion for botany 

* Having taken subjects related to biodiversity and taxonomy/systematics is advantage



Creative technology, Virtual Reality Technology, and/or 3D modelling VR/AR software – Technology and Digital


We have a very exciting opportunity to bring on board a student to help us understand how VR (Virtual Reality) can be applied across our multifaceted organisation. VR will become a necessary future skillset and Auckland War Memorial Museum would like to harness how VR technology can improve the way we concept future galleries, exhibitions as well as large digital installations.  


We’d like to explore how we can enable VR technology practices across teams and how it may also assist other areas such as staff onboarding, health & safety and community outreach.


Specific projects: 

* Converting existing 3D files (Revit) for future galleries such as Tamaki Stories, Learning Base and the South Atrium. Exporting these so they are VR compatible. 

* Creating virtual reality templates for our special exhibitions spaces 

* Applying existing objects from out Sketchfab account and other 3D scans of objects into virtual exhibition templates. 

* Creating replica virtual environments of our immersive digital WOW moments into VR. 


Expected outcomes: 

* A set of VR files that we can be readily used for internal purposes. 

* Understanding and Documenting VR capabilities and how they can apply across our departments.  

* Showcasing VR enablement to teams such as Production, Exhibitions, Public Programmes, ICT and Digital Experience.


Skills needed: 

* Studying a creative technologies degree with a focus on VR, 3D Modelling, AR (Augmented Reality) & MR (Mixed Reality). 

* Have in-depth knowledge of VR application Unity or Unreal Engine (C++, C#), have concepted, built and deployed VR projects as part their study.  

* Experience working with 3D modelling, designing and scaling objects in virtually created environments. 

* Experience with other applications such as Revit or SketchUp is desirable but not necessary.  


Audio Visual Technology and Integration 


Beginning in November, a very large, complex and diverse AV installation, testing and integration program is beginning around Auckland Museum’s new Tāmaki Herenga Waka Gallery. There will be exposure to audio visual disciplines ranging from simple audio listening posts to touchscreen interactives and complex, projector mapping systems. The project also has extensive building integration layers and automation. The project has a wide-ranging set of stakeholders from internal Museum staff members through to community groups and content creators. 


Throughout the course of the installation work, we will be covering all areas of the project to completion which includes physical installation, integration with building systems, testing large digital interactives, extensive problem solving, calibrating projection mapping, tuning and programming audio and control systems and detailed after-completion inspections. 


Skills needed: 

* Knowledge of basic audio / video systems. Understanding of how an audio source reaches an amplifier and speakers and basics around video signals reaching a display or projector. 

* Knowledge of basic DIY level installation and tool use. Parts of the project require basic assistance of installing certain display, audio and media hardware. Basic hand tools and power tools would be used in these scenarios under supervision. 

* Knowledge of project management and planning. As this is an active project, a basic understanding or skills in project management processes and planning would assist in being able to follow how different stages progress. 



Refreshing Auckland Museum’s Collections Online 


Auckland Museum has a long-term roadmap for Collections Online, and one aspect of this is looking at how we can present museum collection search interfaces, search results and records differently from traditional museum search experiences. The summer project seeks to research and prototype or report on a new Collections Online experience and would suit students across design, computer science, museum studies, information studies or digital humanities disciplines. 


The project will involve examining how to present the Museum’s encyclopaedic collection as a whole, but provide access to diverse collections (Natural Sciences, Human History, Documentary Heritage). Students would need to consider different users and their needs and examine scholarly literature around best practice for “generous interfaces” for GLAM collections. The final product will explore searching by place, person, topic or subject, date or time, colour or material as well as the use of machine learning or AI, or emerging metadata standards, such as Wikidata, to draw new connections between the diverse collections and enable new ways of facilitating collection search and serendipitous exploration. 


Skills needed: 

* An interest in online GLAM collections and information access. 

* An interest in user centred design, UI and UX. 

* Depending on the student's background, intermediate research, design or coding skills. 



The Metrics that Matter - How to best measure, report and track lifetime value of members and donors 


The expected outcome is for the student to provide a report that details their findings and recommends how the department should best track, measure and report the value of donors and members.  


A busy time for the team, the student will be provided with numerous daily opportunities to:  


1) Support the Development Team in general fundraising - event planning and delivery, major donor relationships, grant applications and corporate partnerships.   


2) Support the Membership Manager with various operational, research and data activities.  


Skills needed: 

* General business background with a knowledge of market research and a passion for data and reporting.  

* An interest in or understanding of the not for profit/charity sector 

* An understanding of or interest in audience development in relation to membership and loyalty.