Frequently Asked Questions - Planning your pathway to Fellowship

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Frequently Asked Questions - your guide to IIC Fellowship 

By nurturing skills, talent, and leadership capacity we ground our words in action. Our investment in our Fellows is demonstrated through IIC’s enrichment programmes, grants, international prizes and awards.

Why become a Fellow? – sharing values, making a global impact

Becoming an IIC Fellow connects you to a network of colleagues who are respected internationally and are committed to advancing the profession for the common good.

Our Fellows are trusted for their high standard of excellence and expertise, have peer recognition, and a voice that is amplified through our networks. The culture of generosity among our Fellows means that knowledge and learning are shared, across a growing and inclusive network.

IIC is also unique in being the only global membership organisation for conservators. Our FIIC nominals are a sign everywhere of the difference you have made in the profession, your contribution, influence and vision.

Demystifying the process

However, we realise that it can seem daunting to apply for IIC Fellow status, especially if you don’t see others taking this path in your workplace, country or region. Meanwhile some of the language around election to Fellowship first originated in the 1950s and can be off-putting and seem arcane. This is something we are determined to change, for the benefit of all.

Therefore, this guide sits alongside the more process-based advice here, to talk you through becoming a Fellow as a practical, achievable career goal. There are three points of entry:

As an Individual member of IIC.
• As a member of one of IIC’s Regional Groups
• Non-members can also apply directly to become Fellows, where they can demonstrate appropriate skills.

Whatever your route, our Fellows are at the heart of IIC and we welcome a diversity of experience, from working in institutions and private practice to universities and commercial suppliers.

When should I start thinking about becoming a Fellow?

We are encouraging applications from people who have a few years solid experience in their careers, who approach conservation with intelligence and nuance, and a desire to enhance the profession. You don’t have to be very senior or at a huge institution, with an enormous publications list to become a Fellow.

Typically, people start to think about applying for Fellowship 10 years or so into a career (including your training) – but this is a very rough guide. Your experience may be demonstrated through the projects you have worked on and the things conserved, in some settings you may have published in Studies in Conservation or elsewhere. Equally, you might have shown leadership either in a project, or in helping conservation branch out in new ways.

Chair of the Fellowship Committee David Saunders FIIC advises:

“We’re always asked about what you have to have achieved to become a Fellow. And we’ve very much focused on contribution. The contribution of a practising conservator might not be through their publication record, but the list of things they have conserved, the importance of the collection. It might be through their leadership in the field, their mentoring of others. It is now open to those not previously members of IIC. It’s also open to those both in private practice and institutions.”

Take opportunities to connect and continue learning

IIC offers numerous ways to continue professional development, network and meet colleagues internationally – designed to be affordable to all. Currently you might:

• Choose one of leadership training options. Our ten-month interactive Adapt course with leadership masterclasses is free to conservators in emerging economies, and our International Leadership Mentoring Programme runs three times a year for IIC members.
Come to Congress and participate in the Fellows’ Meetings– in person or online in Wellington, New Zealand and at international hub events across numerous time zones. This is a great way to meet colleagues, members and existing IIC Fellows. Where cost is a concern, our Tru Vue scholarships can offer free routes into the Congress.

As well as building your CV and confidence, these events will help you get to know others in the profession.

Who will support my nomination as a Fellow?

IIC’s model for nominating Fellows has historically been based around existing Fellows nominating and voting for new entries. However, this can be a block if you don’t know or work with IIC Fellows personally. Becoming more involved, via some of the routes described above, is one option.

However, we also strongly encourage you to contact us for a chat, if you are interested in becoming a Fellow now or later, but don’t feel confident about approaching someone to support your application: we can help – and also link you up to others in your specialism or country.

We are also rolling out other new ways to encourage Fellow applications this year – from short one to one chats with existing newer Fellows – and half hour events on the detail, where you can ask questions. If you are already a member of IIC you can watch one of our recent half hour events with Q&As here. (Drop us a line, if you need reminding how to log in)

Taking the final step

Our aim is that at the point your name goes on the ballot paper, it should be with a solid, informed confidence that you have the necessary skills, to be affirmed by the voting process.

“I am an IIC Fellow. For me being an IIC Fellow means to be able to support IIC and all colleagues worldwide, whilst following the latest challenges and developments within the profession. Being included in the IIC network means closely collaborating and working together for the future of Heritage Conservation. And as a mid-career conservator, I am working with emerging and emeritus colleagues to lead the profession in a time of change in order to make it an essential part of the world heritage.”  Dr Duygu Camurcuoglu ACR, FIIC