Natural History Museum

Research Leader in Collections and Culture

The Natural History Museum, London, seeks a highly motivated world-class senior research leader from the social sciences, arts and/or humanities to lead and develop the NHM Collections & Culture Theme within the Science Department. This is a new post for Science with the purpose to provide strategic and operational leadership for the NHM Collections & Culture theme by developing, leading and supporting broad, cross-disciplinary research in the context of one of the oldest national natural history museums and a world leading scientific research institution.

About Us

This is an exciting time to join the Museum as we have secured investment from the UK Government to build a new science and digitisation centre at Thames Valley Science Park (TVSP), a science and technology hub outside Reading.  The purpose-built centre (due 2026/27) will house much of the Museum’s collection and will include laboratories, digitisation suites, collaborative research spaces, conservation labs and workspaces. To support the realisation of the NHM’s vision of a future where both people and planet thrive, we focus our science on solutions from and for nature. Increasingly this puts the NHM, its collections and research at the nexus of trans-disciplinary science and research focusing on science and society.

Collections are at the core of the NHM, the foundation of scientific understanding of the natural world, enhanced and developed by systematics and taxonomy, with substantial infrastructure for downstream scientific research. Collections provide insights into change across multiple dimensions. In our new strategy, our scientific ambition and collaboration has been widened and revolutionised to become multi-disciplinary, integrative and constantly adaptable to change, with a firm foundation in the value of the collections and collecting.

About the role

We are seeking a highly motivated world-class senior research leader from the social sciences, arts and/or humanities to lead and develop the newly developed NHM Collections & Culture Theme within the Science Department. This new post for Science will provide strategic and operational leadership for the NHM Collections & Culture theme by developing, leading and supporting broad, cross-disciplinary research in the context of one of the oldest national natural history museums in a vibrant research environment.

The role offers an opportunity to develop research linking natural history collections to a wide variety of approaches, that could include (but is not limited to):

  • History of science
  • Cultural history related to understanding the natural world
  • Literatures of natural history and the environment
  • Science and racism, history of extractivism, colonialism and natural history science and practice
  • Contemporary cultural practices in natural history science
  • Social impacts of natural history collections and collecting
  • Collections and culture as windows into the past and present
  • The future of natural history collections in a changing world
  • Digital linkages to enhance cultural and natural sciences

About you

You will have a strong national and international research profile, with proven ability to build research groups, generate funds to support research teams and to set ambitious and achievable goals. You will bring a critical, multidisciplinary approach to the history and practice of the Museum and its collection, including thought-provoking and sometimes also discomforting histories, that change the way the institution imagines itself and its future.

You will have:

  • PhD or equivalent postgraduate experience in a related social science, arts or humanities subject
  • Track record of significant, high-impact publications and impactful research
  • Proven track record of obtaining funding for supporting individual and team research as Principal or Co-principal investigator
  • Excellent interpersonal, networking and leadership skills, including a track record of managing and motivating teams, and working successfully in complex multi-stakeholder environments
  • Drive and initiative to develop a new area of research for the Museum, underpinned by a strong vision
  • Ability to bring disparate groups of people together to work as a team
  • Excellent and demonstrable communication skills
  • Ability to listen to different points of view
  • Ability to act as a spokesperson for the Museum’s science overall (from your own domain perspective)
  • Ability to drive projects to completion

How to apply

If that sounds like you, please apply online on the Natural History Museum’s careers portal, at careers.nhm.ac.uk

Closing date: 9am, Friday, 09 December 2022

Interviews expected w/c Monday, 09 January 2023

Salary: £48,393 to £66,000 per annum (dependent upon experience)