Curator of Scientific and Medical History Collections
University of Glasgow
To care for, interpret and encourage and facilitate use of the scientific and medical history collections belonging to The Hunterian. The post holder will be active in the development of research and other scholarly initiatives on these collections and engage in teaching and learning activity.
Main Duties and Responsibilities
To ensure that the collections are efficiently managed and documented for their long-term well being.
To undertake, facilitate and collaborate in research into the Hunterian collections of scientific and medical instruments; To publish research findings in leading journals and through other appropriate media. (20% of time jointly devoted to research/teaching activity).
To acquire and update subject related knowledge and provide as appropriate, expert advice to UoG and related organisations on matters pertaining to the collections, and to participate in national and international activities related to the collections.
To identify potential sources of funding and secure such funds either as an individual or team member. To manage these resources effectively and be accountable for their use in relation to the collection.
To contribute to University teaching as appropriate, both in established courses with the assistance of a mentor if required, and by collaborating with colleagues to develop new modules, demonstrations and other delivery formats with appropriate assessment mechanisms to meet defined learning objectives. (20% of time jointly devoted to research/teaching activity).
To take responsibility for programming the Hunterian Science Showcase space and participate in public understanding of science and knowledge exchange programmes, using the Hunterian collections in an innovative way, collaborating with colleagues/researchers as required.
To facilitate physical and intellectual access to the collections for HE and other groups and to encourage use of the collections by the widest possible learning audiences, including dissemination though exhibition, digital media and other means.
To assist in the development of the collections in accordance with the Hunterian’s strategic development plans.
To contribute to the enhancement of the University’s international profile in line with the University’s Strategic Plan, Glasgow 2020 – A Global Vision
Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience
A1 Post-graduate degree or equivalent in the history of science/medicine, science, technology, or a relevant subject
A2 An appropriate level of knowledge in the discipline of history of science/medicine
B1 Postgraduate qualification in Museum studies or working towards membership of a relevant professional body
B2 An appropriate knowledge of research methods
C1 Excellent organisational skills including time and project management skills, including meeting deadlines and targets
C2 Good level of IT competence in particular familiarity with databases
C3 Excellent research skills
C4 Ability to work independently or as part of a team
C5 Excellent oral and written communication skills, including ability to communicate information of a specialist or highly technical nature clearly
C6 Excellent interpersonal and presentation skills
C7 Ability to engage the interest and enthusiasm of students to inspire learning and to apply appropriate approaches to teaching
C8 Ability to handle collections safely, assessing risk and making decisions accordingly
D1 A clean full driving licence
E1 Minimum of 3 - 5 years experience of working with science/technology/medical collections in a museum with qualifications above, or evidence of progression and development gained through 7-10 years relevant work experience without qualifications above
E2 Experience of museum records management/data entry/digitisation
E3 Research experience and output, particularly collections-based research
E4 Higher Education teaching experience
F1 Experience of outreach/public engagement in science, either events based or web- based
F2 Experience of raising external funding
F3 Experience of working across multiple disciplines
Responsible for the Hunterian’s collection of 5000 varied scientific and medical instruments/equipment from the 18th and especially the 19th and 20th centuries, and associated records/archives/library. Working with the Curator of Zoology, part responsibility for the 7000 medical tissue specimen collections.
The role will actively contribute to The Hunterian’s strategic development, undertaking appropriate teaching, especially at post-grad level, including project supervision as required, as well as research for acquisition, curation, display and publication.
Planning and Organising
Plan and manage curatorial activities, use and development of the collection and teaching and research activities
Initiate, prepare and submit funding applications both as an individual and as part of a team.
Organise knowledge exchange and outreach activities as appropriate.
Decide on acquisition, disposal and usage of the scientific and medical instrument collections.
Identify and engage expert opinion as required.
Decide on collections research plan with reference to PDR and institutional strategies.
Take responsibility for organisation and use of resources as appropriate.
Work with Hunterian Scientific Instruments Group to initiate and progress this new post.
Work with Curator of Zoology in respect of the medical collections.
Liaise with line manager, the Hunterian management and other Hunterian colleagues as appropriate.
Collaborate with colleagues and students in appropriate University subjects, schools and colleges and work with other University Services departments as required.
Liaise with national and international expertise in this subject to facilitate best practice and research.
Collaborate and contribute to local, national and international bodies appropriate to the subject.
Work with funding sources as appropriate.
Work with public audiences on outreach and knowledge exchange as appropriate.
Understanding historical data to resolve issues in establishing reliable provenances and background information on objects.
Contribute to resolving issues in the collections management, conservation, storage and documentation of the collection.
Resolving issues arising in pursuit of research objectives.
Resolving issues regarding funding applications.
Assist subject areas and students to resolve teaching and learning related issues.
It is desirable that the postholder has a full clean driving licence and would be required to sit and pass the University Garage Driving Test that permits usage of University vehicles.
Additional information: Descriptions of the Collections
Scientific Instruments (5,000 objects)
The Hunterian cares for a large collection of scientific and medical instruments accumulated from the 17th century onwards as a result of research and teaching activities in the University. Notable amongst the instruments are those worked on by James Watt including the model Newcomen Engine said to be the inspiration for his development of steam power. The collection of research and demonstration apparatus gathered together by Lord Kelvin is probably the most important single collection since it includes apparatus used in his pioneering research into electricity, telegraphy and thermodynamics. There are items used or created by Hunter, Joseph Lister, James Prescott Joule, Frederick Soddy and other leading scientists, as well as significant collections of items used for observing and measuring such as telescopes, microscopes and mechanical calculators. Recent acquisitions include the tide gauges designed by James Deas and used for a century to record the tides along the River Clyde.
Terms & Conditions
Salary will be on the Management, Professional and Administrative Grade, level 7, £32,267 - £36,298 per annum, pro rata.
This open ended post is part time at 21 hours per week, 3 consecutive days per week: 09.00 - 17.00 (to be agreed)
New entrants to the University will be required to serve a probationary period of 6 months.
The successful applicant will be eligible to join the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme. Further information regarding the scheme is available from the Superannuation Officer, who is also prepared to advise on questions relating to the transfer of Superannuation benefits.
Ref: 004319, closing date 1st September 2013.
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University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland, UK
tel: +44 (0)141-330 3898