Funding Opportunity: The British Society for the History of Science

The British Society for the History of Science (BSHS) is delighted to launch a scheme to support small and local museums, archives, galleries and libraries whose collections connect to themes in the history of science, technology, engineering and medicine. This scheme will fund the placement of Master’s or PhD students with heritage organisations and museums for the equivalent of a month’s work (timescales can be arranged between the partner museum and student) as an Engagement Fellow and contribute £1000 towards the costs of public engagement outputs related to the research undertaken. Examples could include:

  • Updating displays and content
  • Blog posts
  • Museum trails
  • Informal learning sheets
  • Events for schools, families or adults

As the heritage sector face increasing cuts in funding the BSHS are in a position to fund two placements a year to support the ambitions of museum and archives to deliver engaging histories and stories to their visitors. This scheme would require the museum partner to provide training and mentorship for the appointed student during the placement. The student themselves will develop valuable skills and experiences while producing outputs of high research quality.

The BSHS would like to trial this scheme and welcome proposals for collaboration from museums and heritage organisations based in the UK. If you are interested please complete an expression of interest form, which is available to download here: The deadline for receipt of these is Friday 23 September.

If selected your proposal would be circulated to students studying the history of science, technology, engineering and medicine who will then apply to be involved in the project. We welcome any comments or queries you have about this new venture: please direct your correspondence to Dr James Stark (

Job Opportunity: The Whitworth

Senior Curator (Historic Fine Art)

Salary: £38,896 to £47,801 per annum

Permanent full time contract

Closing date: 4th September

The Whitworth is hiring a Senior Curator to take care of the remarkable collection of Historic Fine Art at the Whitworth. These collections have been part of the Whitworth’s unique identity since its very earliest years. Now with an award winning new building, with exemplary exhibition spaces, study spaces and collection stores, there could not be a better time to join.

They are looking for a dynamic, open minded, passionate curator who loves historic fine art and print and can demonstrate a thorough grasp of art history, current display and exhibition making trends and is committed to sharing their specialist knowledge with the widest range of people – from academics to toddlers and their parents.

For further details and to apply please see here.


Job Opportunity: Manchester Museum

Common Cause Foundation Coordinator

Salary : £25,769 (pro rata) per annum

Employment Type : Fixed Term

Duration : 12 months

Hours Per week : 0.8 FTE

Closing Date : 05/09/2016

We want the Greater Manchester region to be one in which people know and appreciate what matters to fellow citizens – where people feel part of their wider community and are motivated to help change this for the better. Building understanding and appreciation of the shared human values that people hold to be important seems more crucial than ever. You will join Manchester Museum’s award winning Learning and Engagement team during an exciting period of change and redevelopment. In this post, you will help to drive forward the Museum’s new vision to become a Museum for Life, as part of the Courtyard Redevelopment. You will co-ordinate the Museum’s collaboration with Common Cause Foundation, working to place the Museum at the heart of a new and vibrant public debate about what matters to people across the Greater Manchester region, and why. Located in the Museum, you will work closely with curatorial and other Museum staff, to interpret and animate the collections in ways that stimulate visitors’ exploration of what they value, and what others value. Your work within this role will also take you outside the Museum. You will collaborate with community groups, government, business, media and educational organisations to create and facilitate new networks to broaden this debate. Your work will help to strengthen community feeling, will deepen people’s commitment to become involved in driving positive social and environmental change, and will foster greater wellbeing across the Greater Manchester region. You will have significant experience of convening, co-ordinating and sustaining networks of diverse people; great communication skills; and recent experience of developing resources for use with public audiences, ideally in a museum context.

The University of Manchester values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CV’s or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

The interview date is 13 September 2016.

For further information please see here.

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Menaka Munro,

General enquiries:, 0161 275 4499

Technical support:, 01565 818 234

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date

Freelance Opportunity: Manchester Museum

South Asia Inspired Creative Practitioner

Fee: £2,200 for 12 days work

Duration: Sept 16 – Aug 17

Location: Oxford Road, Manchester

Closing date: 05/09/2016

We have a fantastic freelance creative practitioner opportunity to work with Manchester Museum as part of our Capital Redevelopment with a number of partner schools on a Start project funded by Children and the Arts.

The project – The Art of Identity – will involve partnerships with a number of Greater Manchester schools and aims to engage over two hundred Key Stage 3 students. The project will be linked with our Capital Redevelopment, a part of which is to develop a permanent South Asia Gallery at Manchester Museum. Therefore we are looking for a creative practitioner whose work has a demonstrable link to South Asia and who can create a collaborative Museum-Schools piece of artwork on the topic of ‘Identity in South Asia’. Ideally, we would like practitioners who have experience of working with secondary school age children and would be confident translating pupils’ ideas into pieces of art with a cultural and historical context.

Expressions of Interest

If you would like to be considered for this work please supply the requested material (see full brief) to by Monday 5th September at 10am.

This work will be subject to a DBS check.

We will be inviting practitioners whose skills and experience match the brief for an informal discussion at the Museum on Friday 16th September. Please indicate if you are unable to make this date on your expression of interest.

For further information and to apply, please read the full brief.

Enquiries about the this opportunity:
Cat Lumb, Secondary and Post-16 Humanities Coordinator
Email: Tel: 0161 306 1765

 This vacancy will close for applications at 10am on the closing date.

Job Opportunity: Manchester Museum

Project Co-ordinator

Salary : £30,738 per annum

Duration : Full time fixed term to 31/08/2019

Location: Oxford Road, Manchester

Closing date : 31/08/2016

 You will be responsible for the successful delivery of ‘The New North And South’, a 3 year programme recently awarded £730,000 by Arts Council England. The partners comprise the Whitworth, Manchester Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, Liverpool Biennial, the Tetley in Leeds, the biennials in Colombo, Karachi, Kochi and Lahore, the Dhaka Art Summit, and the British Council in England and South Asia. The programme consists of collaborations between the partners on artistic programming, workforce development and intellectual exchange.

Interviews will be held in Manchester on Thursday 15 September at Manchester Museum

The University of Manchester values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CV’s or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

For further information and to apply, please see here.

 Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Kelly Jones,

General enquiries:, 0161 275 4499

Technical support:, 01565 818 234

 This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.

Getting ‘Loan Ready’ 

Museum Development North West

The British Museum have developed the Getting ‘Loan Ready’ programme with the aim of enabling participating museums to successfully request and borrow collection material for short and long term exhibitions and displays. This has been made possible through HLF funding and the British Museum’s National Partnership skills sharing activity.

The programme consists of six parts comprising:

  • Knowing what to borrow
  • Requesting a loan
  • Budgeting and costs
  • Facilities and security
  • Agreements and insurance
  • Making the loan happen

Each session will run from 10am to 4pm with the first session in September 2016 being held at the British Museum. The subsequent five sessions will be held at Manchester Museum and The Whitworth.

Specialist staff from across the North West Major Partner Museums are also contributing to the programme to give delegates the opportunity to learn more about their collections, venues, teams, loan procedures and experiences of borrowing. Sarah Brown from the Collections Trust will also…

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Job Opportunity: Beacon Museum, Whitehaven

Business Development Manager

Salary Grade: 10 £30,480 – £34,196 per annum

37 hours per week

The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven, is seeking a highly motivated individual with proven experience and skill in identifying and developing income-generating business streams, activities and opportunities for this award-winning accredited Museum. The Museum is currently undergoing a £1.2M grant-funded development including the creation of a Conference and Learning Centre and new Indemnity standard exhibition gallery. You will play a key role in moving the museum towards a self-financing and independent operating model.

Working with the Beacon Museum Director and Steering Group, you will have excellent communication and marketing skills across a range of digital and traditional media. You will be responsible for preparing and delivering the marketing and promotion plans for the Museum including assisting in the Museum developing a national profile. You will also ensure that the local community including businesses are able to engage and become an increasing part of the Beacon Museum.

The Beacon Museum is a collaboration between Copeland Borough Council and Sellafield Ltd.

Closing date: Tuesday 30th August 2016

Interviews will be held on Friday 9th September 2016

Interviews will include a 10 minute presentation.

To complete an online application form and to view the job profile please visit, alternatively please contact Customer Services, Copeland Borough Council, The Market Hall, Market Place, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 7JG, tel. 01946 598300.

Conference Blog: MuseumNext, Dublin

In April the MDNW team went en masse (three of us!) to the MuseumNext conference in Dublin, leaving the North West in the capable hands of Sam, our Project Support Assistant. The three days were so full of good stuff it’s taken us until now to pool our notes and decide which bits to put in this blog.

Let’s work backwards… What are the key things we took away from our time in Dublin? Probably confirmation, or a reaffirmation, of what we’ve always known – museums are places that support, inspire, serve, provoke and advocate for local and world communities. Or as David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool put it in his keynote speech, “If you don’t think museums change lives you shouldn’t be working in them”. We heard so many inspiring examples of what museums across the world are doing, and the effect they have on people.

We fell in love with Dublin. The people, the place, the vibrancy, even the weather, we got a touch of sunburn in April! “Sense of place” is a phrase that’s recently crept into discussions around art and culture. If you want to know what it really means then go to Dublin. We’ll gloss over the morning session which included tours of local attractions the Jameson Archive and Guinness Storehouse and included a goodie bag of whisky miniatures…

For MDNW, it was the first time the three of us have been away at a conference together. Through our training and programmes, one of our strategic aims is to give museums the space for them away from day to day tasks to reflect and plan. MuseumNext gave us the space to do the same, to take a step back and think about what we’re doing and plan to do. We started questioning ourselves as an entity. As a museum development organisation are we politically neutral? Is it possible to be? Should we be? Or should we be more forthright in putting our views forward? Hearing people talk about a museum’s value and mission, and conveying them to staff, funders and visitors, made it clear to us that we should be stronger at articulating how our own values underpin all of our work.

Key themes from the conference were soft power, innovation, social inclusion and collaboration. The statistics around the power and potential of age groups at opposite ends of the spectrum were striking. Millennials (born 1982-2000) make up a quarter of the population of the USA and by 2017 will spend $200bn annually. As Susan Evans McClure showed in her talk on the Smithsonian Food History Programs, the assumptions a museum might make about how millennials react to social media and marketing can be wrong, don’t assume you know how to reach them. Meanwhile, some of the statistics that Francesca Rosenberg from the Museum of Modern Art in New York used were staggering – 810m people over the age of 60 worldwide and will reach 2bn by 2050. By 2020 the number of older adults will outnumber children under 5 for the first time, and they have more disposable income than any other generation – in 2017 the US population of 50+ will control 70% of disposable income. Food for thought for museums for the future. And the most significant thing to come out of these talks for one of us was the realisation that they’re still young enough to count as a millennial. The other two are too old!

A stand out talk for me was by Scott Billings from the Museum of Natural History in Oxford, talking about the Dodo Roadshow. They undertook a tour from Lands End to John O’Groats with their dodo to promote their inclusion in the shortlist for Museum of the Year in 2015. An eight day trip visiting 24 museums and galleries and introducing the dodo to more than 1,000 people. They organised it in three weeks, going against the grain of everything we’re supposed to do to guarantee a successful project – planning well in advance, evaluating, reviewing. It’s a great example of when the idea and the opportunity come along, just go for it!

Rather unexpectedly, there was a lot of science stuff to the conference. At the evening networking event at the Science Gallery in Dublin we tasted food replacement beverages which could provide us with all our nutritional requirements in the future. They didn’t taste as bad as they sounded (or looked!), and thankfully we didn’t get to taste the human cheese made from bacteria, the subject of a talk by Michael John Gorman from the gallery, or experience virtual reality for chickens. However, the theme of innovation was carried on by Luiz Alberto Oliveira and Alexandre Fernandes from the Museum of Tomorrow in Brazil, a museum of applied contemporary science, or a museum of questions.

It was a great three days of talks and thoughts of what museums might be in the future, although I think I can safely say it will be a while before food replacement beverages replace the current drink of choice in Dublin!

To hear and read more about some of these themes:

Soft power:

Millennials in museums:

Engaging older adults:

Dodo roadshow:

Food replacement and more predictions from NESTA:

Virtual reality for chickens!:

Job Opportunity: Ribble Steam Railway and Museum

Front of House / Retail Manager  
Salary: £25,000
Permanent Full Time Contract (6 month trial period)Location:    
Closing date: Wednesday 31 August 2016  

Ribble Steam Railway and Museum are looking for a Front of House & and Retail Manager, this is a new post, created to lead and direct their busy front of house operations. The successful candidate will work closely with the Board of Directors, acting as a key member of the team, responsible for practically running the café, shop and reception operations.

The Front of House & and Retail Manager will manage the Assistant Curator, and lead the front of house volunteer team and museum guides. The candidate will have experience and skills to confidently motivate, support, and inspire others to high standards. They will be an excellent communicator, listening and sharing ideas with all our volunteers. Their ability to appreciate the ideas and contributions of others is vitally important to this role.

Joining a small team the successful candidate must be self-motivated, be able to practically demonstrate the core factors that deliver successful teams and a profitable retail, café operation. This is very much a hands on role. Ribble are a small, volunteer organisation. Given the nature of this position, the ideal candidate will be expected to get involved with all aspects of service delivery, working practically alongside our volunteers, especially during our open season.

To apply, please send a CV with an appropriate covering letter to

AIM Conservation Grants – Next Round Closes 30 September

AIM members from small and medium size museums are eligible to apply to the AIM Preventive Conservation Grant Scheme and the AIM Conservation Grant Scheme. Both schemes are generously supported by The Pilgrim Trust and the next round of applications closes on 30 September 2016.

Since these grant schemes started, hundreds of AIM member museums and heritage sites have benefited, and both schemes have been set up to help develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections. To check your eligibility and for further information, please see the AIM website: AIM Grant Schemes.

Please note that the typical grant awarded is £5,000 or under. If you have any questions about these grants, please email: