Tagged: Natural Sciences

Bringing the Dead to Life: How to display museum natural science

Friday 22 September, 10.00am to 4.00pm
University College London

The Natural Science Collections Association (the SSN for natural science) is running a talks-and-discussion day on putting on exhibitions. It’s called ‘Bringing the dead to life: how to display museum natural science’ and will be a day of talks discussing how to best put on an exhibition of natural science. 

Topics include object label writing, using live animals in displays, raising corporate sponsorship and audience consultation. It should be interesting for anyone working in any museum discipline – not just natural science.

Costs: £20 for NatSCA members (£40 otherwise).

To find out more and book your place visit the conference website.


Job Opportunity: Manx National Heritage

Curator: Natural History
Salary Scale Pay Band 14 – £28,556 to £33,417\
Job Ref: MNH – 005511

Manx National Heritage is looking for a creative professional to look after our island’s Natural History collections. Apply now if you are passionate about encouraging a deeper understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the natural world and putting audiences at the heart of everything we do.  

Join the curatorial team at Manx National Heritage to manage and develop our diverse natural history collections and biological records which are an exceptional record of the Isle of Man’s distinct flora and fauna.

You will be responsible for ensuring best practise in collections care, documentation, research and interpretation. 

An expert in your field of collections-based science you will demonstrate a high level of scholarship and creative ability to engage audiences.

While the natural history collections are based in Douglas – Isle of Man – you will be expected to lead on natural science provision at all MNH sites, where appropriate, as well as working with island partners to raise awareness of the island’s biodiversity.

Manx National Heritage is a diverse organisation with wide-ranging responsibilities and is committed to providing a professional, inclusive and socially engaging heritage service for the Isle of Man.

Further details of the post can be obtained from Kirsty Neate on Tel: 01624 648024.

Knowledge, Training & experience required for the post:

Graduate level qualification in natural sciences or a related subject – Essential

Postgraduate qualification in a relevant biological discipline or museum /heritage studies – Desirable

A driving licence is essential.

How to Apply

For further information about the vacancy contact Kirsty Neate, Head of Professional Services – Manx National Heritage, on 01624 648024.

To apply online please visit https://www.jobtrain.co.uk/iomgovjobs/displayjob.aspx?jobid=5582 or to obtain an application form and job description contact Mr George Corrin, Recruitment Officer, Office of Human Resources, on 01624 685274 or e-mail ohr@gov.im

The closing date for applications is Friday 14th July 2017.

Interview expenses will be met for this role; however a relocation package is not available.

Job Opportunity: World Museum, Liverpool

Tanyptera Regional Entomologist
Salary – £25,034
Fixed-term for 5 years
Deadline: 16/01/2017 12:00

Are you passionate about insects and wildlife conservation?

Would you like to share this passion with more people?

The Tanyptera Trust and National Museums Liverpool are looking for an exceptional person to promote the conservation of insects and other invertebrates in North West England.  As well as your enthusiasm, you will be a capable entomologist with good field skills and will be excellent at communicating with fellow enthusiasts, specialists, conservation organisations and the wider public.

The post holder will be based in the Entomology section of World Museum (Collections and Estates Division) and will initially be managed by the Director of World Museum.  The post holder  will work actively across Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. The post and project will report to a group comprising the Director of World Museum (or nominated representative) and three external appointees of the Tanyptera Trust.

For more information about the role visit the National Museums Liverpool jobs page


Rochdale’s 2020 vision helps secure world famous exhibit


One of the most famous museum exhibits in the world is heading to Rochdale as part of an unprecedented national tour.

The Natural History Museum’s famous diplodocus skeleton ‘Dippy’, which has been seen by tens of millions of visitors since it was first presented to the museum in 1905, is leaving the museum for the first time to go on a tour of the UK, and Rochdale’s Number One Riverside has been selected as one of just eight host venues around the country.

The council’s award-winning customer service centre, office building and central library will welcome Dippy from February to June 2020 and will be the only North West stop on the tour.

Rochdale was selected following a competitive bidding process, which saw 90 venues from across the country apply to host the iconic exhibit. The bid was led by Rochdale Borough Council in partnership with Touchstones Rochdale Museum and Art Gallery.

The main aim of the tour, which is being supported by The Garfield Weston Foundation, is to use Dippy as a way of inspiring people to get involved in science and encourage more youngsters to study the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and take up careers in STEM industries.

Cultural and educational activities focussed around the key themes of origins and evolution, sustainability and climate change and biodiversity will be put on at each venue to coincide with Dippy’s stay.

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for Culture, Health and Wellbeing at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “This must be the first time an internationally famous museum exhibit has been placed in a council building and I think it is fantastic. In doing this, both ourselves and the Natural History Museum are bringing the natural collection right to people’s doorstep and that is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our young people, many of whom would not be able to see these incredible artefacts in their usual home.

“Rochdale might seem like an unconventional location for Dippy, but we have a compelling story to tell. As a place which was at the forefront of the industrial revolution, we inadvertently damaged the environment, but we are now leading the way in a sustainable development and our host venue Number One Riverside, which has a number of environmentally friendly features, is probably the best example of that.”

Darren Grice, Head of Culture, Health and Participation at Link4Life, said: “At Touchstones Rochdale we are always looking for opportunities to excite, educate and inspire people through learning about our past and thinking about our future. Hosting Dippy in Rochdale provides us with a unique opportunity to do just this. Not only will people across the North West be blown away by the awe inspiring scale of a Dippy, we can create a real conversation around climate change, biodiversity and their impact on the world in which we live.”

Katrina Nilsson, Head of National Public Programmes at the Natural History Museum, said: “Rochdale is the perfect location for the Dippy on Tour. Nestled in the Pennines, this market town has a long history of industry and scientific endeavour. As the Natural History Museum’s tour partner in the North West we are sure Rochdale will attract people from across the region to come and see Dippy, and most importantly, to get out and explore nature on their doorstep.”

To find out more about Dippy on Tour in Rochdale, including how businesses can support the visit, please visit: rochdale.gov.uk/dippy

Call for papers: Journal of Natural Science Collections

The next volume of the Journal of Natural Science Collections is due to be published in December 2016. If you would like to contribute a paper, please contact editor@natsca.org,  the guidelines for authors available here.

The deadline for submissions to guarantee publication in this volume of the Journal is 31 August 2016. Papers submitted after this date may not be accepted.

NatSCA welcome papers on any topic relevant to natural science collections, their care, use, and interpretation.

Job Opportunity: Natural History Museum

Vacancy reference: CW/NHM/CP
Location: South Kensington
Employment type: Permanent
Area of business: Earth Sciences
Closing date: 11/07/2016

Role description:

The Natural History Museum is one of the world’s leading museums, internationally recognised for its dual role as a centre of excellence in scientific research and as a leader in the presentation of natural history through exhibitions, public programmes, publications and the web.

The petrology collections curator is responsible for undertaking everyday curation, documentation, movements and preservation of the NHM collection including rock, Ocean Bottom Deposit and Building Stone collections.

Curation support will include hosting visitors, processing loans, answering enquiries and registration of the backlog of new acquisitions. The post will feed into and contribute to long term collections management, research and collections development goals.

The successful candidate will have a BSc in a geological subject or museum studies (or equivalent experience) and demonstrable knowledge of rock classification coupled with the ability to identify rock specimens (hand samples and under the microscope) without supervision.

You will have experience in the registration of collections materials in a museum collections management system, preferably KE Emu. You will also have experience of carrying out or supporting small collections- based research projects and handling requests for destructive or invasive sampling.

Salary: £28,865 per annum plus benefits

Contract: Permanent appointment

Closing date: 9am on Monday 11 July 2016

Role competences:

BEFORE beginning your application – Please read the section below about the ‘Online Application Process’ carefully.

If you wish to be considered for this role you will need to address each of the following competences in the ‘other information’ section of your online application:

1. BSc in a geological subject or museum studies

2. Experience of dealing with complex requests and enquiries from the public, scientific researchers and exhibition designers.

3. Experience of handling requests for destructive or invasive sampling.

4. Ability to deal with difficult and demanding visitors in a firm and polite manner.

5. Experience of registration of collections materials in a museum collections management system, preferably KE Emu.

6. Knowledge of relevant national and international data standards.

7. Experience of carrying out or supporting small collections- based research projects.

8. Experience of carrying out independent or participating in group fieldwork..

9. Demonstrable knowledge of rock classification and ability to identify rock specimens (hand samples and under the microscope) without supervision.

10. Experience of giving talks, tours or demonstrations about collections to a wide variety of audiences.

11. Ability to recognise hazards and follow procedures to ensure risks are minimised in the workplace.

12. The ability to solve problems in a flexible and creative manner.

Online application process:

You are required to provide a response to ALL of the role competences listed above within the ‘Other Information’ section of the online application form (up to 140 words per competence). In order to demonstrate how you meet each competence fully, please provide specific examples from your achievements, knowledge, skills and/or experience.

IMPORTANT: The ‘Other Information’ section will ‘timeout’ after 35 minutes and any information not saved during this time will be lost. Please therefore prepare your answers on a separate document before transferring and saving them to your application.

Please also be aware that anything entered onto the form will not save unless text has been added to all mandatory fields.

The ‘Additional Questions’ regarding right to work in the UK and age are mandatory questions and any applications received without these answers will not be considered.

Please review your application fully before pressing ‘submit application’ as you will not be able to make any further amends after submitting, and any applications received which have not addressed ALL competences in full and/or the mandatory questions will be rejected.

Please note that CVs will not be accepted outside of the online application process or as a substitute for completion of the competences.

The attached ‘Role Specification’ provides further information on the role and how to apply.


The Bill Pettit Memorial Award

NatSCA is pleased to invite applications to this year’s Bill Pettit Memorial Award. Up to £1,500 of grant money will be made available to NatSCA members every year to support projects including the conservation, access, and use of natural science collections.

Charles Arthur William ‘Bill’ Pettit (1937-2009) started his career with the National Institute of Oceanography but moved to the Manchester Museum in 1975 to become Assistant Keeper of Zoology. In his time at Manchester, Bill worked tirelessly for the collections and was instrumental in projects such as FENSCORE as well as numerous publications. It is in recognition of his commitment to natural science collections that we would like to offer this annual award.

Applications are invited under a wide range of categories. Each project will be considered on its own merits by the NatSCA committee and the committee’s decision, including not awarding any money that year, will be final. Grants up to £1,500 are available. To apply please put together a 700 word project proposal, which must include:

  The name and status (e.g. charity, individual, local authority) of the applicant

  The proposed outcomes of the project and benefits to the museum

  Detailed costs

  Accurate timescale (including any work undertaken so far and the project end date)

  Details of other funding/match funding already secured for the project

Grants will be considered on an annual basis in January or February.

Deadline for 2015 applications: Friday 11th December

Successful applicants will be announced at the NatSCA annual general meeting and are required to produce a report/article on their project for publication.

Applications are open to NatSCA individual or institutional members only.

Please contact David Gelsthorpe (david.gelsthorpe@manchester.ac.uk, 0161 3061601) for further information or to submit a grant application.

Developing Skills for Collection Managers

Thursday 28th May
Flett Events Theatre, Natural History Museum

Seminar followed by workshop 14.30–16.30

An opportunity to hear about putting collection competency frameworks into practice and to gain tips from colleagues on how to improve your collection skills. You will then take part in a workshop to explore how to use the frameworks to plan your Continuing Professional Development.

Speaker – Nick Poole, CEO of the Collections Trust

Open to all

The seminar and workshop are open to all museum professionals.

Please email julie.reynolds@nhm.ac.uk for more information and/or to book a place.

Tea and coffee will be available in the lobby area at the end of the session.

Core Principles of Fluid Preservation: A training video

From the Royal College of Surgeons of England

We here at the Conservation unit at the Royal College of Surgeons of England have recently completed a short training video entitled ŒCore principles of fluid preservation: Routine maintenance of the specimen, which can be viewed at http://youtu.be/Oe48q7B6IoY. This project has been generously funded by the John Ellerman Foundation and the Hunterian Museum Trustees.

This video concentrates on the historical methods we use to maintain spirit preserved specimens, housed in glass jars. We hope it will benefit those who are responsible for fluid preserved specimen collections, but lack practical experience. We will also be publishing a training manual to accompany the video, which will be online shortly.

We hope this will be the first of several similar productions covering important aspects of wet specimen conservation. We would value your feedback and would be keen to hear about other training subjects you think might be useful to be produced in this format.

We will be displaying a poster about the making of this video at the forthcoming NatSCA conference in May, if you are attending please do come and have a look!

Job Opportunity: Natural History Museum

Touring Exhibitions Collections Coordinator
£26,823 per annum plus benefits
Application deadline – Midnight on Wednesday 6 May 2015

Engagement Department. The Touring Exhibitions Collections Coordinator will oversee the planning and installation of the at venues worldwide, as well as assisting with the formulation and execution of related touring exhibition procedures. This role will include extensive global travel to hosting venues. Reporting into the Touring Exhibitions Operations Manager, the role holder will manage object loans to hosting venues by liaising with external stakeholders and service providers, as well as other sections of the Museum, such as Central Registry, Conservation, Content Production, Heads of Collections, Curatorial, and Security.

The successful candidate must be experienced in object handling and have excellent interpersonal skills. Strong organisational, forward planning and problem-solving skills are essential, as is a keen attention to detail. Candidates must additionally have sound knowledge of international standards for museum collections, be proficient with computer software (such as Excel and File Maker Pro, with experience of KeEMu also desirable), and ideally have extensive experience working with collections on tour, including experience of packing, transportation and exhibition installation.

For more information and the full job description click here