Post Doctoral Researcher, Art Conservation

University of Delaware

Newark, DE

ID: 7065432
Posted: March 19, 2020
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

The Department of Art Conservation at the University of Delaware is seeking a postdoctoral researcher for a 2-year position in the field of conservation science. This is a term position with a tentative start date of September 1, 2020, for one year with the option for a further 1-year renewal.

Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library and the University of Delaware, Department of Art Conservation

The successful candidate will work at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library in partnership with the University of Delaware, reporting to the lab manager of the Scientific Research and Analysis Laboratory. Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library is an internationally recognized cultural organization consisting of a world-class museum with 175 furnished rooms and exhibition galleries, a nearly 1000- acre garden and estate, a specialized research library, and an intellectual research center for object-based inquiry with two graduate programs. The museum’s Scientific Research and Analysis Laboratory (SRAL) is equipped with GC-MS, py-GC-MS, LC-MS, XRD, SEM-EDS, FORS, FT-IR, Raman, and XRF spectrometers. Beyond the resources of the museum, the University of Delaware, other local universities and industrial partners offer access to specialized analytical equipment and a large scientific community. The museum is located just outside of Wilmington, Delaware, within 45 minutes of Philadelphia, and two hours of New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

The University of Delaware is one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher education, combining tradition and innovation. The Art Conservation Department, within the College of Arts and Sciences, includes an undergraduate and master’s program in art conservation, the latter in collaboration with Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Preservation Studies. The Master of Science program has a three-year curriculum designed to educate and prepare graduate students to be conservators of cultural property. The Preservation Studies Program is an interdisciplinary doctoral course of study based on the philosophies, research methodologies, and policies informing preservation efforts focused on art, architecture, landscapes, and material culture. Though separate, these programs are interconnected by our faculty and students interacting as mentors, teaching assistants, and interns. Efforts are made to develop and sustain meaningful relationships among the three programs and affiliated departments and programs.


The researcher is expected to work with scientists, conservators, curators, and conservation and material culture fellows at Winterthur and the University of Delaware on research projects utilizing a broad range of materials from the collections of Winterthur Museum and Library. Fifty percent (50%) of the time will be dedicated to a research project(s). The researcher will also provide analytical services to the Museums’ conservators, curators, and art conservation and material culture students. Student requests will typically require one-on-one interactions and demonstrations, providing an opportunity for teaching and learning. The researcher will be expected to teach within his/her/their area(s) of expertise in the science and conservation curriculum of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation and to guest lecture for art conservation department coursework more generally. They will also be expected to engage with academic and public audiences on a regular basis through museum and university educational programs, tours, outside lectures, and social media.


A Ph.D. in Chemistry, Materials Science or other Physical Science, conferred within the last five years, is required.

The successful candidate will have a demonstrated, high level of scientific achievement and a serious interest in a career as a scientist in the field of cultural heritage. Experience with some spectroscopies and/or chromatographic techniques are required, while advanced computational and statistical analysis skills are desirable. Strong oral and written communications skills are required, as well as a strong record of publication and public outreach. The candidate must have a demonstrated interest in the arts; an interest in the decorative arts or preventive conservation is preferred.

To apply: Review of applications will begin after March 15, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled.


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