Deputy Museum Director of Collections at the Natural History Museum of Denmark Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen
The Natural History Museum of Denmark seeks to appoint a new Deputy Museum Director of Collections. The primary responsibilities are to lead and guide preservation and curation of all museum collections, including living, preserved and digital collections, to make them open and accessible for everyone, now and in the future, in accordance with the Danish Museum Act. We are looking for a candidate who can strengthen our national and international collaborative networks, establish new partnerships, and develop our collections to the benefit of science and society. The Deputy Museum Director of Collections will lead the continuing development and implementation of the Museum’s strategic plans for the collections, including planning and implementing new collections facilities and a subsequent move of all collections. The Deputy Museum Director of Collections reports directly to the Museum Director, Peter C. Kjærgaard, and is a member of the Museum’s Executive Board.
It is our ambition to set best global standards for collections care, storage, curation and collections access, so we are looking for a candidate with similar ambitions for the development of our unique collections. You will lead our collections managers and curators to deliver this vision as well as our vision to inspire, engage and enable people to enjoy, understand and care for the diversity of the natural world.
The Deputy Director of Collections should inspire and engage with all collections staff from collections managers, conservators, horticulturists, and scientific curators. The role also includes oversight of the Museum’s collections input into exhibitions and public programming. As a member of the Museum’s Executive Board, the Deputy Museum Director of Collections will have a shared responsibility for the best use of resources across the Museum as a whole and is expected to have a thorough understanding of the value of the Museum’s many other activities. Hence, the ability to work collegiately and collaboratively is essential. The Deputy Museum Director of Collections will be part of a leadership team through a significant period of change while the Natural History Museum of Denmark moves to new state-of-the-art facilities in the Botanical Garden in central Copenhagen. The new galleries are expected to open to the public in 2026. The new research facilities will be ready to move into in 2025. A new collection facility is in the planning outside Copenhagen and will house some 80% of our collections as well as labs, workshops, and offices. The Deputy Director of Collections will lead this development and the following preparation and moving of all collections (14 million objects) and be overall responsible for the ongoing digitization of all collections.
As Deputy Director of Collections, you will lead five units with approx. 70 people covering the following collections units: conservation, digital collections, zoological collections, botanical and geological collections and the living collections in the Botanical Garden.
Ideal candidates will have:
- Comprehensive experience with all aspects of collections care and curation
- Thorough understanding of 1) collections care, including conservation, 2) collection development, including emerging approaches such as digitization, 3) scientific use of collections, including research potential and strategic development, and 4) Access and Benefit Sharing regulations and the Nagoya Protocol
- A record of engagement through committee work, presentations, and/or publications, and emerging trends in the special field of natural history collections
- Demonstrated project management experience, with an ability to manage multiple complex projects simultaneously
- Experience and track record in the planning and delivery of capital projects i.e. new buildings (particularly Collection facilities requirements) and collection moves.
- A research background within a natural history discipline and a record of scientific use of museum collections and/or data
- A proven ability to work at a strategic level
- A broad understanding and appreciation of all areas of science relevant to the Natural History Museum of Denmark and an ability to demonstrate competence in leadership and management in an organisation of considerable size and complexity
- Experience in fundraising and actively work to grow external funding
- A record of scientific use of museum collections and/or data
- A vision for how digital, genomic, and other new technologies will drive advances in natural history science
- Experience in effecting change in an organisation
- Supportive and performance-oriented people skills and commitment to an inclusive workplace that celebrates diversity and respect for everyone with equality and opportunity for all
- A passion for the vision and values of the Natural History Museum of Denmark
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Confidence in ability to provide advocacy for the Museum with multiple stakeholders
- Ability to prioritise and take tough decisions
- Resilience under pressure
- a PhD in a natural history discipline, or equivalent knowledge and experience
Valuation of applicants will primarily consider their level of documented qualifications for a visionary Deputy Museum Director of Collections with excellent international standing. The overall fit for the Natural History Museum will also be considered.
About the Natural History Museum of Denmark
The Natural History Museum of Denmark is the Danish national museum for nature. We work to empower citizens to connect with nature with the aim to create positive change for people and planet. We want to inspire, engage and enable people to enjoy, understand, and care for the diversity of the natural world. The impact of climate change and anthropogenic forces on biodiversity has reached a critical point. We firmly believe that natural history museums can and should play a key role towards a more sustainable relationship with nature.
We are currently building a new Danish national museum for nature. One big museum site, in the Botanical Garden, in the centre of Copenhagen, will host state-of-the-art laboratories, outstanding research collections, new public galleries, and combined facilities for programming, education, and citizen science. It is an ambition for the museum to change the way people think about and use natural history museums.
The Natural History Museum of Denmark supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in all aspects of museum activities.
The Natural History Museum consists of the national Botanical Garden and three museum sites with public galleries, offices, laboratories, and collection space. The Botanical Garden was founded in 1600. The collections date back to Ole Worm’s Cabinet of Curiosities from around 1620. With 14 million specimens and 9,000 different species in the Botanical Garden, it is the largest museum collection in Denmark. It covers our planetary history with botanical, zoological, and geological specimens from all over the world.
The Natural History Museum of Denmark is part of the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen. The University of Copenhagen was founded in 1479 and is the largest in Denmark. Read more about the museum at www.snm.ku.dk/english/
Inquiries about the position can be made to Museum Director, Peter C. Kjærgaard (+45 35330820 or email@example.com ). Please put “Deputy Museum Director of Collections” in the subject of e-mail inquiries.
The Natural History Museum of Denmark is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disabled status.
Copenhagen is a highly diverse and international Scandinavian capital with a green profile. Education is free and childcare is subsidized. Public transport is well developed, and most Copenhageners take their bikes to work. There are lots of green areas in and around Copenhagen, the water in the harbor is clean enough for swimming, and the city has multiple museums and other cultural venues.
Terms of employment
The employment and salary is made in accordance with the Circular on the Collective Agreement concerning academics in the state sector concluded between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Employment will be as Senior Consultant with personnel management.
Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.
The position is permanent.
The position is open from 1 June 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.
The successful candidate is expected to take Danish lessons if there is no prior knowledge of Danish language. The International Office at the University of Copenhagen can help.
How to apply
The application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.
There is an option for a professorship in a relevant field of natural history. If you are interested in applying for that as part of the job as Deputy Museum Director of Collections, you can find the job advertisement (The Natural History Museum of Denmark seeks to appoint one or more Professors) at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/.
- A cover letter stating the motivation for applying (1 page)
- A vision for the role as Deputy Museum Director of Collections at the Natural History Museum of Denmark (2 pages)
- Full curriculum vitae documenting:
- Leadership experience
- Previous positions at museums, universities, or cultural institutions
- Fundraising experience
- International network and relations
- Curatorial experience (curation of collections)
- Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
The deadline for applications is 18 March, 23:59 GMT+1
Interviews will be held on 9 April 2024 and 18 April 2024.
The Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen – or SCIENCE – is Denmark's largest science research and education institution with 4,000 employees and 9,700 Bachelor and Master's students in 12 departments. The Faculty has an annual budget of DKK 3 billion.
Learn more about The Faculty of Science at www.science.ku.dk
Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.