Assistant Conservation Scientist

Connecticut, United States
Tuesday, 29 December 2020
End of advertisement period
Saturday, 27 February 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Position Focus:

This 2-year term position is in the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH) and reports to the Director of Scientific Research of the Technical Studies Laboratory. The research laboratories of the IPCH perform a diverse range of laboratory procedures and techniques aimed at the study of objects in Yale’s cultural heritage and natural history collections as well as the study of changes that materials in these objects undergo as part of aging and degradation processes. The IPCH also houses the Conservation Laboratory and the Digitization Laboratory, which provide infrastructure and equipment to Yale’s collections and researchers pursuing the examination, documentation and conservation treatment of object.

We are seeking a scientist with a strong scientific background to fill the position of Assistant Conservation Scientist, who will collaborate with colleagues at IPCH and Yale’s collections to design and carry out projects that involve the scientific study of cultural heritage or natural history objects, of issues related to the degradation of objects and materials used in proximity to objects, and the adaptation and/or development of materials and data analysis methods relevant to cultural heritage. This position is based at Yale’s West Campus in Orange CT, but activities at collections, conservation laboratories and other research facilities require travel to Central Campus in downtown New Haven and nearby Science Park.

Essential Duties

  1. Participates in the design and performance of research projects relating to the analysis or degradation of materials used in fabricating or stabilizing cultural property and natural history collection objects.
  2. Uses established sample preparation and instrumental analysis methods (such as XRF, FTIR, Raman, Py-GC-MS, SEM-EDS) and performs method adaptation and/or development to address materials analysis needs. Coordinates the involvement of Yale or external specialists in select projects and utilizes on-campus or off-campus user facilities as necessary.
  3. Performs examinations or analytical tests on Yale collection objects upon request, and assists in the preparation of reports describing those findings.
  4. Prepares written reports of research findings and status, and prepare and present lectures describing research findings at professional conferences and other venues.
  5. Provides support to other scientists at the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, and participates in shared duties, such as managing instrument maintenance and compliance with safety protocols.
  6. May provide support for occasional student researchers, fellows and interns.
  7. Participates in occasional teaching and guest tours.
  8. May perform other duties as assigned.

Required Education and Experience

Master’s Degree in Chemistry or related field, including conservation or conservation science, and two years of experience involving the scientific study of works of art or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Required Skill/Ability 1:

Demonstrated practice with some instrumental materials characterization techniques (for example, FTIR, Raman, XRF, SEM/EDX, GC/MS, XRD, XPS etc) applied to the study of cultural heritage objects.

Required Skill/Ability 2:

Demonstrated abilities involving scientific study of works of art. Demonstrated genuine interest in working with museum and library collections.

Required Skill/Ability 3:

Well-developed oral and written communication, data analysis, organizational skills. Ability to communicate scientific concepts to a non-scientific audience.

Required Skill/Ability 4:

Proven ability to work collaboratively and professionally with scientists, conservators, curators, and collection care/management staff.

Preferred Education, Experience and Skills:

Exp w app of large-area scanning micro-focus XRF(MA-XRF)to analysis of cultural heritage objects, attendant data processing and analysis approaches. Exp w chemical mapping techniques(Raman). Fam. w programming language. Record of publication in conservation science or conservation. PhD in physical or bio-physical sciences: materials science, polymer science, physics, biophysics, biochemistry.

Physical Requirements

Fine motor skills needed to allow manipulation of small samples using scalpels and/or needles while viewing through a stereomicroscope. Physical ability to relocate and secure compressed gas cylinders as well as to install/remove regulator from gas cylinder.

Drug Screen


Health Screening


Background Check Requirements

All candidates for employment will be subject to pre-employment background screening for this position, which may include motor vehicle, DOT certification, drug testing and credit checks based on the position description and job requirements. All offers are contingent upon the successful completion of the background check. Please visit for additional information on the background check requirements and process.

Posting Disclaimer

The intent of this job description is to provide a representative summary of the essential functions that will be required of the position and should not be construed as a declaration of specific duties and responsibilities of the particular position. Employees will be assigned specific job-related duties through their hiring departments.

Affirmative Action Statement:

Yale University considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, at, or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 8th Floor, Five Post Office Square, Boston MA 02109-3921. Telephone: 617.289.0111, Fax: 617.289.0150, TDD: 800.877.8339, or Email:


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