Edinburgh, United Kingdom
£32,817–£40,322 (Grade 7)
26 Oct 2019
End of advertisement period
15 Nov 2019
Contract Type
Part Time

Location Edinburgh, GB      
Organization Name Heritage, Information Services      

About Heriot-Watt University          

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at-heriot-watt.htm

About our Team          

Information Services support the research, learning, teaching and administrative activities of students and staff across the University by providing Library, Informationand Learning Technology services. We manage the physical and digital collections of the University.

We develop Heriot-Watt's global communications infrastructure, enabling theUniversity to fulfill its international ambitions by connecting students andstaff with each other, and with the information they create, process, publish and consume through the information systems and IT facilities we manage.

The Heritage team sit within the Research Support & Resource Services section. They work collaboratively with colleagues within the Directorate and across the University to preserve and promote use of the University's heritage and its museum and archive collections to support the University's strategy and Values and engage with our communities for the widest public benefit.      

Detailed Description          

The Curator is responsible for managing the object and art collections across all five Heriot-Watt University campuses. They provide public access to the collections at the Edinburgh and Scottish Borders campuses, promoting the collections and maintaining a programme of exhibitions within the Accredited Museum. They provides an enquiry service to internal and external users and professional guidance and leadership on best practice in collection development and preservation.      

Key duties and responsibilities          

  • Manages the object and art collections across all five Heriot-Watt University campuses
  • Develops and implements collections management procedures and guidelines
  • Acquires items for the collection in line with the University’s Acquisition and Disposal Policies
  • Arranges exhibitions and promotes the collection within the University and to external visitors 
  • Provides an enquiry service to University and external users
  • Defines standards of best practice in collections management for the Museum & Archive in line with Museum Accreditation standards
  • Manages a delegated budget for collection preservation and acquisition
  • Identifies funding opportunities and completes grant applications 

Education, qualifications and experience          

These are the criteria on which the short-listing and recruitment selection will be made


  • Educated to first degree level in relevant subject eg Museum Studies or equivalent practical experience in the workplace
  • Experience of working within a similar Museum & Archive environment
  • Competent in the use of relevant IT packages 
  • Proven relevant experience in managing object and art collections which will have been acquired over a number of years, with a basic understanding of the relevant theory
  • Good knowledge and understanding of relevant legal, statutory and governance applications as they apply to Museums and Archives and experience turning them into good practice
  • Excellent interpersonal, influencing and presentation skills, able to understand and communicate complex issues effectively
  • Demonstrable excellent customer service 
  • Demonstrable ability to work quickly, flexibly and accurately in a dynamic, changing and pressured environment
  • Experience of working closely with stakeholders across all levels of the organisation 
  • Ability to research, analyse and present complex information effectively with good attention to detail
  • High level organisational skills with the ability to prioritise major developments and to function effectively in a pressured environment
  • Demonstrable professional and proactive approach
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team 


  • Associate of the Museums Association 
  • Experience of working in Higher Education or experience of working in a similar environment in collections management
  • Ability to manage budgets
  • Experience of applying Museum Accreditation and Museum Documentation Association documentation standards
  • Proven relevant experience in collections management, including procedural documentation, preventive conservation and environmental monitoring which will have been acquired over a number of years, with a basic understanding of the relevant theory
  • Experience in using social media 

Competencies, Tasks and Responsibilities 

The tasks and responsibilities listed under the following Competency Headings form part of all professional advice and support roles in the University at this level and it is expected that the role-holder will perform them to at least an effective standard at all times.

Initiative and Problem Solving

  • Provide advice and guidance on complex and non-standard queries, using personal knowledge and experience 
  • Use initiative and creative ideas to resolve non-standard problems using experience and reasoning to reach an effective conclusion  
  • Generate original ideas and innovative solutions through the provision of specialist  know-how and advice as appropriate
  • Prepare and deliver training sessions for supplementary support staff and undertake briefing sessions to provide tools, techniques and support to relevant customers and stakeholders, including workshops relating to exhibitions and specific items from the collection
  • Provide recommendations on the appropriate utilisation and development of the Museum physical collections.
  • Gather and analyse requirements for systems in order to identify optimum solutions

Clear and Consistent Communications 

  • Respond to enquiries from academics, students and professional services colleagues in addition to enquiries form the general public
  • Maintain confidentiality at all times by following university policies and guidance in managing confidential information and personal data
  • Using all forms of media, including Social Media where appropriate: 
  • Write/review papers, policies, guidance and briefings for internal and external audiences and stakeholders
  • Write letters, emails and other direct communication to individuals and groups 
  • Interpret, prepare, analyse and deliver reports 
  • Providing detailed explanations of systems, procedures or technical information both verbally and in writing

Planning and Organising

  • Plan, prioritise and organise your own work or resources to ensure the timely delivery of agreed service objectives in line with customer needs
  • Plan, organise, co-ordinate and facilitate exhibitions, meetings, workshops and larger events ensuring effective use of resources and budget
  • Contribute directly to the long term planning of the section

Service Excellence 

  • Create a positive image of the University by being responsive, prompt and courteous when responding to requests or enquiries from customers 
  • Comply with University Policies when managing or processing personal and other confidential information at all times
  • Provide timely and appropriate guidance and advice on policy, procedure, legislation and local processes and contribute to policy/procedure development 
  • Provide expert advice within your area of knowledge and expertise by acting as an internal and external consultant, advising on the development and application of, for example, specialist techniques and/or procedures 
  • Proactively seek to understand and react to the needs and requirements of the customer 
  • Work with colleagues within the department to contribute to the continued review and improvement of the service
  • Assist in the setting of standards for the service team
  • Produce timely reports for management as requested
  • Liaise with internal and external teams, committees, bodies etc. to ensure an effective service

Team Work

  • Work collaboratively and effectively within the Heritage department, sharing expertise and contributing to the development of the department operational plan
  • Participate in working groups within the university and externally if required, sharing ideas, experience and providing technical advice
  • Contribute to and provide support and encouragement across the Heritage department and within the broader team
  • Build cooperation and set example by demonstration a flexible approach 
  • Cover for team members, including deputising for senior members as appropriate

Decision Making

  • The role-holder will be the acknowledged expert in this field and expected to make decisions based on extensive knowledge and experience of physical collections management and conservation
  • Provide timely and accurate advice to customers and stakeholders based on your technical knowledge
  • Assess the risks of various options and work with the relevant customer/stakeholder to achieve the optimum outcome 
  • Provide technical or specialist advice and support to others to enable development of strategy, direction and vision
  • Purchase non-standard consumables or equipment
  • Negotiate with suppliers regrading off site storage and removals

Management Responsibilities

There are no line management responsibilities within this position but you may be asked to take on management or supervisor duties on occasion as part of your personal development

Under the direction of a senior staff member if required, monitor the budgets of the work area making sure it operates effectively within budget constraints and maintaining appropriate stocks and financial records e.g. expenditure, purchasing, equipment.


  • Demonstrate the University Values at all times through performance and behaviour 
  • Participate in ad-hoc duties to support the team/University and for personal development 
  • Support newer or inexperienced colleagues within and outside the University by offering support, help and advice  
  • Positively promote the University internally and externally through positive behaviour and  supporting University-wide activities

This job description is intended as a flexible framework which outlines the key general areas of activity in your position. Other activities may be required which are not outlined above but which are appropriate to the position and grade. Your personal objectives (Forward Job Plan) will also set out specific tasks and objectives for you to achieve, including objectives to help your career development.

How To Apply          

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on Friday 15 November 2019.

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

This role does not meet the minimum requirements set by UKVI to enable sponsorship of non-European nationals. Therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK. For further information on this please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm tosee the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

Minimum Salary 32817      
Maximum Salary 40322      
Currency GBP                  
Amount of Travel Minimum Travel