Job Posting: Senior Scientist, The Getty Conservation Institute (Los Angeles, CA, USA)

  • Applications Deadline: February 28, 2017

The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), located in Los Angeles, California, is one of the operating programs of the J. Paul Getty Trust, working internationally to advance conservation practice in the visual arts, broadly interpreted to include objects, collections, architecture, and sites. The GCI serves the conservation community through scientific research, education and training, model field projects, and the broad dissemination of the results of both its own work and the work of others in the field. In all its endeavors, the GCI focuses on the creation and dissemination of knowledge that will benefit the professionals and organizations responsible for the conservation of the world’s cultural heritage.

The GCI’s Science Department is seeking an individual to fill the position of Senior Scientist for its Modern and Contemporary Art Research Initiative. This research focuses on the scientific study of modern materials used in contemporary art and cultural heritage, including their analysis and characterization, how they alter and degrade with age, and how potential conservation treatments might impact them. Current areas of focus include modern paints, plastics, and outdoor sculpture.

Reporting to the Head of Science, the Senior Scientist will develop, manage, and implement all the scientific projects within the Modern and Contemporary Art Research Initiative. He/she must perform the highest level of scientific standards, research, and analysis to advance conservation science in this area, including: developing and managing complex scientific projects, often collaborative projects with internal and external partners; supervising and managing a team of scientists, post docs, and interns; establishing research priorities, monitoring progress and managing work flow; deciding on the best methods of dissemination; and managing all project resources, including budget and staffing.

The Senior Scientist must have a PhD in chemistry, physics, polymer science, or other natural science; and 10-15 years of scientific research experience, with experience in the field of heritage conservation. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: A high level of experience with a range of analytical instrumentation applied to modern materials is essential, including PyGCMS, FTIR, SEM-EDS, and other identification techniques, as well as characterization techniques such as SEC, thermal analysis, and mechanical testing. A deep understanding of the conservation issues of modern and contemporary art is required. The candidate must have a demonstrated record of managing large and complex scientific research projects, involving numerous research strands and multiple partners. Must have a demonstrated ability to manage people and budgets. He/she must be adaptable, analytical, and a creative problem solver and thinker; able to work effectively in a highly collaborative and variable environment; and possess excellent management, organization, communication, and writing skills.

An excellent benefits package and salary commensurate with experience will be provided.

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If you have specific questions about the Senior Scientist position, please email