Studentship in Preservation of Geological Collections, UCL/Oxford/Cardiff (UK)

A four-year SEAHA studentship investigating the preservation of geological collections in museums is currently open for applications.

Mineral specimens, despite their apparent stability, are prone to deterioration in museum environments. Currently available methodologies are not suitable for routine collection monitoring, as results are not necessarily replicable, and, in the absence of guidance on suitable storage conditions, triggers for, and the suitability of, conservation actions are difficult to determine. We need a more robust approach to the delivery of preventative conservation of geological collections.

This studentship, based at the University of Oxford and in partnership with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and BSRIA Ltd, addresses these issues. The student will define what kind of material change in minerals constitutes damage; develop a protocol for routine monitoring of museum geological collections for potential damage; establish optimum environmental and minimum air quality standards for different types of minerals; and test rigorously the suitability of conservation treatments that are presently available.


  • Academic supervisor: Professor Heather Viles, University of Oxford
  • Heritage supervisors: Dr Christian Baars and Dr Jana Horak, Amgueddfa Cymru, National Museum Wales
  • Industrial supervisor: Ian Wallis, BSRIA Ltd

The first year of this four-year studentship constitutes an MRes degree at University College London. Following successful completion of the MRes, students will be registered for doctoral research at the University of Oxford for years 2-4 of the SEAHA scholarship. The SEAHA studentship will cover home fees plus an enhanced stipend of up to GBP18,172 per year (to be confirmed at point of offer) for eligible applicants (, and a substantial budget for research, travel, and cohort activities.

Full information about the project can be found at:

Application deadline: midday (GMT) on Friday, January 12, 2018.