Posted:  September 9, 2019

Assistant Curator – Archaeology

(Role Title: Scientist II)

Salary Range: Pay Band 5
Location: Martinsville, VA
Minimum Starting Pay:  $46,087 - $48,500
Position #00027

An exceptional job opportunity with the Virginia Museum of Natural History is now available.  The mission of the Virginia Museum of Natural History is to interpret Virginia’s natural heritage within a global context in ways that are relevant to all the citizens of the Commonwealth.

If you meet the qualifications for Assistant Curator – Archaeology, we invite you to apply to join our staff.  The earliest starting date for this position is 1 July 2020, but no later than 31 August 2020.

We seek a dynamic individual to conduct integrative, field and collections-based research in archaeology, with a strong focus on the Commonwealth of Virginia. The successful candidate will be expected to obtain external funding to support their research efforts. Area of specialization is open, but an active interest in extant museum collections in zooarchaeology is a plus. 

The state-of-the-art archaeology lab has staff technical support and an active corps of trained volunteers. VMNH also maintains osteology reference collections for mid-Atlantic fauna, modern collections databases and a research library. Additional facilities are available at Virginia Tech less than 2 hours away. Most curators have adjunct faculty appointments at Virginia Tech or other universities. This allows, among other things, online access to journals.
Research and publication are the most important aspects of this position.  Other important functions, such as collection building, teaching, and exhibit development flow from research results.

General competence in field collection, preparation, care, and management of archaeology collections is required, along with the ability to interface with outside scientists requesting access to the collections.  Ph.D. in anthropology with a specialty in archaeology is required at the time of appointment, and experience beyond the Ph.D. is preferred.  Research experience in museum, laboratory and field contexts important; some teaching experience and exhibit development experience desirable.

This position requires intimate knowledge of method and theory in archaeology and museological curation.  Necessary skills and abilities are exceptional communication skill (both oral and written), organizational ability, teaching ability, creativity, and fiscal responsibility.
Duties for this position also include interaction with other museum departments such as education, publications, exhibits, and advancement. The ability to effectively communicate scientific knowledge to a wide spectrum of audiences is an important qualification.

Duties of the position include:

  • Investigates questions related to archaeology by an active program of field work and laboratory analysis of collected data.  Presents results of the research at professional conferences. Publishes results of the research in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Manages and adds specimens to the museum’s collections—including acquisition, management, preservation, organization, computer cataloguing, and loaning of specimens.
  • Teaches—including public lectures, designing and teaching courses in archaeology, designing and teaching specimen-based activities for school groups, supervising and advising students, and assisting in administration of graduate and undergraduate programs.
  • Initiates and develops concepts for museum exhibits in archaeology—providing appropriate specimens for exhibition and supplying scientific background to the exhibit department for the construction of exhibits.
  • Answers questions relating to archaeology and identifies specimens for the lay public; provides information about archaeology to schools, teachers and others.
  • Participates in professional service activities including serving on committees of professional societies, or similar organizations; networking with staff in federal and state agencies; reviewing reports, proposals and manuscripts.

For more information about VMNH, visit our website at

Only online applications are accepted.  In addition to the online application, applicants must submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a statement of research and curatorial interests and goals, a list of publications relevant to the application, and names and contact information of at least three references.  These documents may be attached to the online application. 

The Commonwealth of Virginia online employment application is available at:

Application review will begin 28 October 2019 and continue until the position is filled.

The Virginia Museum of Natural History complies with E-Verify which is an internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.

We are an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants are afforded equal opportunities without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetics, or disability.  The successful applicant must furnish proof of identity and employment eligibility and is subject to a background check.

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