Posted on 29/06/2017
Learning from objects: postdoctoral research position
The Department's Mobile Museum project, concerned with the flow of specimens and artefacts into and out of Kew's extraordinary Economic Botany Collection, is looking to expand the research team, based in the Department and at Kew, which currently includes three academics, a project officer and a placement undergraduate student, supported by professional staff and volunteers.
A key strand of this AHRC-funded project focusses on the distribution of objects from Kew, especially their use in schools. For example, of the 75,000 or so objects dispersed from the Museum between 1881 and 1914, for example, nearly half went to no less than 700 different schools across the British Isles, many seeking to set up their own museums.
The project is now seeking to recruit a postdoctoral researcher to explore the wider context in which such museum objects came to acquire value in contemporary educational policy and pedagogical practice. This will involve historical research on a variety of sources relating to the history of science education and nature study.
The research will also feed into another aspect of the project to be developed further in 2018, including an exciting schools-based outreach project managed by Kew's Learning & Participation Department, which will involve the creation of new museums in two London primary schools.
The new postdoctoral research post is available from January 2018. The closing date for applications is 9 August 2017. For further details of the post and how to apply, please go to https://jobs.royalholloway.ac.uk.
Applicants for this position should have experience of historical research in a relevant discipline, such as historical geography, history of education and museum history, to PhD level or beyond, and a strong commitment to the dissemination of research.
The Mobile Museum project is also currently recruiting for a fully-funded AHRC PhD studentship, on the subject of the collection and investigation of plant materials for paper making during the nineteenth century.