International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
Conservation Science Postdoctoral…

Conservation Science Postdoctoral Fellowship opportunity at MFAH

Organizing institution(s): Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Menil Collection
Location of fellowship: Houston
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Menil Collection

Application Deadline: Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston is seeking a postdoctoral researcher in the field of conservation science. This is a term position for 2 years, with a tentative start date of January 3, 2022 Applicants must have recently (within the last 5 years) received their doctoral degree in a physical science or related field and must be legally eligible to work in the US.

The Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow is responsible for participating in the scientific analysis and research aimed at understanding, preserving, and interpreting objects from the museums' diverse collection in collaboration with curators, conservators and other museum staff, and in accordance with the AIC code of ethics.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes almost 72,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. The recently concluded Museum expansion transformed the museum into a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, and art education.


They will participate in all activities in the science lab including project design and workflow, non-destructive and micro-destructive analysis, data interpretation, generation and dissemination of scientific reports and papers, and instrument acquisition and maintenance. They are responsible for working with the Andrew W. Mellon Research Scientist, curators, and conservators to determine if analysis is warranted, deciding upon the best means for obtaining the requested information, carrying out analysis, interpreting the results, disseminating the findings, and archiving all samples, data files, and reports. They will initiate individual research projects and contributes to collaborative efforts led by the Andrew W. Mellon Research Scientist, the Chairman, Department of Conservation (MFAH) and the Chief Conservator (Menil) that will further scientific and technical art historical research at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Menil Collection.

Requirements and Qualifications

A Ph.D. degree in chemistry, physics, materials science or similar specialty conferred within the last five years is required. They should have a demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively and to engage in multi-disciplinary research. A demonstrated interest in organic and inorganic materials used in artworks and their degradation mechanisms is desired, as is a working cross-cultural knowledge of art, art history, artists' materials and techniques, and routine conservation practice. The successful candidate must be highly organized and have experience in spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques commonly used in the scientific analysis of cultural heritage objects (which can include SEM-EDS, XRF, FTIR, Raman spectroscopy, GC-MS etc.). Strong computer skills, with the ability to work with databases, word processing, and data processing are required, and advanced computational and statistical analysis skills are desirable. Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are essential, as is the ability to effectively disseminate and communicate scientific results to non-technical audiences.

Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.

The salary is $50,000 per year, which includes benefits eligibility. Limited funds for research related travel are available. Funds to support relocation to Houston may also be available.

Application Procedure
Qualified applicants should apply online, which will be the most effective way to ensure consideration. Applications or letters of interest sent via mail, fax, or direct email to a staff member will not ensure consideration.

A complete application packet will include:
• A current curriculum vitae
• A letter of application that includes:
◦An explanation of how the candidate meets the qualifications listed above.
◦A summary of the applicant's research interests and intent. It is advised that applicants familiarize themselves with the institutions' collections to determine suitability.
• A list of three references with contact information. (Letters of recommendation are not required at this time.)

For additional information, please contact Dr. Corina E. Rogge, the Andrew W. Mellon Research Scientist at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Menil Collection,