Job Opportunities in Department of Entomology, Natural History Museum. London

Chris Lyal C.lyal at NHM.AC.UK
Tue Jun 14 13:48:24 CDT 2005




The Department of Entomology of The Natural History Museum, London, is continuing two searches for staff members, a Research Assistant to the Keeper and a ‘Cybertaxonomist’.   Due to several internal delays and unanticipated factors, the processing of applications has been affected, and no decisions have yet been made.  


Candidates will be sifted beginning June 15th. Submission will remain open until a suitable candidate is hired, but we wish to fill them soon.  If you have already applied, we would appreciate a confirmation of your continued interest and availability.  If you require a job description or to submit your resume and any supporting materials please contact Ms. Lucy Stead, PA to the Keeper at l.stead at  


We apologize for this protracted search and hope to have short listed by the end of June.  Any technical questions may be directed to:  Dr. Quentin Wheeler, Keeper, at q.wheeler at <mailto:q.wheeler at> .




Insect Cybertaxonomist

Department of Entomology


The Department of Entomology of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington invites applications for a position as Insect Cybertaxonomist.  We seek candidates who will build a leading programme in the creation and use of digital taxonomic tools and methods, develop and implement innovative approaches to insect taxonomy utilizing cyber-technologies, participate in diverse taxon-focused team projects, provide general IT guidance and leadership to the department, and join MOA team implementing new collection management software.  PhD in insect taxonomy or related field and demonstrated competencies in IT are expected.  Postdoctoral experience preferred.  Appointment at junior to senior level; salary commensurate with experience up to £29,350.


For further details of how to apply, please e-mail: nhm at <mailto:nhm at> .  


Please quote reference: Natural History Museum CT closing date: 15 April 2005 or until suitable candidate is identified.






The job is to support and participate in the research of the Keeper of Entomology including the gathering, analysis, and write-up of data; co-authoring scientific publications; managing, organising and supervising the Keepers laboratory; conducting literature searches, reviews and summaries; assist in creation and population of various databases; provide research support to and for Keeper as requested.  The successful applicant will have a PhD or equivalent in systematic entomology or related taxonomic field;, demonstrated interest in morphologically based descriptive taxonomy and phylogenetic systematics, have experience handling museum specimens; knowledge of insect morphology; knowledge of taxonomy; experience with microscopy and/or digital imaging; knowledge of phylogenetic analysis; publications including descriptions of new species, phylogenetic analyses and/or comparative morphology.  The salary for this position will be from £25,000.00 per annum, depending on experience. This post will be a three-year fixed term appointment.


Applications are to be made by CV and covering letter, which should indicate how you match the requirement for this post.  The application should include the names and addresses of three referees; two of those should be work references including your current or most recent employer. Please indicate if you would prefer referees not to be contacted prior to interview. The closing date for applications is Feb 16 2005 or until candidate is identified.


As an economy measure, it is not proposed to acknowledge individually the receipt of each application.  If you wish to have your application acknowledged, please write your name and full postal address on a postcard or sealed down envelope, affix an appropriate postage stamp and return it with your application.  


As it is a legal requirement, the Museum must be satisfied that candidates have the right to work in the UK. To prove your eligibility you should have a relevant work permit or visa or be a UK or EU Citizen.


Equal Opportunity

The Natural History Museum is working towards equal opportunities.  It is the Museum's policy to provide equal opportunity for employment, career development and promotion to all who are eligible, on the basis of ability, qualifications and fitness for work.  Applications are welcome from all qualified individuals irrespective of disability, age, race, gender or marital status. 



The candidates who appear from the information given in their application to have the most appropriate qualifications and experience will be invited to interview.  It is thus essential for your application to give full but concise information.


If you are successful, the Museum will carry out enquiries into your age, nationality, health and other matters (including a search of the National Criminal Records held by the police).  Once these are completed satisfactorily, a formal offer of appointment will be made.





Museum Mission Statement

To maintain and develop its collections and use them to promote the discovery, understanding, responsible use and enjoyment of the natural world.


Background Information


The Museum

The Natural History Museum is internationally recognised for its dual role as a centre of scientific excellence and as a leading visitor attraction, presenting natural history to the general public through exhibitions.  Its objectives are to discover and make available to the scientific community the information contained within its collections of natural specimens and to entertain, interest and educate people of all ages in natural history.

The Museum is entering an exciting new phase in its development. A new Ten Year Vision is in place, and the Museum’s Darwin Centre development is set to radically change the perception of what museums are and can be. The new Centre, on the west side of the famous building in South Kensington, will open up public access to the Museum’s unrivalled life-science collections and to the cutting edge scientific research they support. It will be built in two phases - Phase One has recently been completed and will open to the public in September 2002.   

The Natural History Museum is a Trustee Museum and is a Non-Departmental Public Body funded in part by a Grant-in-Aid from the British Government provided through the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.  Approximately one third of its income is from non Grant-in-Aid sources including grant-awarding bodies.

The Museum has a branch at Tring – the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum – and an outstation at Wandsworth, where parts of the collections are housed.


The Departments

The Museum Directorate is supported by approximately 800 staff, arranged in three key groups, which are supported by Finance, Human Resources and Audit and Assurance. 

The Science Group consists of six departments - Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology, Zoology and Library & Information Services  – which employ some 330 scientific researchers, curators, librarians, IT and support staff, looking after and researching some 70 million specimen items.

Visitor and Operational Services – this team aims to provide high levels of service to visitors and staff, to protect and develop the Museum’s estate, and to maximise visitor revenue in support of the Museum's mission and objectives. The group includes staff responsible for admissions, guiding, retail, catering, exhibitions maintenance, cleaning, security and estates management.

Communications and Development - this team is responsible for a broad range of commercial and communications-led activities, including: permanent and special exhibitions, international exhibition touring, education programmes, web development, publishing, membership, conferences and events, commercial filming, image hire, licensing, sponsorship and fundraising, marketing and media relations.


History of the Museum 

Originally an integral part of the British Museum housed on the Bloomsbury site, The Natural History Museum (NHM) was established in South Kensington on the completion of the Waterhouse Building in 1881.  It remained part of the British Museum until it was given separate status as the British Museum (Natural History) and its own Board of Trustees under the British Museum Act of 1963.  The Zoological Museum at Tring was added in 1937 when it was given to the nation by the second Baron Rothschild and responsibility was assumed for the Geological Museum (now the Earth Galleries) from the Natural Environment Research Council when the latter's British Geological Survey moved to Keyworth in 1985.  


Department of Entomology 


The Department is an international centre of excellence for the study of insect and arachnid systematics, taxonomy, identification and comparative biology. Our leading position in insect natural history, in both academic and applied fields, is based on the expertise of the staff; their use and development of the Museum's unrivalled collections of insects, mites and spiders; outstanding library resources and modern laboratory facilities. This unique institution is located in The Natural History Museum's famous South Kensington site and other locations in central London. 



About 130 research, curatorial, support staff and postgraduate students work in the Department. Many are funded externally.


The National Collection 

The NHM collection of insects and other terrestrial arthropods, including spiders, mites and myriapods, comprises about 28 million specimens. It is the most comprehensive in the world and includes named representatives of about half of the more than one million described species. The remainder of the collection is sorted to various taxonomic levels and is supplemented by quantities of unprepared material.

About 100,000 specimens are added to the collection each year. Rapidly developing computer networks and databases are making information from the collection more accessible to the scientific community. On-site access is provided for scientific visitors and around 30,000 specimens are sent out on loan each year.


Care and conservation of the collections and provision of access is the responsibility of 25 curatorial staff divided into three teams, each headed by a Collections Manager, responsible to the Head of Collections.



Our scientists use the collections and other resources in a wide range of research projects, covering many parts of the world, and focused in Museum-wide science themes. At any one time there are more than 100 projects actively being pursued within the department.



Various facilities to support taxonomic work are available. The  Molecular Laboratory can undertake isoenzyme analysis, molecular cytology, and nucleic acid isolation and characterization by sequencing and hybridization. DNA sequencing is semi-automated and the laboratory is equipped with computers, software and network links for sequence identification and analysis. <file:///C:\PROGRA~1\Qualcomm\Eudora\Attach\themes\molsyst.html> 

The Department has its own digital scanning facilities comprising video cameras attached to microscopes and linked to computers. These and digital cameras are used to capture images of specimens in the collections, in particular to make them accessible to a wider audience on the Museum's Internet site. <file:///C:\PROGRA~1\Qualcomm\Eudora\Attach\themes\molsyst.html> 

The Department has access to the Museum's Electron Microscope Unit, which has both high quality scanning and transmission facilities. <file:///C:\PROGRA~1\Qualcomm\Eudora\Attach\themes\molsyst.html> 


Library <file:///C:\PROGRA~1\Qualcomm\Eudora\Attach\themes\molsyst.html> 

The Entomology Library comprises some 90,000 bound volumes, 1,000 current serial titles, 40,000 original insect drawings and 300,000 separates. <file:///C:\PROGRA~1\Qualcomm\Eudora\Attach\themes\molsyst.html> 


Services <file:///C:\PROGRA~1\Qualcomm\Eudora\Attach\themes\molsyst.html> 

Several thousand postal, telephone, fax and email enquiries are answered each year. A charge is made where appropriate. <file:///C:\PROGRA~1\Qualcomm\Eudora\Attach\themes\molsyst.html> 

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