PhD studentship: Preservation of geological collections in museums

Deadline: Friday, January 12, 2018 - 12:00
Employer: University of Oxford
Contract Duration: 4 Years
Contract Type: Full Time

We are seeking applicants for a 4 year PhD studentship available to start September 2018 to investigate: Preservation of geological collections in museums

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.

Full information about the project can be found at:

Training path: The student will be part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training SEAHA (Science and Engineering for Arts, Heritage and Archaeology). Students will register for the one year MRes SEAHA at UCL in year 1 and then register at the University of Oxford for years 2-4 of the studentship. The student will be encouraged to spend time working in the laboratories at the National Museum Cardiff.

Funding: The SEAHA Studentship will cover home fees and a stipend of up to a maximum of £18,172 per year (current rate) for eligible applicants (, and a substantial budget for research, travel, and cohort activities. Non-EU applicants are not eligible for funding.

Enquiries: For further information, please contact the academic supervisor, Prof Heather Viles (

Application deadline: midday (GMT) Friday 12 January 2018 (interviews on Thursday, January 25th)