Vacancy for Senior Curator in Charge, Fish Group

Salary £37,243 per annum, Location South Kensington, UK

Role summary

We are a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre. We use the Museum’s unique collections and our unrivalled expertise to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today. We care for more than 80 million objects spanning billions of years and welcome more than five million visitors annually and 16 million visits to our website.

Today the Museum is more relevant and influential than ever. By attracting people from a range of backgrounds to work for us, we can continue to look at the world with fresh eyes and find new ways of doing things.

We employ 900 staff in a variety of roles, all united by our vision of a future where people and planet thrive. We need everyone to have the passion and drive to help us with our mission to create advocates for our planet and inspire millions to care about the natural world.

Diversity and inclusion matter to us.

Our vision is of a future where both people and the planet thrive. Diversity is one of our core values and we strive to build a workplace where everyone feels a sense of belonging. All new staff who join us learn about the importance of diversity and inclusion to the Museum and how to contribute to creating an inclusive environment.

We know we have more to do, but we are committed to ensuring that everyone who works at the Museum feels they can thrive and feel valued and respected.

About the role

The Natural History Museum is one of the world’s leading museums, internationally recognised for its dual role as a centre of excellence in collections-based scientific research and as a leader in the presentation of natural history through exhibitions, public programmes, publications and the web.

Embedded within the Vertebrate Collections Division, the Senior Curator in Charge (SCiC) of Fish will lead and manage a curatorial team (currently two full-time collections managers) ensuring best practice in collections care and providing a world-class collection of natural history specimens in Ichthyology. Fish specimens are to be acquired, curated and used and made available to facilitate research, teaching, training, reference and exhibitions. An expert in their field of collections-based science, the SCiC of Fish will demonstrate a high level of scientific scholarship (e.g., systematics, evolution, organismal biology). They will conduct and support collections-based research and attempt to secure external funding for that purpose. The SCiC of Fish will work with other SCiCs across the Vertebrates Division, and will line manage other Curators and Senior Curators within the Division. The SCiC of Fish is in turn line managed by and is expected to support the Principal Curator in Charge of Vertebrates.

The NHM Fish Collection is based at South Kensington, though the SCiC of Fish will be expected to work closely also with NHM staff at Tring and in the near future Harwell. This is an exciting opportunity to lead and integrate ichthyological curation and collections-based research in one of the World’s largest and most important fish collections.

About you

Qualifications: Relevant higher qualification (MSc or relevant postgraduate experience is essential, a PhD is desirable), or equivalent experience, with an emphasis on taxonomy or systematics and the use of natural history collections in science.

Skills and experience required for the role:

1. In depth knowledge and experience of collections management, care and development for ichthyological collections

2. Experience of ichthyological research at an international level

3. Depth of knowledge of a collection, its associated literature and its systematics/taxonomy with the ability to apply and discriminate taxonomic/diagnostic characters for identification and organisation

4. Proven ability to effectively lead and manage curatorial or other science teams

5. Track record in publishing scientific articles as lead author and experience of taking an executive role in an international society and/or for an academic/professional journal

6. Track record in supervising PhD and/or Masters students and/or teaching/training

7. Knowledge or awareness of major current questions in organismal biology, especially ichthyology

8. Demonstrable working knowledge and ideally a practical experience of associated information management systems for collections (e.g. EMu)

8. In depth understanding of collections management systems for documenting the practical implementation of core collections management processes, e.g. object tracking, loans etc.

9. Experience of successful delivery of collections/curatorial projects

10. Excellent communication skills; presenting, writing

11. Ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with a variety of stakeholders (internal and external researchers, public engagement, visitors, students, volunteers)

Thriving at the Museum: the way we work

We are proud to work at the Museum and have identified the qualities we all need to embody to reach our shared ambition. This sits alongside the Museum’s values and forms the framework for the way we work.

Find out more here

What we offer

  • 27.5 days holiday plus 8 bank holidays (full time equivalent)
  • Generous defined contribution Natural History Museum Pension Scheme (employer contribution 4 – 10%)
  • Season ticket, bicycle and rental loan
  • Life insurance
  • Free admission to our exhibitions and many other paid exhibitions at museums, galleries and institutions across London and the UK.
  • Staff discount at our Museum shops and cafes
  • We offer a wide variety of training initiatives and opportunities to build skills. Investing in staff development is important to us, and we are ambitious about helping staff to grow and fulfil their potential.
  • Affordable membership to the Civil Service Sports Council which offers a range of benefits including an extensive list of special offers and reduced entry fees at a selection of cinema chains, theme parks, theatres, retailers and supermarkets. It also provides entry to up to 300 English Heritage sites and other national treasures. For more details, visit
  • Membership to our Sports and Social Association (for a small fee), which includes access to our in-house gym and clubs such as football, softball, table tennis and tennis and classes in Middle Eastern dance, yoga and Tai Chi

How to apply

If that sounds like you, please apply online on the Natural History Museum’s careers portal,


Closing date: 9am, 10 June 2022

Interviews expected w/c 27 June 2022

Salary: £37,243 plus in charge allowance of £2,124. We may consider a higher salary for exceptional candidates