Contract type:

Contract Permanent


Full time



Keeper of Middle East

Keeper of Middle East
Middle East
Full time
£66,845 per annum
Application deadline: 12pm, Wednesday 25 May 2022

The British Museum is looking to appoint an exceptional scholar in the history and archaeology of Middle Eastern cultures and related fields, to lead, manage and motivate the curatorial team within the Museum’s Middle East department, and to inspire our audiences to engage with the Museum’s outstanding collections from the Middle East. This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in shaping the delivery of the Museum’s strategic objectives, working in collaboration with other curatorial teams, the scientific research team, and key functions from across the organisation. Those objectives include the Rosetta Project (the Museum’s transformative masterplan) as well as our high-profile exhibition programme and our ground-breaking research programme.

About the Museum

The British Museum is unique in bringing together the cultures of the world under one roof, spanning continents and oceans. No other museum is responsible for collections of the same depth and breadth, beauty, and significance. Its eight million objects allow us to explore the extraordinary diversity of human cultures, from small communities to vast empires, to discover the many forms and expressions human beings have given to every aspect of life, and to realise how closely they are interconnected.

About the role

The Keeper of Middle East is responsible for providing academic leadership and practical management for the department’s curatorial staff. Key responsibilities include leading and managing a specialist team to ensure the delivery of excellence to the highest level. The Keeper will also lead the redefinition of the department’s public and research activity and play a key role in shaping the Rosetta Project, the Museum’s ambitious masterplan.

About you

You will be educated to degree level, or equivalent, in a relevant subject, and have achieved international recognition for your academic research in a related field. You will have significant publications resulting from major externally funded research projects and membership of relevant learned and professional societies.

With previous experience of a senior curatorial or research role in a major museum or other cultural/educational institution, you will show excellent understanding of the context in which the Museum operates, with specific expertise in one or more areas related to the department’s collection. You will also be confident in realising major income generation and liaising with external funders and investigating major research projects. An enthusiasm for the cultural sector will be evident throughout your application.

You will be able to show significant management experience and a successful track record of developing high performance teams, through influencing, negotiating, and working collaboratively across a complex organisation. A strategic and analytical approach is essential to deliver change effectively, manage stakeholders with conflicting priorities and demonstrate excellent judgement.

Good presentational and interpersonal skills are essential to communicate confidently, effectively and persuasively at a senior level. As a good communicator with an open and inclusive style which inspires trust, you will demonstrate success in getting staff and peers to work together for the benefit of the wider institution. When working in a in a complex and intellectually rigorous environment you will remain, calm, confident, resilient and resourceful in solving problems and proposing solutions and diplomatic under pressure.

For more information on the key areas of responsibility please refer to the full job description via the link below.

The Museum offers a competitive benefits package including, but not limited to:

Membership of one of the Civil Service Pension schemes
Generous holiday and parental leave entitlement
Professional and personal development opportunities
Free entry to a wide range of museums and exhibitions
Occupational health service and Employee assistance programme
Interest free loans for season tickets, bicycles and rental deposits

We value the benefits that a diverse workforce brings to a museum which represents world culture. We are committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all and we aim to create a working environment in which everyone can make best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment. We will ensure that no applicant is treated differently because of any protected characteristics and our recruitment procedures aim to ensure that all applicants are assessed fairly and equally against their relevant knowledge, skills and experience.

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