Senior Conservation Scientist, Heritage Conservation Centre (HCC)

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National Heritage Bo
Job location: 
Heritage Conservation Centre
Salary Start: 
Singapore Dollar
Contract type: 
Application deadline: 
Thursday, 6 April, 2023 - 06:30

The Heritage Conservation Centre (HCC) is an institution of the National Heritage Board (NHB). It is a purpose-built facility for the storage and conservation of the National Collection comprising artworks and artefacts. Its mission is to care for, manage and facilitate access to the National Collection.

Senior Conservation Scientist
Working in close collaboration with the Chief Conservator/ Deputy Director of Conservation Services Department and reporting to the Head of Conservation Science/ Senior Assistant Director, you will work in the Conservation Science Lab. You will be responsible for developing conservation science research and programmes in support of HCC’s new research strategies addressing the sustainable use and care of the growing National Collection in Singapore.

You will join a larger team of 35 over conservators that includes conservators of paintings, objects, paper, textiles, and a conservation scientist. You will be expected to possess research/ analysis experience applicable to a wide range of historical and contemporary heritage and conservation materials both organic and inorganic alongside their respective ageing behaviours; to be a strong team-player enjoying working in a collaborative manner and show initiative and resourcefulness in handling difficult and unusual analytical problems. Research areas include technical analysis of artefacts and their treatment methods, the understanding of their aging behaviour and how to reduce the rate of associated material deterioration. It encompasses selecting most appropriate, preferably non-destructive, and portable techniques of analysis and exploring most relevant methods to process, enhance, interpret, and share data obtained.

Working in close collaboration with the other members of the Conservation Science lab, the key job responsibilities are described as follows:

• Devise and implement research projects that permit creating sustainable and pragmatic storage, preservation and conservation solutions factoring in the regional context and collection needs while working collegially with conservators and appropriate external stakeholders. This includes designing, contributing, and coordinating technical studies of the National Collection, conservation materials or techniques, while working with HCC and/ or NHB staff members (including curators, collection managers and facility managers), academic and other museum scientists. It also encompasses disseminating the results obtained and associated knowledge by participating in the writing of papers for publication in art historical, conservation, or scientific journals or in the oral presentation during relevant conferences.
• Conduct analyses for the study of the National Collections and its care to support the needs of the various conservation sections alongside the HCC’s cross-department working groups focusing on preventive conservation and material testing. Techniques include but are not limited to 2D and 3D technical imaging.
• Develop and/ or optimise analytical capability to study physical and chemical properties including ageing behaviour of materials pertaining to the National Collections and its care. Techniques include but are not limited to acoustic emission testing, spectroscopy (FTIR, Raman), mechanical testing (universal testing machines, tensile strength meter), thermal and mass analysis (TGA/ DSC), surface and appearance measurements.
• Initiate and/ or contribute to fundraising effort to support research projects of various sizes, involving collaboration with diverse external and/ or internal stakeholders at local, regional, and international levels.
• Instruct and supervise fellows, interns, and students in understanding and performing materials analysis and/ or research projects on the collection.
• Design and deliver basic scientific training or research guidance for conservators and at times for other museum professionals interested in the applications of conservation science.
• Effectively communicate the work of conservation science to both professional colleagues and non-technical audiences through tours, lectures, web content, and video.
• Staying abreast of developments in the application of scientific techniques to the analysis of historical and contemporary heritage and conservation materials through journal research and attendance at conferences and seminars.

• Ph.D. or Masters in Conservation Science, Chemistry or other physical science. Applicants who may not have the required qualifications but have relevant work experience will be considered.
• Preferably minimum of 10 years of experience in a museum conservation science laboratory, or equivalent combination of professional experience and formal training. Experience should include designing, developing, contributing and/ or managing research projects of different sizes and complexity levels, including project fundraising, budget administration and team leadership. Candidate with lesser experience may be considered for the position of Conservation Scientist.
• Be a curious, innovative, enthusiastic, problem-solving, and open-minded individual enjoying working on complex issues in collaboration with a team of specialists with diverse perspectives. Commitment to developing sustainable approach to work and solution would be highly valued.
• Experience with relevant protocols for characterising and monitoring physical and chemical properties of materials and their ageing behaviour.
• Working knowledge in instrumentation and adequate development for non-destructive analyses. Familiarity with instrumentation in conservation science such as, but not limited to various type of microscopy, technical imaging, SEM-EDS, FTIR, Raman, Py-GC/MS, LC/MS, XRF, XRD, etc.
• Ability to analyse data, prepare technical reports and communicate results to stakeholders and to collaborate effectively with conservators, curators, collections managers, museum educators, academic scientists, and scientists from other museums to interpret results obtained and disseminate the work to non-technical audiences.
• Cross-cultural knowledge and appreciation of art and art history is appreciated. Broad knowledge in artists’ materials and techniques is expected, and knowledge in materials used in Southeast Asia and Asia would be a plus.
• A record of peer-reviewed research and publications is required.
• Strong oral, written and interpersonal communication skills in English is required.

Work Location:
The Senior Conservation Scientist shall mostly be based at HCC, 32 Jurong Port Road, Singapore 619104.

Salary Range: est $7800 (Singapore Dollar) with attractive Relocation and Benefits Package

To apply, please submit your application below.

All interested applicants should follow the instructions at the Careers@Gov website to submit their application.

Deadline for submission is 5 April 2023.

Please direct any questions to:
Lee Swee Mun
Senior Assistant Director - Conservation Services
Heritage Conservation Centre