Senior Scientist

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Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts
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Thursday, 27 January, 2022 - 17:00


The Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS) is seeking a Senior Scientist to provide intellectual and operational leadership for its innovative collaborative program of joint research, expanded access and training. The Center provides its resources, from Northwestern University and the Art Institute of Chicago, to both internal and external users via a merit-review proposal system to undertake objects-based and objects-inspired scientific research in the arts.

In consultation with the Center’s Leadership team the Senior Scientist position advances the Center's mission to provide scientific support for the investigation of art collections, to develop new technology to look at art, and to research new methods to conserve art for future generations.

Reporting to the Center’s co-Directors, at Northwestern University Dr. Aggelos Katsaggelos (Joseph Cummings Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (with courtesy appointments in computer science and radiology) and at the Art Institute of Chicago, Dr. Francesca Casadio, (Associate Vice President and Grainger Executive Director of Conservation and Science) the Senior Scientist will work with two dedicated postdoctoral fellows to manage the research agenda of the center, provide mentorship to the postdoctoral fellows, conduct his/her own research projects, and support teaching and training in heritage science at Northwestern. The position is funded until August 31st, 2023, with the possibility of renewal for two more years, pending an extension of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant supporting the Center.

Primary duties:
1. Develop, prioritize and implement the research activities of the Center, including selection of the internal and external projects upon recommendation of the Peer Review Panel, developing an analytical strategy for the selected projects, and allocating staff and instrumental resources to carry the research projects to completion.
2. Strengthen and enhance relationships with curators, conservators, art historians and archaeologists from external institutions to foster collaborative national and international research projects.
3. Develop and strengthen relationships with leaders at various experimental and analytical research facilities at Northwestern University and in the Chicago area.
4. Assist external institutions during the phase of proposal writing and provide detailed reports to participating institutions after the analyses are conducted.
5. Manage and oversee the work of the Center’s research staff, including selection, training and personnel administration.
6. Oversee and facilitate the research work of visiting scholars, and student interns.
7. Maintain records of research and analysis and sample archives.
8. Compile final reports for all completed projects.
9. Work with the Center co-Directors to foster understanding and assimilation of results and approaches of scientific research in the arts among curators, conservators, university professors and their students, administrators, other staff, the general public and other AIC and NU support groups through:
• The production of high-level scientific research publications in the field of cultural heritage science and object-based art history.
• Travel to attend conferences, present papers and confer with colleagues in the US and internationally.
• The design of media tools, and press materials (website, data visualization tools etc.) for the general public
10. Actively engage in developing and using innovative instrumentation, sample preparation and data treatment approaches to conduct research.
11. Work with the Center’s Directors to manage the research budget.
12. Contribute to the preparation of reports to funding agencies.
13. Work with the Center’s Directors to organize meetings, symposia and advisory committee meetings.
14. Work with the Center’s Directors to pursue strategic fundraising opportunities for the Center and contribute to grant writing.
15. Engage in teaching at least one specialized course at the intersection of art and science for the Northwestern student body.

Basic Qualifications: Ph.D. in chemistry, physical science, engineering or computer science and a minimum of 5 years of experience in heritage science and experimental research in an academic or museum setting. It is preferred that the candidate has ample experience working within heritage institutions as well as the application of advanced analytical imaging methods to works of art: namely, but not limited to, macro-XRF and hyperspectral imaging (visible and near infrared).

Application materials consisting of a cover letter, a CV, and the names and contact information of three references should be uploaded to the NU-ACCESS website ( by January 27, 2022 for full consideration.

Northwestern University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Qualified women and minorities are encouraged to apply. It is the policy of Northwestern University not to discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status or other protected group status. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.