Postdoctoral Fellowship in Conservation Science | Getty Conservation Institute

Date Posted: 
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Position Location: 
Los Angeles, CA
Job Description: 

The Getty Conservation Institute’s (GCI) postdoctoral fellowship is a two-year program designed to provide recent PhDs in chemistry and the physical sciences with experience in conservation science. The 2017-2019 Postdoctoral Fellow will be an integral part of the GCI Science’s Technical Studies research area, and as such will work closely with conservation and curatorial colleagues from across the Getty, gaining experience in cultural heritage research as conducted within a museum   environment.   (

The Technical Studies research group focuses on the study of works of art to answer questions related to an artist’s materials and techniques, workshop practice, attribution/provenance, and how the constituent materials might have altered or degraded over time. Projects vary widely in size and scope, and emphasis is given to projects that benefit the conservation field more broadly. Some projects may focus on a single artist, or school of artists, to examine trends in the development of artistic practice; others may examine a broad class of objects in order to elucidate historic technologies; and others may concentrate on a specific artist’s material to better understand its properties or use, or to identify ways of assessing geographic provenance. As such, the scientific studies that form the foundation of this research are necessarily multi- faceted, employing a wide variety of analytical techniques, ranging from whole object imaging technologies to the examination of materials at the nano-scale.

The Postdoctoral Fellow is expected to engage with, and be involved in, both new and existing projects and research partnerships being conducted in the area of Technical Studies Research; the primary focus

of the Fellow’s research activities will be the area of implementing/developing advanced imaging technologies (including both visual and spectroscopic imaging) and data visualization. The Fellowship thus will be particularly suited to candidates having a strong background in imaging and computer science at the graduate level. In addition to working on existing or nascent research projects, there is scope for the Fellow to pursue independent research on a topic of their own choosing, and to take full advantage of the diverse research facilities available at the Getty. Professional development will be encouraged and assisted through participation in professional meetings, conferences or workshops. It is hoped that the Fellow’s research outcomes will be disseminated through publications and conference presentations, both to the scientific community and to art conservation practitioners.

Applicants should have a recent (2010 or later) PhD in a relevant field, including but not limited to, computer/imaging science, analytical/physical chemistry, optical/electrical engineering or materials science. Experimental research experience and strong instrumental analysis skills are also desirable. Demonstrable aptitude for self-directed learning and for working across academic disciplines is critical, as are excellent written and verbal communication skills. Candidates should have an interest in the visual arts and a serious interest in pursuing a career in conservation science within the museum environment.

The fellowship runs from September 2017 to August 2019. In addition to an annual stipend, the fellow will be provided an annual study trip allowance and generous benefits including travel to, and housing in, Los Angeles and full health benefits.

DEADLINE: November 15, 2016


HOW TO APPLY: A completed online application (which includes uploading a Statement of Interest; Doctoral Dissertation Plan or Abstract; Curriculum Vitae; Writing Sample; and Confirmation of Degree) must be received by the deadline. Two Confidential Letters of Recommendation must be sent separately to

Interested candidates should apply through the Getty’s Job Opportunities webpage: