As a response to the widely perceived decline in taxonomic and curatorial expertise, the Natural History Museum, London invites expressions of interest for taxonomy trainees. The aim is to enthuse and help train a number of people with a demonstrable interest in taxonomy and museum collections, by giving them an opportunity to learn taxonomic and curatorial skills under guidance from experienced staff in the environment of the Natural History Museum’s world famous specimen collections.
The traineeship will equip you with a range of basic taxonomic and curatorial skills and are suitable for individuals seeking further development in this discipline and who wish to experience this type of work.
This project is intended to be rolled out as a fee paying traineeship, but for the first year, as a trial, a small number of short-term (three month) traineeships will have the fee waived, and instead the Museum will provide daily allowances toward accommodation, subsistence and travel.
Traineeships will be available in the Departments of Botany, Entomology and Zoology. Dates of traineeships are negotiable with supervisors, but must take place between March and October 2010.
Successful applicants will have:
- a good general education to A-level or equivalent
- a demonstrable enthusiasm for natural history
- previous experience, however small, of handling animal or plant specimens
- attention to detail
- the ability to work with others
- the ability to work to deadlines
- a willingness to take on tasks with a positive attitude
- familiarity with standard computer software e.g. Word, Excel.
Taxonomy Traineeship Scheme
The Natural History Museum
London SW7 9BD
The successful candidates will be involved in one of the following projects:
Taxonomy Traineeship Scheme:
1. Botany. Identification of type specimens in the Liverwort Herbarium This project involves tracing which specimens represent type material. It is very strongly taxonomy oriented and provides an opportunity to work in an internationally important botanical collection, learning the core skills of curation as well as specimen-based research.
2. Open Air Laboratory (OPAL) surveys. This is an opportunity to take part in a citizen science project. Some field work is involved and there may be limited week-end work.
3. Taxonomic and curatorial work in the Natural History Museum’s beetle collections. Beetles are the most diverse group of organisms on the planet, and the Natural History Museum’s collections are probably the most comprehensive in the world. The successful applicant will spend three months working on designated taxonomy and curatorial projects in the collections, learning essential skills from the Museum’s renowned team of coleopterists.
4. Taxonomic and curatorial work in the Natural History Museum’s Zoology Department. The Zoology Department's collections comprise 30 million specimens, 22 million of which are in spirit. The successful candidate will experience the diverse challenges of identifying and curating specimens from one, or several, zoological groups possibly including, but not necessarily limited to, fish, birds and lower invertebrates. Please state your preferences in your application.