Job Opportunity: Research Associate Position

NEH Embedding Sustainability in Cultural Heritage Conservation Education Initiative

The UCLA Interdepartmental Program in Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials invites applications for a Research Associate position from June 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022 to participate in the initial phase of an initiative to integrate sustainability into cultural heritage conservation education. Work will be remote until October 1, 2021 when the Research Associate will be present on the UCLA campus. The start date is flexible, and part time work over an extended period will be considered. The successful applicant will have a proven commitment to sustainable practice in cultural heritage conservation or an adjacent field. The salary for the ten month period will be based on an annual rate of $56,752 plus benefits. Applications are due to be submitted by March 8, 2021.

The Interdepartmental Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials, administered through the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, offers two degree programs focusing on cultural heritage preservation. One is a three-year M.A. degree in Conservation. The other program is a PhD in the Conservation of Material Culture. The mission of the program is to educate and train students in the highest standard of conservation practice and decision-making and to prepare them to work as professionals in the preservation of archaeological and cultural materials.

The Embedding Sustainability in Cultural Heritage Conservation Education initiative is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and is conceived as a multi-year project. During this first eighteen month phase, we will conduct initial research, assemble a full advisory committee, and develop a strategic plan along with a grant proposal to support the following phases. The Research Associate will work with project directors, Professors Ellen Pearlstein and Glenn Wharton, to achieve these goals.

Responsibilities of Research Associate include working with Project Directors to:

  • Examine outcomes of the Sustainability Survey conducted by the American Institute for Conservation’s Sustainability Committee in March 2020;
  • access examples of sustainable practices included by cultural heritage conservation faculty in other graduate programs;
  • further develop an annotated bibliography on sustainability in cultural heritage conservation;
  • identify other cultural heritage experts and institutions working in this area and continue to expand an advisory committee drawn from multiple areas of scholarship at UCLA and externally;
  • organize advisory committee meetings;
  • identify skills and knowledge needed by the next generation of conservators, conservation scientists, and conservation scholars in order to respond to climate change and other sustainability risks in humanities collections and at cultural heritage sites;
  • draft a strategic plan for the following three years of the initiative;
  • identify potential funding agencies for future support;
  • draft a grant proposal to support the following three years of the initiative.


Must have a M.A. or Ph.D. in Cultural Heritage Conservation or a related field of study. Past work to advance sustainability in education or in practice in heritage conservation or an adjacent field is desirable. Ability to conduct research, and navigate organizations, build systems, connect people around shared goals. Leadership skills to collaborate, innovate, plan, act and react strategically. Excellent interpersonal and communication (written and oral) skills. Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.

Candidates should submit a cover letter referencing prior work on sustainability, a curriculum vitae, a short writing sample addressing sustainability, a statement on contributions to equity, diversity and inclusion, and contact information for three referees.

Applications must be submitted through UCLA Career Opportunities site:  Job # 33116

For inquiries please contact the initiative’s Principal Investigators:
Glenn Wharton
Ellen Pearlstein

Download a pdf of the posting here.