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211-0074/20-2N Tenure-track Assistant Professor in Palaeontology

Tenure-track Assistant Professor in Palaeontology
The Natural History Museum of Denmark
Faculty of Science
University of Copenhagen


The Natural History Museum of Denmark, part of the Faculty of Science at Copenhagen University is looking for a tenure-track Assistant Professor and Curator in Palaeontology to start 1 June 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

About the job
The Natural History Museum of Denmark is seeking excellent candidates for a tenure-track Assistant Professor and Curator in Palaeontology. As Curator in Palaeontology at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, you will be part of a dynamic team working on one of the largest museum projects in Scandinavia in the past fifty years.

The job is dedicated to collection-based interdisciplinary research (taxonomy, systematics, phylogeny, evolution, palaeoecology, biostratigraphy, bio-/phylogeography, or other relevant fields) and other museum duties, such as scientific curation and working on the new permanent galleries for visitors. The curatorial work will focus on specimens in the palaeontological collections. This includes digitising the collections and making them available as an open resource for researchers, educators and other stakeholders; providing access to collections for national and international users; increasing the collections through active fieldwork, donations, acquisitions, etc. Other responsibilities include research-based teaching, supervising students, public engagement, exhibition and interpretation work, and serving as main liaison with relevant Danish amateur communities and citizen scientists within the field of palaeontology.

The applicant is expected to have knowledge of both classic and modern taxonomy/systematics. Applicants with a track record of research in fields where classical and modern methods interact are preferred. The tenure track assistant professor should have an academic record demonstrating the potential to deliver high profile internationally competitive research and is expected to have a broad interest in palaeontology, museums, collections and engaging with the public. Assessment of applicants will be based on the applicant’s qualifications in research, curation, public engagement, and the ability to attract external funding. Teaching qualifications are not mandatory but documented teaching qualifications and teaching experience will be considered.

Six overall criteria apply for assistant professor appointments at the University of Copenhagen. The six criteria (research, teaching, societal impact, organisational contribution, external funding and leadership) are considered a framework for the overall assessment of candidates. Furthermore, each candidate must be assessed according to the specific requirements stated in the job advertisement. Please read more at https://snm.ku.dk/ledige-stillinger/Criteria_for_recognising_merit_Assistant_professors_SNM.pdf

Please note that this job vacancy for a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Palaeontology is also being advertised at the Associate Professor level. Only one of the two advertised positions will be filled.

About Us
Natural history museums have never been more important. The impact of climate change and anthropogenic forces on plant and animal life has reached a critical point. We need action to build a more sustainable relationship with nature. The Natural History Museum of Denmark is the national museum for nature. We work to empower citizens to connect with nature with the aim to create positive change for life on Earth. We want to inspire, engage and enable people to enjoy, understand, and care for the diversity of the natural world.

We are currently building a new Danish national museum for nature. One big museum site in the Botanical Garden at the centre of Copenhagen will host state-of-the-art laboratories, outstanding research collections, new public galleries, and combined facilities for programming, education, and citizen science. Over the next few years, the museum aims to change the way people think about and use natural history museums.

The Palaeontological collections span the entire Phanerozoic and contains over 1 million invertebrate, vertebrate and plant fossils. The collections are especially rich in specimens from Denmark, the Baltoscandian region, and Greenland.

The Natural History Museum of Denmark supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in all aspects of museum activities.The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Terms of salary and employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff. Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The starting salary is currently up to DKK 437.843 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 74.871). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

The tenure-track programme
An assigned mentor will provide tenure-track assistant professors with guidance related to career development, other academic topics and administrative procedures.

Performance of the tenure-track assistant professor will be followed via internal annual evaluations and a mid-term and final international evaluation by an assessment committee. If the ‘final appraisal’ is positive you will be promoted to Associate Professor. Performance and progression towards the criteria below will be evaluated with due consideration of differences between research fields.

Criteria for promotion
After a 6-year tenure-track period tenure-track assistant professors are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • A strong publication track record within the specific field of research, including a significant number of first and last authorships with at least some publications in high-ranked journals based on work carried out during the tenure-track period
  • Strong international network of collaboration, including joint publications
  • A significant track record of successful external research funding
  • Establishment of a strong and internationally competitive research group demonstrating clear independence of former supervisors/mentors, or/and major contributions to the development of an existing research group demonstrating an ability to collaborate within the research group
  • Completed teaching pedagogy course (http://www.ind.ku.dk/english/course_overview/up/) and established a teaching portfolio via participation in teaching, including preparation and development of departmental courses
  • Successful supervision/co-supervision of MSc and PhD students
  • Successful participation in exhibit development and other public engagement activities
  • Strong commitment and proven ability to scientifically curate and develop collections
  • Active engagement in broader museum-related national and international collaborations
  • Considerable curatorial experience
  • Active participation in national and international museum collaboration
  • Significant curatorial impact documented by improved collections and development of collections
  • Driving grants for digitization and collection development
  • Act as curator/consultant for exhibitions and other public engagement activities, including, for instance, being lead curator on exhibitions, etc.
How to apply
The application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below. Please include:

  • Curriculum vitae including:
    • Please describe and document international network and relations
    • Please describe and document international activities
    • Positions held at universities/research institutions outside Denmark
    • Grants held, personal or in part. Career development grants.
    • Curatorial experiences (curation of collections)
    • Public engagement activities, i.e. citizen science projects, exhibitions, popular lectures or other relevant activities
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan - description of current and future research
  • Curatorial plan – describe your future plans for the collections curated
  • A brief vision for the palaeontological area at the Natural History Museum of Denmark and a statement on the applicant’s motivation for working here.
  • If available, description and documentation of teaching and supervision experience and qualifications- please describe and document:
    • Experience with supervision of BSc and MSc students
    • Teaching experience
    • Formal pedagogical training
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of up to 5 particularly relevant papers.
The deadline for applications is 1 December 2020, 23:59 GMT +1. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

Interviews/trial lectures will be held on 23 April 2021.

Please refer to the following no. in future communication in this case: 211-0074/20-2N.

The Natural History Museum of Denmark is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disabled status. We are actively promoting a strategy to improve the gender balance among scientific staff.

Copenhagen is a highly diverse and international Scandinavian capital with a green profile. Education is free and child care is subsidized. Public transport is well developed and most Copenhageners take their bikes to work. There are lots of green areas in and around Copenhagen, the water in the harbour is clean enough for swimming, and the city has multiple museums and other cultural venues. The University of Copenhagen was founded in 1479 and is the largest in Denmark. The collections at the Natural History Museum of Denmark date back more than 400 years.

The successful candidate is expected to take Danish lessons if there is no prior knowledge of Danish language. The International Office at the University of Copenhagen can help.

Information and Further questions
Read more about The Natural History Museum of Denmark at www.snm.ku.dk/english/ and about the Palaeontological collection at https://samlinger.snm.ku.dk/en/dry-and-wet-collections/geology/ Any questions about the position may be directed to Professor Nikolaj Scharff, Head of Research and Collections (nscharff@snm.ku.dk), phone number +45 35 32 11 07.


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