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About the role
‘One by One’ is a 30-month national research project helping to build digitally confident museums. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), is led by The University of Leicester in partnership with Culture24, and is being delivered together with a range of museums, strategic sector agencies and academic partners - including the Museums Association, HLF, Nesta, Arts Council England, Association of Independent Museums, National Museums Directors’ Council, the Collections Trust and the Museum Development Network.

‘One by One’ aims to help UK museums of any size better define, improve, measure and embed the digital skills of their staff and volunteers in all roles and at all levels. By introducing a new approach to ‘digital literacy’, understanding and development, this project aims to create new organisational mindsets in museums to help support their digital transformation needs. Specifically the One by One project will design and test a practical digital skills framework for the UK museum sector that:

–Has clear and well-developed definitions of skills and ‘digital literacy’
–Has evidence to demonstrate its effectiveness
–Is adopted sector-wide, with multiple touchpoints
–Is characterised by collective responsibility and ownership
–Is flexible, evolving, adaptable, assuming change
–Is sustainable within organisations
–Has buy-in from sector leadership

The Digital Fellow will join the 'One by One' team during Phase 4 of the project and continue to its end. The Fellow will be based in the partner museum (Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove) to deliver the Action Research Project Plan (see below). The postholder will also have an active role within a peer-network of up to six other Digital Fellows across the partner museums.

The objective of this phase will be to evidence whether the proposed model for museum digital skills activation is effective. This objective will be achieved by running, analysing and evaluating the action research interventions in the partner museum. Each intervention (co-designed by the partner museum earlier in the Phase) will relate to that museums’ current strategic needs and capacity, and as a suite of projects will allow the project to test a varied profile of digital skills activation.

The action research project in the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove aims to consider how we might nurture a culture in which museum people easily understand the opportunities and parameters of their individual context, in order to develop their skills, including digital skills.

This research project will focus on digital ‘personal storytelling’: the interpretation of RPM’s collections, buildings and knowledge through the prism of identifiable individuals applying their unique perspective and tone of voice, in contrast to the anonymous authority of the traditional public discourse of the museum. We expect the fellow to consider two broad research questions: how RPM can nurture museum people’s confidence with delivering personal storytelling on digital platforms; and whether personal storytelling adds value, and for whom.

The Digital Fellow will work with Kevin Bacon (Digital Manager), Krystyna Pickering (Digital Development Officer), and the RPM Leadership Team.
About you

With a PhD or equivalent experience, you will have significant research experience and skills in the relevant research area. We are looking for a self-starter who has a real passion for the subject matter. You will also have excellent written and verbal communication skills with a willingness to foster new collaborations, particularly within professional museum settings.

Additional information

Part time (0.4 fte) fixed term contract to 29 February 2020.

Please contact Professor Ross Parry ross.parry@le.ac.uk or Isobel Woodliffe ijw3@le.ac.uk / 0116 252 5633 for informal enquiries.

We anticipate that interviews will take place on Thursday 6 December 2018

In return for your hard work, we offer a working environment that is committed to inclusivity, through promoting equality and valuing diversity. We offer a competitive salary package with excellent pension scheme, a generous annual leave allowance and an online portal that offers a range of lifestyle benefits and discounts.. Further information regarding our extensive range of staff benefits is available here.

Leicester is a leading University committed to international excellence, world-changing research and high quality, inspirational teaching. We are strongly committed to inclusivity, promoting equality and celebrating diversity among our staff and students. You will develop your career in a supportive and collaborative academic environment in one of the world’s leading research-intensive universities; elite in the excellence of our research, yet distinctive for the genuine synergy between our research and teaching.

 

Museum Studies: Established in 1966, the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester is the only autonomous department in the UK dedicated to the study of museums and galleries. It is the oldest and largest academic unit of its kind in the world. Through its research and teaching, and the careers of its students, the School seeks to have global influence both on its academic field and the institution at its heart. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008), the Department of Museum Studies, as it was then called, was the highest scoring unit of any discipline or institution in the UK.

For over 50 years, the School of Museum Studies at Leicester has played an influential role in the reinvention of museum theory and practice. The School has been the locus of creative and critical researchers and practitioners who have transformed the academic field and professional practice. By producing original, rigorous and internationally influential research, and by working collaboratively on a range of pioneering initiatives, the School has made a significant and sustained contribution both to the specific field of museum studies and to the international cultural sector more widely.

Partner Museum: The Royal Pavilion & Museums is the museum service of Brighton & Hove City Council. It directly operates the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Hove Museum & Art Gallery, the Booth Museum of Natural History, and Preston Manor. Originally founded in 1861 it holds a variety of collections, including three which are Designated: World Art, Decorative Art and Natural History. Other collections include Local History, Archaeology, Fashion, Fine Art, Toys and Media.