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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 (Derby Museums) 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 at Derby Museums responds to a need, identified by the ‘One by One’ project, for digital skills development that is person centred, purposeful and useful. The project will consider how we might jumpstart adaptable conditions and skills within an organisation to enable all museum people to work digitally with purpose.

Specifically the objectives of the Digital Fellow’s work at Derby Museums will be: to create a purposed moment for organisations to ‘stop everything’, to listen, to reflect honestly and to establish the ‘Why”; to create a road-map for organisations to establish where they want to be, sustainably; to create the adaptable conditions relevant to the scale of the organisation to enable meaningful change; to create a scalable blueprint that can be used by all museums people and is adaptable for each organisation.

The Digital Fellow will work with the Museum’s Experience Development Team; will be involved in collaborative working at all levels of the organisation; will work with a sector wide perspective using Derby Museums as test for the process; will work in dialogue with the other Digital Fellows across the ‘One by One’ project; and will ensure the process is accessible, scalable and can be reached by the non-digital.
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 Tuesday 4 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: Derby Museums’ mission is to positively affect the way in which Derby is understood, the way in which the city projects itself, and the way in which people from all places are inspired to see themselves as the next generation of innovators, makers and creators. Our Purpose is to inspire people of all backgrounds and interests to become part of a living story of world-class creativity, innovation and making. Our educational programmes and projects are designed to make connections between people and place, past, present and future – inspiring new ideas and innovative ways of working. We aim to work with creativity and passion, and see our heritage and stories as the inspiration for everything we do across our 3 sites: Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Pickford’s House and the Museum of Making, set to open in 2020 at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Derby Silk Mill.