Research Fellowship, Medicine Galleries at the Science Museum London

Research Fellow, Medicine Galleries


Location: Science Museum, London

Salary: £30,000 – £34,748 p.a.

Deadline: 16th October 2016

The Science Museum is developing major new Medicine Galleries to showcase thousands of objects from our medicine collections for the next generation. Thanks to the initial financial support from the Wellcome Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Wolfson Foundation, these six new galleries will open in 2019, transforming much of the first floor of the Museum and putting the history of medicine and biomedical research at the heart of the Science Museum.

The purpose of this job is to contribute, directly, or indirectly, to the development of the Medicine Galleries project; conduct scholarly research which deepens our understanding of the Science Museum’s medical collection; and to build the Science Museum’s reputation as a research hub for the medical humanities and Social Sciences.

You will carry out research on specific areas of the collection. In consultation with one or more curators you will produce a report about your research. This may inform the content development of the galleries or our further understanding of the Science Museum’s medicine collections.

We welcome applications from candidates at any career stage. You will, at least, have been examined for a PhD in a relevant field (or be able to demonstrate an equivalent level of academic attainment) by the intended starting date of your Fellowship; you will have a track record of publications commensurate with your career stage; and you will have a willingness to work with curators to contribute to the galleries project.

General areas of research:

  • Specific groups of objects in the medical collections
  • Non-Western Medicine in the collections  Representations of women in the collection
  • Representations of difference (for example national, cultural, class, gender, or sexual) in the collection
  • The history of the collections
  • The material culture of contemporary medicine
  • Material cultures of relationship between faith and medicine

Specific projects:

  • The history of physiotherapy
  • Changing ideas of care, compassion, and ‘bedside manner’ in treatment
  • Histories of Thalidomide
  • The semiotics of health education
  • Studies of historical and contemporary representations of population research data
  • The material culture of institutional and post-institutional psychiatry
  • Changing understandings of the body and their impact on diagnosis and care
  • How have anthropometrics, physiognomy, and phrenology shaped medicine?
  • How has our understanding of the role that a person’s emotional state plays in their interactions with medicine changed in the last forty years and what objects in the Science museum’s collection could represent these changes?

If you would like more details about these projects, or to discuss how a proposal might fit in with the medicine galleries project, or have any other questions please contact For more details on how to apply, visit the Science Museum website.

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