Head of collections & research

Vacature | 09 sep 2019

The National Gallery of Ireland is op zoek naar een hoofd collectie & onderzoek

Organisatie: The National Gallery of Ireland 
Omvang:  37 uur per week
Locatie: Dublin, Ierland
Sluitingsdatum: 20 september 2019

The National Gallery of Ireland (‘Gallery’) is the country’s most popular free visitor attraction housing the nation’s collection of European and Irish art from about 1300 to the present day, and an extensive Library & Archive. Nominated for European Museum of the Year (2018), and winner of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland Culture-Public Building award (2018), the Gallery continues its mission of serving our visitors in their enrichment and enjoyment of visual art. Entry to the collection is free for all to enjoy, learn and be inspired.

The Gallery wishes to recruit a Head of Collections & Research to lead the Curatorial, Conservation, Library & Archive, Publications, Exhibitions & Collection Services departments. This is a unique opportunity to develop and shape, in consultation with the Director and other members of the Executive Leadership team (ELT), the national collection so that it is well run, relevant and accessible to a wide range of audiences. Reporting to the Director (or nominated deputy), the Head of Collections & Research will ensure the delivery of the following key strategic responsibilities of this post. The three main areas of responsibility and related duties include:

Vision & Leadership

  • Deliver the strategic priorities for the acquisition, care, display and safeguarding of the national collection and placing them at the centre of our work;
  • Play a leading role, as a member of the ELT in the development of corporate strategy, strategic planning for the division and development of policies reflective of a modern forward-thinking cultural organisation;
  • Provide exceptional leadership for the division in support of the Gallery’s strategic direction;
  • Demonstrate superior management skills for the effective running of the Division and as a member of the Gallery’s ELT;
  • Develop the managerial skills of all departmental heads reporting to this post;
  • Develop strategies to increase access to the collections (both onsite, online and digitally) in order to maximise the potential of the collection databases/website and to foster public engagement;
  • Provide leadership and guidance to the Director on all matters related to the care of the collection and advise on collection-related policies including acquisitions, research, care of the collections, exhibitions and long-term loans;
  • Work closely with the Director and Director of Corporate Services on the financial management of the Collections & Research Division and be fully accountable for targeted income and expenditure budgets;
  • Oversee the loans, acquisitions, research and exhibitions programmes, always abiding by best practice;
  • Oversee the research and publications output in the Collections & Research Division, including a new magazine.

Collections & Research Management

  • Ensure collections research informs the public programmes, raising the profile of the Gallery’s activities both internally and externally through publications and presentations, external communications, online activities, including participation in talks, debates, expert panels and steering groups;
  • Promote the acquisitions, including donations of important art works, to the collection using agreed acquisitions procedures and securing Board approval;
  • Promote research and ensure the publication of collection literature is in a popular and scholarly form;
  • Supervise appropriate care and preservation of the collections, and their display.

Stakeholder Management

  • Develop and maintain key internal and external collaborations by promoting good relations with cultural institutions, government departments and external partners including sponsors and donors, both nationally and internationally;
  • Co-ordinate, manage and contribute to advice to Government and other external contacts on matters relating to objects, including representing the Director as required;
  • Build strong working relationships with all other Gallery divisions and work in partnership on activities or initiatives that have the potential of raising revenue for the Gallery;
  • Actively contribute to and promote the Staff Development and training programmes;
  • Conduct other duties as required.

The successful candidate will demonstrate experience as outlined below:

  • An advanced third level qualification in Museum Studies, Art History (or related specialism) and have significant work experience in the field;
  • Knowledge of the methods, techniques and procedures involved in the interpretation, preservation and exhibition of a Gallery / Museum collection;
  • A strong track record in a relevant field with an international reputation for expertise in a subject area related to the work of the division;
  • An excellent knowledge of the art in the national collection: a specialism in Northern European art between 1500 and 1700 would be an advantage;
  • Significant collections management and/or research experience at a senior management level coupled with a proven track record of success of contributing to a wide range of engaging programmes in a Gallery or Museum environment.

Skills, Talent and Abilities

  • Energy, drive and strategic foresight to develop the Collections & Research Department and contribute to the Gallery’s ongoing Master Development Plan;
  • Exceptional people management skills coupled with the ability to lead and motivate the various departments to foster a positive culture and environment;
  • A flair and creativity to identify and frame cohesive programmes in collaboration with the Gallery team and key stakeholders;
  • A track record in strategic decision-making, taking decisions and providing advice at the highest levels;
  • A proven capacity to initiate and maintain productive relationships with external partners in cultural agencies, education, government and corporate sponsors;
  • Good numeracy skills with a track record of managing departmental budgets;
  • Be a proven ambassador for the organisation and have effective communication skills and confidence in your own ability to make a personal impact with individuals and groups in a range of different situations;
  • An ability to represent the Gallery at a senior level internally and externally, and to develop staff in the division;
  • Strong organisational skills and an ability to work to tight deadlines;
  • A willingness to partake in and enhance your own professional development.

Note: This job description is a guide to broad areas of responsibility and accountability and should not be regarded as a comprehensive listing. All employees are required to be compliant with NGI screening, security and Garda vetting procedures.

Grade and salary

Salary will be in accordance with the Keeper salary scale (PPC) currently € 71,155 per annum as per 1st September 2019 pay adjustments.

Candidates should note the National Gallery of Ireland complies with Department of Public Expenditure and Reform regulations and guidelines on Public Service pay and conditions of employment.


Permanent Full-Time.

Working hours:

Full time, 5 days a week - 37 hours per week (net of breaks). The successful candidate must be flexible and willing to work occasional evenings and weekends (as required).

Closing date for receipt of applications:

20 September 2019

Interviews will be scheduled in October 2019.

How to apply:

Please upload a cover letter and curriculum vitae. Candidates should note that panels may be formed from which future positions may be filled.

The National Gallery of Ireland is an equal opportunities employer.