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Assistant/Associate Curator of Anthropology

California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, California, US
Closing date
Jan 27, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
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We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from a number of different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet every ­one of the qualifications for the position.

Please note: All Academy staff and volunteers will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including receiving a booster shot when eligible as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals receiving a conditional offer of employment from the California Academy of Sciences will be provided the full text of the vaccination policy.


The Irvine Chair of Anthropology reports to the Chief of Science in the Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability (IBSS), the California Academy of Sciences' research division. The Irvine Chair focuses on research that advances fundamental knowledge within the fields of archaeological, cultural, and/or biological anthropology and is expected to establish an internationally recognized cutting-edge research program that takes advantage of Academy assets. A strong publication record, pursuit of external funding, engagement in outreach activities, mentorship of students, and service to the scientific and Academy communities are also required. The Irvine Chair will join the Academy's innovative team striving to lead the world in addressing biodiversity conservation through research, science-based conservation, and engaging diverse audiences in our work.

  • Plans and executes original research resulting in peer-reviewed scientific publications.
  • Plans, directs, and participates in scientific exploration including expeditions, experimental work and collaborative research as appropriate, to advance knowledge, facilitate specimen collection, conserve biodiversity and address other global issues such as climate change.
  • Advances the strategic growth, conservation and/or impact of our Anthropology collection, working closely with the Anthropology Collection Manager.
  • Seeks extramural funding and grants to support research activities.
  • Participates in collaborative efforts to maintain, improve and increase access to Academy scientific collections, including digitization and imaging initiatives.
  • Actively trains and mentors the next generation of scientists using innovative and inspirational science communication and experiences, including supervision of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates.
  • Committed to training scientists, building capacity in under-resourced communities, and increasing participation of groups historically underrepresented in anthropology.
  • Engages in educational activities for Academy staff and volunteers, including docents.
  • Participates in a spectrum of activities that engage diverse audiences in the excitement, process and importance of scientific discovery - e.g., participation in the development of exhibitions; presentations to non-science audiences; community science programs; mentoring of youth; participation in Academy education and outreach programs; maintenance of a creative portfolio of social media activities designed to convey scientific discoveries.
  • Helps ensure scientific accuracy in Academy messaging.
  • Collaborates with the Academy's Development team and the Chief of Science in fundraising cultivation and stewardship of donors.
  • Works closely with Academy marketing staff to leverage scientific discoveries into popular media and to elevate the visibility and impact of the Academy's research activities.
  • Serves on IBSS and Academy-wide committees, including occasional leadership roles.
  • Assists the IBSS team in setting goals, works collaboratively on integrated research programs, and creates/monitors budgets, as appropriate.
  • Establishes and maintains professional partnerships and networks.
  • Participates in the activities of and/or provides advice to local, national, and international scientific societies, academic institutions and government agencies.
  • Serves as a reviewer of scientific manuscripts, grant proposals, and other scientists and institutions as requested.
  • Provides specimen identifications in areas of expertise as appropriate.
  • Follows all Academy safety regulations and collections policies.
  • Other duties as assigned.



A qualified candidate will possess a combination of the following education and/or equivalent experience:
  • Ph.D. in Anthropology or other relevant discipline required; postdoctoral experience highly preferred
  • Experience working with natural history collections
  • Experience managing research programs, projects and budgets

  • Enthusiastic approach to research, education, outreach, and conservation
  • Proven track record of publishing original research and obtaining external funding
  • Demonstrated ability to articulate the relevance and importance of one's scientific work to various audiences
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment


Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to meet the job's essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to use a computer, and communicate on the phone, in person, and online meetings/calls. Must be able to perform repetitive motions 40% of the time.


Review of applications will begin December 15, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.


A complete application should consist of: (1) Cover letter up to two pages; (2) Curriculum vitae; (3) Three two-page vision statements: one outlining your scientific background and research goals; one on your mentoring & engagement experience and goals; and a third on how your professional goals align with the and/or ; (4) Two to three examples of research publications and two to three examples of other work (outreach publications, media projects, etc.); and (5) Names and contact information of at least three references. You should notify your references that they may be contacted.

The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the (SF Police Code, Article 49).

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensure that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

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