Collection Manager

Updated: 12 months ago
Location: Lawrence, KANSAS
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!


Biodiversity Institute

Position Overview

The collection manager (assistant researcher) for the Division of Invertebrate Paleontology of the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute administers a world-class collection of extensive invertebrate fossil and micro-fossil specimens, along with archives and library holdings.  The collections have strengths in Cambrian, Carboniferous, and Cretaceous fossils, microfossils, echinoderms, brachiopods, and arthropods, and fossils from Antarctica.  University faculty, scientists, curators, staff and students, and national and international scholars use the collections extensively for research and education.  The collection manager is responsible for day-to-day activities in the collection and reports to the curator-in-charge.

Job Description

40% - Collection and data management and conservation

  • Ensure long-term integrity and preservation of the physical collections, associated data, and collection-storage environment.
  • Maintain and improve collection-care protocols.
  • Develop and maintain collection database.
  • Digitize specimen data, records and information for global dissemination and discoverability.
  • Process specimen loans, exchanges, and gifts; incorporate received specimens into the collection; maintain appropriate records of such activities.
  • Maintain and organize records of collection activity, use, and status for annual reports, grant submissions, and other documentation.
  • Collaborate with other museum collection managers to achieve high quality collection care and economy of scale in all collection-related activities.
  • Assist and supervise users of the collection.

25% - Collection strategic development, improvement and acquisition

  • Participate in acquisition of specimens for the Division by facilitating donations and by occasional fieldwork and expeditions at the direction of the curator-in-charge.
  • Organize and prepare documentation necessary for specimen accession, including state, national and international permits and associated documentation.
  • Oversee the preparation and staging of newly acquired specimens and the digital capture of associated data for their integration into the collection and the collection database, respectively.
  • Collaborate with curator-in-charge to plan and implement divisional goals, priorities, and programs.
  • Foster research use of collections by qualified researchers.

15% - Collection service

  • Respond to inquiries from scientists, governmental and consulting agencies, the public, and other users.
  • Participate in the Museum’s public programming by providing information and specimens, and assisting in exhibit design; assist in Museum public functions.
  • Conduct tours for visiting scholars, students, and the public.

10% - Supervision

  • Train and supervise graduate student curatorial assistant(s).
  • Hire, train, and supervise undergraduate assistants.
  • Train and supervise volunteers working in the collection.

5% - Professional development

  • Work closely with BI collection management staff to ensure consistency of practice.
  • Participate in collection management training and development through professional societies.
  • Undertake research in area of expertise pending completion of collection management duties.
  • Participate in professional geological and paleontological societies.

5% - Other duties as appropriate

Required Qualifications

  • Master's degree or Ph.D. in museum studies, geology, systematics, evolutionary biology, or paleontology from an accredited university, or a bachelor’s degree plus 5 years experience working with museum collections in a position with similar responsibilities.  
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the taxonomy and identification of invertebrate fossils as evidenced by work history and application materials.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with care and management of natural history collections, with a special emphasis on preventative conservation, collection-storage environments, and techniques pertaining uniquely to invertebrate fossil collections as evidenced by work history and application materials.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with biodiversity informatics and collection data, including relational databases (e.g., Specify), web-based applications, and distributed networks as evidenced by work history and application materials. 

  • Preferred Qualifications

  • Expertise in one or more taxa that constitute collection strengths and programmatic priorities. 
  • Field experience collecting invertebrate fossil specimens.
  • Experience preparing invertebrate fossil specimens.

  • Additional Candidate Instruction

    A complete application will include:

  • a letter of application addressing qualifications,
  • CV,
  • statement of collection management philosophy,
  • names and email address of three individuals who can write a letter of recommendation, and
  • representative publications (the latter is optional).
  • More information and a complete position description may be obtained by contacting:

    • Bruce S. Lieberman, Biodiversity Institute, Division of Invertebrate Paleontology, Senior Curator,
    • Jaime Keeler, Biodiversity Institute Business Coordinator,

    Application review begins September 3, 2019 and continues until a pool of qualified applicants is received. 

    Advertised Salary Range

    Starting at $38,000

    Application Review Begins


    Anticipated Start Date


    Work Location

    University of Kansas - Lawrence

    Employee Class

    U-Unclassified Professional Staff

    Work Schedule

    8a - 5p, Monday - Friday


    The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY 9 for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).

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