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Assistant Curator of Anthropology

Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Denver, Colorado
Pay Range $51,334 - $67,050/annually
Closing date
Dec 29, 2021

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Position Type
Archivist / Curator / Librarian
Full Time
Museum Studies
Organization Type
Level of Experience
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Assistant Curator of Anthropology

Position Status: Full time

Pay Range: $51,334 - $67,050/annually

Close Date: 12/15/21

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Job Description:

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) invites applications for the position of Assistant Curator of Anthropology. The successful candidate will have an active research program engaged with contemporary social/anthropological issues and will curate an ethnological collection that consists, largely, of material culture from Indigenous populations of North America. The candidate’s regional focus, methodological and theoretical orientation, and subfield specialization are open, but experience with material culture and/or museums is desired. We seek a collegial individual who will develop (or continue building) an outstanding North American research program who will complement our existing curatorial expertise.

We are looking for:

  • A record of scholarly productivity, with significant peer-reviewed publications already published or in the pipeline.
  • A wide range of science communication styles and media, from traditional lectures to social media and video, to reach a range of audiences on terms that are meaningful to them.
  • Record of grants acquisition and private fundraising skills commensurate with early- and middle-career museum professionals.
  • Experience working with descendant communities and have a plan for continuing to engage communities with collections-based research, exhibition and outreach activities, and through an active, externally funded fieldwork program.
  • Repatriation experience (both under NAGPRA and in other contexts) and experience with decolonization methodologies to help build on the Museum’s prior success in these realms.
  • Experience working with relational databases for anthropological or related collections.

A Ph.D. must be in hand at the start of employment. Applications must include: (1) a Curriculum Vitae; (2) a statement of research interests and career objectives; (3) a statement about the applicant's commitment and contributions to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion; and (4) copies of up to 2 relevant publications. For full consideration, complete applications should be received by December 15, 2021.


This job may be hired at an Associate level with a hiring range of $61,279 to $79,662 for qualified applicants.

At the Associate level, curators will engage in original research, with a portion of this work being collaborative and addressing problems of at least moderate scope and complexity. Research impact should exceed that of the Assistant Curator level, influencing a more broadly defined field at least nationally, with publications more frequently including synthetic works in high profile venues.

Essential duties: 

  • Works with the Director of Anthropology and other department staff to develop research and collections plans that complement existing activities in the museum.
  • Acts as the Museum’s NAGPRA Officer, ensuring prompt, accurate, well-informed and reasonable responses to all inquiries.
  • Leverages existing DMNS anthropology collections for new and potential research opportunities by external researchers, Indigenous specialists and communities, artists, and others. 
  • Understands and contributes to database record updates in the EMu collections management system, updating catalog records, images, and archives as necessary.
  • Serves as team leader/supervisor for collections interns and volunteers recruited to assist with research and collections-based activities on yet-to-be-determined projects.


Minimum qualifications/Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in anthropology or related field required. 
  • 2 years’ experience handling museum collections required.
  • 1 years’ experience with relational databases required.
  • Experience with NAGPRA, repatriation, and decolonization activities.
  • Intermediate proficiency with Microsoft Office suite and other research- and communication-related software required.  
  • The Museum loves science.  As a science institution, the Museum believes in the science behind vaccines.  Effective September 1, 2021, all new hires must present proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19 at the time of hire.


Ideal candidate will have:

  • Extensive publication record demonstrating an ability to communicate with scholars, communities, and the general public.
  • Diverse research interests and openness to new opportunities as they arise.
  • Spanish or other language proficiency.
  • Demonstrable commitment to inclusive research and collections-based work.
  • Experience in exhibition development, management, or maintenance.


Perks and Benefits of working at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science include:

A comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, and vision coverage.  100% paid life insurance and long-term disability insurance. Paid time-off for vacation, sickness and holidays. 403(b) Retirement Plan with immediate eligibility to contribute and, after one year of employment, an employer contribution and match. An RTD Eco pass and a free Family+ membership to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

The full range of perks and benefits can be found HERE.


Core values:

  • We love science.
  • We are curious, creative and playful.
  • We cultivate relationships with each other, diverse communities, and the environment and for our future.
  • We think critically and act with empathy.


This is an exciting opportunity to play an integral part in the continued success of the Museum, with 450+ full-time and part-time employees and more than 1,800 volunteers. We are building on our already solid foundation with a strong vision and solid strategy to recreate and redefine how we engage our community that loves, understands, and protects our natural world.


Inclusivity Statement

Science helps us understand that diversity in our natural world creates strength and nurtures life. We strive to be a diverse and collaborative team – a team of people from different backgrounds, identities and experiences who are open to being inspired, challenged, and changed by one another. At all levels of our organization, in every policy, action and decision, we seek to create a workplace that lives our Museum values and to foster opportunity and mutual respect. We realize that we are on a continual journey toward building community, understanding, and belonging. These aspirations are critical to bringing our mission to life.

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain region’s leading resource for informal science education. Located in the heart of Denver City Park, and neighbor to the Denver Zoo, the Museum offers a variety of exhibitions, programs, and activities help Museum visitors experience the natural wonders of Colorado, Earth, and the universe. More than 300,000 students and teachers are served by Museum each year. The Museum houses nearly 4.1 million artifacts and specimens in its collections from around the world.

No phone calls please.

Applications will only be accepted electronically via the Museum’s website


Application Instructions:

Please submit your cover letter and resume by 12/15/2021. Resumes will not be accepted after this time.

Applications will only be accepted electronically via the Museum’s website

Due to the high volume of people who apply, we are not able to respond to specific inquiries regarding your application status.

The Museum is committed to the goal of building a culturally diverse staff to serve the needs of our visitors. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.

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