Skills sharing opportunities for museum archaeologists

New opportunities to share and develop museum archaeology skills – apply now

Do you work in a museum with archaeology collections, but no access to specialist expertise? Or are you an experienced museum archaeologist keen to share your archaeology knowledge, develop your leadership and gain new insight into the broader sector?

The Society for Museum Archaeology is looking for participants for a new skills-sharing programme, organised in partnership with the South East Museum Development programme, and open to applicants in the South East as defined by SEMDP: https://southeastmuseums.org/about-us/

Funded by Arts Council England, this programme will help build the skills needed to unlock the potential of archaeological collections for a wide range of audiences. This programme is part of SMA’s new SMART Project (Society for Museum Archaeology Resources and Training Project).

The programme will match five museums in need of support with five experienced museum archaeologists, who will act as mentors. All participants will receive personalised support and training and travel expenses to enable them to work together between October 2019 and February 2020. The programme is a pilot to help SMA identify new ways of supporting the development of skills in museum archaeology, which is why it is limited to the South East Region at this stage. The pilot is led by SMA with support from SEMDP. Helen Wilkinson is the consultant delivering the programme on behalf of SMA.

Information for potential mentors

SMA is looking for five experienced museum archaeologists, willing to work with a museum which is currently unable to realise the potential of its archaeology collections because of a lack of expertise.

We expect mentors to be practicing at Associate or Member level on the CIfA competence matrix: https://www.archaeologists.net/sites/default/files/Museum%20Archaeology%20specialist%20competence%20matrix_final.pdf

We are primarily looking for mentors with a relevant current role in a museum in the South East region. However, we are also open to applications from others based in the South East who have good up-to-date knowledge and who can draw on current practice in museums for insights to share with mentees.

All mentors will be expected to commit to

  • Attending an induction meeting and training day in October 2019, with the opportunity to meet fellow mentors, and develop and refresh your training and mentoring skills.
  • Meet staff from your mentee museum at least three times between November 2019 and February 2020, with phone and email support in between meetings.
  • Participating in our evaluation and attending a wrap up and review meeting in March 2020, to reflect on your experiences of the programme.

In return, SMA can offer the mentors:

  • Support throughout the programme from an experienced consultant, able to advise on any challenges.
  • Induction training, which will equip you with the tools you need to work effectively with your mentee.
  • The opportunity to request further, personalised training to help meet any gaps in your skills relevant to your role as mentor (for example, mentors might want to attend a workshop or training event, or learn new digital skills). A limited training budget will be available to the participating mentors.
  • Travel expenses for meetings and trips to meet mentees.
  • The chance to develop your own skills in mentoring and coaching, and take on a leadership role in the sector.
  • The opportunity to get to know other museum archaeology collections across the South East and to gain insight into different ways of working and museum contexts.

For more information or to discuss your application, please contact Helen Wilkinson, 0771 966 7102, helen@museumconsultancy.co.uk

Download the application form here:  Application form for mentors

Applications should be returned to Katherine Baxter, SMA Secretary by 12 noon on Monday 22nd July, katherine.baxter@leeds.gov.uk

Information for potential mentees

SMA is looking for five museums in the South East region keen to improve their skills and knowledge to enable them to realise the potential of their archaeological collections. Mentee museums will be matched with experienced museum archaeologists to help them improve the way they manage and use their archaeology collections. We are keen to hear from museums of any kind within the South East region, and applications can come from volunteers as well as paid staff. Applicants must be able to show that they lack the skills and knowledge they need to care for their archaeological collections and to provide opportunities for audiences to engage with them. Programme participants from the mentee museum could be an individual or a small group of staff or volunteers.

Participants from mentee museums need to commit to:

  • Working with the consultant running the programme to identify your development needs
  • Attending an induction meeting and training day in October 2019, with the opportunity to meet fellow mentees.
  • Meet your mentor at least three times between November 2019 and February 2020, with phone and email support in between meetings, and the possibility of further training opportunities in response to your needs.
  • Participating in our evaluation and attending a wrap up and review meeting in March 2020, to reflect on your experiences of the programme.

In return we can offer:

  • The opportunity to work with your mentor on the most pressing gaps in your skills and knowledge.
  • The chance to learn alongside other mentee museums, if you identify similar challenges.
  • Support throughout the programme from an experienced consultant, able to advise on any challenges.
  • Induction training, which will equip you with the tools you need to work effectively with your mentor.
  • Travel expenses if required to enable you to meet with your mentor and visit their museum or other museums.
  • The opportunity to get to know other museum archaeology collections across the South East and to gain insight into different ways of working and museum contexts.

For more information or to discuss your application, please contact Helen Wilkinson, 0771 966 7102, helen@museumconsultancy.co.uk

Download the application form here: Application form for mentees

CVs: we ask potential mentees to send a short CV. This just needs to be a summary outline of your career and roles you have held. We want to check that you haven’t got such extensive relevant experience that you are unlikely to benefit from working with a mentor.  Your CV does not need to be as polished or as extensive as if you were applying for a job, so please don’t spend too much time on it. If a large group of people would be working with the mentor, please send CVs for the person or people who are the main point of contact.

Applications should be returned to Katherine Baxter, SMA Secretary by 12 noon on Monday 22nd July, katherine.baxter@leeds.gov.uk

To promote the interests of archaeology in museums throughout the United Kingdom