Senior Conservator

National Museum of the Royal Navy is seeking a Senior Conservator

National Museum of the Royal Navy



Job type

Full-time, permanent


£30,350 - £34,400 per annum

Posted on

End date




The National Museum’s vision is to be the world’s most inspiring Naval Museum: inspiring learning, enjoyment, and engagement with the story of the Royal Navy and its impact in shaping the modern world.

We are recruiting for a full-time Senior Conservator to join the Conservation team within the Museum Operations Directorate. This is an exciting time to join NMRN, as the Conservation team is growing and implementing new policies and procedures.

The Senior Conservator leads the team of object conservators and Shipkeepers in the maintenance and upkeep of our wide-ranging collections, including the Museum’s historic vessels, for example HMS Victory, HMS M.33, HMS Warrior and HMS Alliance. They will work closely with the Senior Conservator (Collections Care) and Senior Conservator (Naval Aircraft), as well as colleagues in the wider Conservation and Collections team, to help maintain the highest standards of conservation across our sites and collections. Based in Portsmouth, there will be occasional travel to our other sites in Belfast, Hartlepool and Yeovilton.

Team work is a key part of this role to ensure that conservation best-practice is applied to our work with the collections.

Key Opportunities

  • Managing a small team working on a diverse collection, supporting the conservation of our historic ships and collections.
  • Opportunity to gain practical experience of a wide range of conservation tasks on a challenging collection. This will include guidance and supervision of staff, volunteers, and students in conservation tasks.
  • Working closely with colleagues in the Collections, Programming and Visitor Experience teams, contributing to project meetings and providing conservation advice and guidance as well as practical assistance as appropriate.
  • Opportunity to contribute to the conservation of our nationally and internationally important collections and historic ships.


You will have:

  • A professional conservation qualification at degree level, or equivalent and demonstrable post-graduation experience working within a museum setting or historic building.
  • Knowledge of best practice approaches to preventive and interventive conservation of a range of materials.
  • Sound awareness of conservation ethics and confidence in making conservation-led decisions, including around large or industrial objects, challenging environments, and logistical considerations.
  • Experience managing conservators, students and volunteers and working with contractors.
  • A positive attitude and passion for communicating the principles of conservation to different audiences.

We Provide:

  • The opportunity to be part of a friendly and diverse workplace within a unique heritage environment.
  • Group pension plan with Royal London (6% employer contributions, 2% employee contributions and death in service benefit).
  • Free onsite parking.
  • 23 days annual leave (plus bank holidays), increasing to 25 days after 5 years’ service (potential for this to increase from August 2021 as work is currently being undertaken to review annual leave allowance).
  • Flexible working.
  • Icon membership.
  • Employee Assistance Programme.
  • Digital mental wellbeing resource for you and a ‘plus one’.
  • Free admission to other museums and attractions within the reciprocal agreement.
  • Discounts at our shops and cafes.
  • Free and discounted tickets for family and friends.

For further details, or an informal discussion regarding the role, please contact Diana Davis, Head of Conservation, at [email protected]

Applicants are asked to submit a CV and a statement indicating how their knowledge and experience match those specified. Applications should be forwarded to the HR Team at [email protected] and are required by midnight on 22 August 2021. Interviews are expected to be held in September in Portsmouth.

The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted our responsibility to ensure appropriate safety measures are in place, and we would like to assure you that these are reviewed on a regular basis as the safety of our staff and visitors is of utmost importance to us.