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Opened in 2013, Media Space is an exciting collaboration between the Science Museum and the National Media Museum in Bradford, home of the National Photography Collection. A new London venue for world quality photography exhibitions and events, Media Space includes a 525m² major exhibition gallery and the flexible 300m²  Virgin Media Studio. 

The Associate Curator plays a key role in the creation and delivery of an annual programme of world-class exhibitions, events and publications. Exhibitions will range from collection displays to loan-based exhibitions, international museum collaborations, and commissions with living artists and photographers. 

You will work alongside Curators and the Head of Photography to increase access to the National Photography Collection, and to build and develop the collection through acquisition and donation. You will also generate exciting ideas for learning programmes and events, web and digital content.

We expect you to have a curatorial interest in photography which might include special interest in 19th century, 20th century and/or 21st century.  

Equal Opportunities

To help us monitor the effectiveness of our recruitment campaigns please can you update your details on the “My Details” section. This information will be used for monitoring purposes only and will be treated as strictly confidential.

How to apply

Please take time to read all the following instructions carefully, together with the full job description below.

When you apply you will be asked to upload a covering statement in Microsoft Word format (the document must be in .doc .docx .txt or .pdf format and the maximum file size is 2 MB). You are advised to prepare this document in advance of making your application online.  Please also ensure that you have uploaded your CV as a separate document which you can do when you create an account or log in.  

In your covering statement you are asked to respond to the following questions. Please number your responses individually. Your covering statement should be no longer than two pages in total.

If you don't respond to these questions, we will not be able to consider your application. 

  1. Please tell us what attracts you to this role, and what you feel you can bring to it.
  2. Outline for us an exhibition and/or publication that you have successfully organised or curated. Please describe: i) the steps you took to organise it, ii) the challenges you faced and iii) how you went about resolving those challenges.
  3. Please analyse a photography exhibition, historical or contemporary, that you have visited and give us your view on its strengths and weaknesses, from: i) a curatorial perspective and ii) an audience perspective. 
  4. Please state: i) your current or most recent salary and benefits package; ii) your notice period or the earliest date you could start; and iii) where you saw this advertisement.

If you are applying for more than one role please upload your CV and then prepare your covering statement for each role as separate documents.



Job Details

Job Title:           Associate Curator, Media Space

Department:      Media Space

Location:           Science Museum

Reports to:        Exhibition Curator

Date:                 December 2014

Purpose of the Job

To play a key role in the team working to establish Media Space as a leading international venue for photography exhibitions and a centre for the study and understanding of photography

To contribute to the development and delivery of a programme of world-class exhibitions, publications and events at Media Space in both the Main Gallery (550 sq metres) and the Studio Gallery (350 sq m)

To work with Exhibition Curators and Head of Photography to increase access to the National Photography Collection, and to build and develop the collection through acquisition and donation

Key Deliverables/Accountabilities

  1. Proposes exhibition ideas in the context of programming discussions with Curators and Head of Photography
  2. Proposes ideas for accompanying programmes of talks and events and occasional external projects
  3. Researches and proposes acquisitions to develop the National Photography Collection
  4. Assists in the successful delivery of individual exhibitions to schedule, to budget and in line with audience targets
  5. Assists with updating and monitoring budgets, working to achieve best value for money; evaluating and communicating areas of risk in the development of the project, and ensuring that all necessary contracts are in place, and procurement is effected in line with Science Museum Group policy
  6. Assists Curator and liaises with Registrar CCI to ensure all loan requests are requested and administered to the highest standard.  Liaises with Registrar CCI to ensure Immunity from Seizure, insurance and transport is organised in a timely fashion. Liaises with Conservation to ensure that condition reports for incoming and outgoing works are in place
  7. Liaises with Gallery Manager, Conservation, registrar (CCI), and Visitor Experience to ensure the exhibition is organised, maintained and experienced to the highest standards
  8. Collaborates with communications, marketing and development to achieve highest impact campaigns ensuing that copyright clearances and permissions are in place as necessary
  9. Supports the development of Media Space income streams by contributing ideas, commissioning and editing content for publishing, web and limited editions and merchandise, and working with the Touring team in collaboration with Commercial
  10. Builds a national and international network of artists, dealers, collectors, international museums, freelance curators, and other potential supporters
  11. Writes grant and funding requests from Foundation and Trusts as requested
  12. Take care of your personal health and safety and that of others and report any health and safety concerns.  Ensure proactive compliance with Science Museum Group H&S Policies, including risk assessments and implementing safe systems of work

Working Relationships and Contacts

Media Space team

Colleagues across SMG and the galleries and museums sector

Living artists, major donors and funders

Line Management and Budget Responsibility

Management of contractors and freelancers from time to time

Supervision of volunteers and interns as required           

Budget Holder of c.£40,000 for individual projects

Candidate Profile


  • Previous experience organising art or photography exhibitions in public or private galleries
  • Some experience working on major loan exhibitions and publications
  • A curatorial interest in photography, which might include subject interests in one or all of: 19th century British and international; 20th century international, 21st century international, including film, video and digital.
  • Experience working with living artists and photographers in the commissioning and display of new work
  • Experience working as part of a project team working to deliver an exhibition programme in a fast paced environment

Skills, Knowledge and Relevant Qualifications

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work on complex projects and manage multiple priorities
  • A results-oriented, fast, accurate and effective working style
  • A passion for photography and art
  • Knowledge of another language desirable


  • Team Working: actively participates sensitively and flexibly as a team member
  • Achieving Results: takes initiative and ownership to deliver results within time, quality and cost expectations
  • Problem Solving & Creativity: discusses problems appropriately, exploring viable options to resolve issues
  • Customer Service: proactively responds to customer’s needs
  • Thinking: makes sound decisions based on effective analysis and exploration of options

Scope for Impact

Create and maintain a database of supporters and contacts, and nurture relationships in order to build a Collector’s Circle of supporters and donors to support acquisitions.

Major scope to contribute to the development of Media Space as a major art space with an international reputation

Please note:

  • This job description is not exhaustive and amendments and additions may be required in line with future changes in policy, regulation or organisational requirements, it will be reviewed on a regular basis.
  • This role is subject to a Disclosure Scotland basic criminal record check

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