skip to content

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

SALARY: £26,715 - £30,942 per annum pro-rata


CLOSING DATE: 23 July 2021

INTERVIEW DATE: 27 July 2021

CATEGORY: Research



Contested African Heritage at MAA: Tracing histories, establishing provenance

Fixed term: The funds for this position are available for 6 months (full time).

The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) is looking for a Research Assistant starting September 2021 for 6 months to work with Dr Mark Elliott, Curator in Anthropology, on a project to research provenances and collection histories of artefacts from Africa in the MAA collections. Working with archival documents and resources produced by the MAA Stores Move project, you will trace the biographies of collectors and donors, their activities in Africa and the circumstances of acquisition, and the routes taken by objects to Cambridge. You will work with MAA staff, students and volunteers to better understand the collections cared for by MAA, update catalogue records and produce accessible online content.

This post is ideally suited to candidates with a background in history and/or anthropology, an interest in and understanding of museum collections, particularly from East Africa and West Africa, and experience of working with historical archives. You will be able to work independently and solve problems, be proficient in a range of IT programmes including databases, and have boundless enthusiasm for deciphering handwriting and following up leads in historic correspondence and museum documentation. A commitment to improving understandings of the colonial legacies of museum collections and sharing them with new audiences is essential. 

MAA is working with partners in the University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) on the upcoming programme on Legacies of Empire (2022-2023) and the Enslavement and Empire exhibition (2023). It is hoped that the post-holder will contribute to these projects, as well as supporting plans for the future care and interpretation of the African collections at MAA.

The position will be based at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge, with the possibility of travel within the UK to access relevant archives. 

Further information about the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and its collections can be found at

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a basic disclosure (criminal records) check, a health assessment and a security check.


This post is advertised as full time, but applications for part time roles will be considered. The possibility of a shared role would also be considered, subject to the agreement of all parties.

MAA and the University of Cambridge Museums are committed to inclusion and diversity within our institutions and across the sector, and we particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic candidates as they are under-represented within the Museum and the University.

Informal enquiries are welcomed: please email Dr Mark Elliott on  Queries about the application process may be addressed to the Faculty HR Team: 

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button on the University of Cambridge job opportunities page for this vacancy at

This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already done so) and log in before completing the online application form. The University page also has a link to further information about the role.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a covering letter, which clearly addresses how you meet each of the selection criteria outlined above, in the Upload section of the online application, together with the details of two referees (including email address and phone number, one of the referees must be your most recent line manager). If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.


The closing date for applications is: Friday 23 July 2021.

The interview date for the role is: Thursday 29 July 2021. Applicants are asked to be available on this day.

Please quote reference JU27329 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.