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Senior Researcher (Towards a National Collection)

Historic Environment Scotland

Starting Salary: £41,867 per annum pro rata

Pay Band: E

Directorate: Commercial and Tourism

Location: Flexible homeworking location with regular meetings in Edinburgh and London

Line Manager: Rebecca Bailey, Programme Director

Contract Type: FTA until 31st January 2025

Working Hours: Part time 28 hours per week

Closing Date: Tuesday 2 November 2021, midday

Expected Interview Date: Monday 22 and/or Tuesday 23 November 2021

Thank you for your interest in the post of SeniorResearcher with Historic Environment Scotland. The post location is flexible homeworking with regular meetings in Edinburgh and London. This post is a pensionable and fixed term appointment from December 2021/January 2022 until 31 January 2025 and is tied to the grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for ‘Towards a National Collection’.

The Senior Researcher manages, undertakes, commissions, disseminates and reports on research for the externally funded, UK-wide programme ‘Towards a National Collection’.

About us

Historic Environment Scotland is the lead body for Scotland’s historic environment; a charity dedicated to the advancement of heritage, culture, education and environmental protection. We’re at the forefront of researching and understanding the historic environment and addressing the impact of climate change on its future. We investigate and record architectural and archaeological sites and landscapes across Scotland and care for more than 300 properties of national importance. We have a People Strategy, which is an overarching strategy to ensure we support and developstaff within the organisation.

Our Vision

Our vision is that Scotland’s historic environment is cherished, understood, shared and enjoyed with pride by everyone.

Our Priorities

  • The historic environment makes a real difference to people’s lives
  • The historic environment is looked after, protected and managed for the generations to come
  • The historic environment makes a broader contribution to the economy of Scotland and its people
  • The historic environment inspires a creative and vibrant Scotland
  • The historic environment is cared for and championed by a high performing organisation

Overview of the post and information about the team

In 2020 Historic Environment Scotland was awarded a substantial grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to deliver the programme ‘Towards a National Collection’. The programme is supporting research across the UK, developed and delivered by Independent Research Organisations and universities. The research is focusing on developing ways to virtually join up the collections of the UK’s museums, galleries, archives and heritage bodies in ways that allow new research questions to be answered and new public access to be enjoyed.

This post sits within the Towards a National Collection team, which comprises a Programme Director, the Senior Researcher and a Communications and Events Coordinator. This post will both undertake and commission key pieces of targeted research to underpin the programme and fill any gaps between the funded projects. In addition, the post will take the lead on developing and delivering a system to monitor and report on the progress of the funded projects and will have a key role in working with the Programme Director to prepare the overall programme report and policy recommendations. The post will require extensive liaison with funded projects across the UK and this will include travel and overnight stays.

Key responsibilities, duties and objectives

  • Undertake high quality original research into the structure, use and accessibility of online culture and heritage collections
  • Liaise with the Principle Investigators and digital development teams of the funded projects, both individually and in structured workshops
  • Analyse the objectives and outcomes of the funded projects and identify research gaps
  • Manage the commissioning of additional research to fill gaps in the funded programme
  • Develop and deliver a system to monitor and report on the progress of the funded projects
  • Synthesise the research and digital developments of the funded projects at regular intervals and provide updates to the Programme Director
  • Benchmark the work of the programme against national and international exemplars
  • Play a key role in working with the Programme Director on the final programme report and policy recommendations
  • Contribute to budget management, the design and content of public events, and the communication of the programme through presentations and blogs

Post Competencies

You will be assessed against these competencies during our selection process.

Core Competencies:

  • Delivering Excellent Service – Demonstrating a commitment to quality services
  • Teamwork - Contributing to and supporting working together
  • Planning and Organising - Putting plans and resources in place to achieve results
  • Communication - Communicating appropriately and clearly
  • Knowledge & Expertise - Applying and developing knowledge and expertise to achieve results (see below for specific criteria)

Management Competencies:

  • Achieving results - Focusing on the delivery of objectives
  • Leading a Team/Project/Task – Focusing on leading a Team/Project/Task or developing people

Knowledge, skills and experience

You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the requirements and qualifications as part of the selection process.

Essential requirements:

  • Sound understanding of current digital developments as they relate to online collections
  • Significant experience of undertaking and disseminating analytical research in the digital humanities field
  • Experience of working within or in partnership with the culture and/or heritage sectors
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to make complex information understood by non-specialists
  • A relevant degree level qualification

Desirable requirements:

  • Experience of undertaking research related to culture and/or heritage collections
  • Experience of budget management
  • A relevant doctorate level qualification

What we offer

We welcome applications from all nationalities, ensuring that they have the right to work in the UK and applying for a job with us could open the door to a unique work environment. It could also give you job satisfaction and excellent development opportunities, plus a competitive salary, 25 days paid holidays (rising to 30 days after 5 years’ service) and 11.5 public holidays a year – pro rata for part time staff.

In addition, we offer a great benefits package to our employees which includes:

  • flexible working hours (where appropriate)
  • special leave
  • maternity/paternity leave
  • adoption leave
  • reimbursement for relevant professional subscriptions
  • support for further education and personal development
  • study leave for work related courses
  • access to a learning resource centre

Health and welfare

We offer you access to:

  • our Employee Assistance Programme – for confidential advice and counselling
  • an occupational sick pay scheme
  • discounts at some local authority leisure facilities
  • interest free loans for bicycles and annual travel passes (see ‘season ticket’below)
  • reasonable adjustments when needed, as part of our Equalities policy

Staff discounts

You will receive:

  • free entry to all of our properties (with up to three guests)
  • free entry to English Heritage, Manx and Cadw properties
  • 20% off purchases in our retail outlets

Season tickets

You can receive an advance to help with the cost of buying an annual season ticket for travel between home and work. The advance is then repaid from your salary over the life of the season ticket. Available to all permanent and fixed-term staff. Historic Environment Scotland – Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SH

How to apply for this post

You can apply on-line by visiting our website at

Your application should arrive by the advertised closing date. Please note that when applying online, we will only be able to see your application once you fully submit it.

Guidance on completing the application can be found in the ‘Guidance notes for applicants’ document, also available at the above website, which we recommend that you read, in conjunction with this Job Description.

Your application must arrive by the advertised closing date. Please note that when applying online, we will only be able to see your application once you fully submit it. If you are unable to complete an online application form, please email, quoting the job title and recruitment reference, and we will arrange for an application form to be sent to you.

Please note that, as we operate an electronic recruitment system, we will contact you via the email address that you provide in your application to inform you of the outcome of your application. For further information about the post, please contact Rebecca Bailey, Programme Director, Towards a National Collection on 07585 988944 or

We welcome all applicants from under-represented groups within HES. We know from our equality monitoring that we need to increase our diversity in terms of ethnicity and disability.

We also want to address occupational areas where the ratio is disproportionately in favour of women or men. We ask all applicants to complete the Equality Monitoring section of the recruitment paperwork to help us pursue a diverse and inclusive workforce. In support of our Gaelic language plan we welcome applications from Gaelic speakers.

Location: Edinburgh, London
Salary: £41,867 to £47,574 per annum
Hours: Part Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 13th October 2021
Closes: 2nd November 2021
Job Ref: HES/21/132
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