Research Staff Member

Stellenausschreibung vom 14.09.2020

From 1. November 2020, in the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz – a federal government agency – at the Ethnologisches Museum of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz - the position of Research Staff Member (f/m/d), Pay group 13 TVöD, is to be filled on a permanent basis with the regular working times as specified in the applicable collective labour agreement (currently 39 hours per week). Civil servants may also apply.

The Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, with over one million objects, are among the largest and most important specialized museums devoted to non-European cultures worldwide. They preserve internationally important collections of tangible and intangible art and cultural artifacts from the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania.  

Both museums will present exhibitions in the Humboldt Forum. The displays there will be focused on the dialogue between the cultures of the world and current topics of global relevance from a range of perspectives.

The Ethnologisches Museum and the Musem für Asiatische Kunst are under a joint directorship. Both collections have their own specialist head.

We are searching for a curator for the Ethnologisches Museum’s collection from North Africa, West and Central Asia, which is of global importance. The very different societies of this vast cultural-geographical area are connected by the common religion of Islam. The collection consists of about 25,000 objects. Due to its extensive historical holdings, the collection has strengths relating to Central Asia (formerly West Turkestan). In addition there are important holdings from the neighbouring regions of Xinjiang (China), Afghanistan with Nuristan, Pakistan and Iran. The collection also includes extensive historical photographic holdings of over 20,000 positives and negatives.

Area of Responsibility:

Curatorial responsibility for the collections from North Africa, West and Central Asia: 

  • Scholarly documentation of the collection holdings, including in-depth research and studies of individual works; research on the materiality and the histories, societies, cultures and artistry of the collection objects (or their countries of origin); research into provenance, and publication and recording of the newly gained insights in the museum's digital catalogue system
  • Scholarly principles for the organisation and maintenance of the collections from North Africa, West and Central Asia
  • Maintaining networks with the countries of origin and the people and scholars from these countries in Germany as well as developing cooperative projects
  • Looking after the exhibitions on display at the Humboldt Forum and developing scholarly proposals for exhibitions and special exhibitions
  • Development of themes and proposals for publicly effective presentations of the collection holdings, special exhibitions or events, including accompanying publications on the collection area; if needed, selection of objects on loan/initiation of loan requests
  • Scholarly participation in the future Research Campus Dahlem
  • Assumption of interdisciplinary responsibilities in the Ethnologisches Museum


  • A completed university graduate degree (Master's, Magister, Magistra, Diplom (Uni) or a comparable qualification) in cultural and social anthropology (ethnology), art history or history with a relevant regional focus
  • Work experience in a museum
  • Experience in the development and coordination of exhibitions
  • Good national and international networks in the relevant fields.
  • Scholarly experience working with object provenances.
  • Good knowledge of German and English (at least B2 each)
  • Mastery of at least one main language from one of the regions of the collection (Arabic, Turkish, Persian)
  • Methodological competence for the independent development and evaluation of research topics in a larger scholarly context
  • Affinity for communicating about works of art in museums
  • Familiarity with the religion of Islam in its various forms
  • Organizational talent, communication skills, the ability to work in a team and to work under pressure


  • Doctorate with regional focus corresponding to the collection area

The Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz welcomes applications from people of all nationalities. As an interdisciplinary cultural and research institution, the SPK offers family-friendly working conditions and guarantees equality between women and men in accordance with the Federal Equality Act. Severely disabled persons are given special consideration, if they are equally qualified.
A part-time employment is also possible in principle.

Please send your full application materials by e-mail (preferably as a single PDF document), indicating the reference number SMB-EM-7-2020, to the following address by 12. October 2020:

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Personalabteilung, Sachgebiet I 1 e, Von-der-Heydt-Str. 16-18, 10785 Berlin - E-Mail:

If you submit a paper application, please send only copies of original documents, as we cannot return the materials unless you enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. 

Beamtinnen und Beamte are requested to submit a current (not older than twelve months) service evaluation.

Your data will be stored and processed as part of the application process. You can obtain more detailed information here:

Contact person for questions about the scope of responsibilities: Herr Dr. Fine  (Tel.: 030 - 83 01 355)

Contact person for questions regarding the application process: Frau Mischke  (Tel.: 030 - 266 41 1650)

This job advertisement is issued in German and translated for convenience into English. In case of differences between the texts, the German version of the notice is authoritative.

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