A position as Researcher in conservation and restoration of wall paintings at The National Museum of Denmark

Application deadline: 05-08-2024

Denmark has a large concentration of medieval wall paintings preserved in churches. It is a national obligation to protect and preserve this unique cultural heritage for the insight and enjoyment of current and future generations. In a time of climate change and alternative use of the churches, this work is more challenging than ever. The National Museum organizes the ongoing documentation and condition assessment of the paintings and carry out research into new materials and techniques for restoration.

On the National Museum’s website ‘Danske kirkeudsmykninger‘, there is a nationwide overview of the Danish mural paintings from around the year 1100 to the present day. The website contains over 40,000 images of more than 10,000 wall paintings and altar decorations in approx. 950 churches.

Job description

The Researcher will:

  • carry out the National Museum’s pilot studies of wall paintings, including cases involving complex conservation issues. The pilot studies consist of documentation and condition assessment of the paintings’, as well as setting out guidelines for their conservation in a cultural-historical professional manner
  • develop and carry out research projects within the field of conservation and restoration of wall paintings in churches
  • publish the results in international peer reviewed journals
  • apply for and obtain external funding for research projects and/or consultancy work
  • contribute to the overall fulfilment of the museum’s strategy (https://en.natmus.dk/organisation/management-secretariat-and-research-administration/) including communicating the subject to the public both orally and in writing


We are looking for a candidate who:

  • holds a PhD in conservation of wall paintings or similar
  • has a profound knowledge and experience in all disciplines within the conservation of wall paintings in Denmark and the Nordic countries. This includes, documentation and condition assessment, preventive conservation and restoration methodology, which together form the basis for proposals with estimates and quotations
  • has a proven record of international publications
  • will apply for and obtain external funding for research projects and/or consultancy work in collaboration with internal and external partners
  • has an aptitude for collaboration and coordination across disciplinary boundaries, and an innovative approach to research in conservation of wall paintings
  • is prepared to engage in wider academic and comparative discussions of cross-disciplinary relevance
  • has good communication skills, and is willing to work with new ways in which the subject area can be communicated to the general public
  • can maintain an overview and is good at completing tasks within set deadlines
  • has knowledge of material use and work processes for the maintenance of traditional masonry structures
  • can read, write and speak Danish fluently. Reports on pilot studies of wall paintings must be written in Danish and contact with public authorities, architects and executive conservators is in Danish
  • has a valid driver license category B

Terms of salary and employment

The working hours are 37 hours a week. Terms of pay and employment are determined in accordance with the collective agreement for academics employed by the Danish state and executive order of 30 October 2015 on the job structure for academic staff with research responsibilities in archives, libraries, museums etc. under the Danish Ministry of Culture.

The appointment of a Researcher is a part of a tenure track, where the candidate after no more than 4 years will be assessed by an expert assessment committee. If the evaluation is positive, the candidate will transfer to a position as Senior Researcher. In case of two non-positive evaluations, the Museum will proceed with a termination of employment.

The position as Researcher is expected to be filled by the 1st of November 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The place of employment is The National Museum, the Section of Environmental Archaeology and Materials Science, I.C. Modewegs Vej 11, Brede, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby.

The position will involve significant travel activity to churches throughout the country and, by agreement with the immediate manager, participation in international conferences and seminars. Approx. 12 weeks per year.

Application procedure

The National Museum is actively working to promote equality among employees and encourages all qualified, regardless of personal background, to apply for the position.

The application is to be submitted in English, as members of the expert Assessment Committee may not be able to read Danish. The application must include the following:

  • Letter with motivation for the application including ideas for a research plan for the position (max. 2 pages in total)
  • Curriculum vitae, incl. education, language skills, record of public dissemination and other skills relevant for the position
  • Complete list of publications (mark the publications sent in for evaluation)
  • Copies of 3 publications to be considered in the assessment. Full copies must be sent by post or uploaded as pdf (maximum size pr. file 2 mb) via the electronic recruitment system. Links to publications are not accepted
  • Copies of university exams, Master diploma and PhD certificates or equivalent
  • Transcript of university exams into English, if not written in English, Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish

If a publication to be considered in the evaluation has more than one author, or is the result of a collective effort, it must be clearly specified which part of the publication the applicant is responsible for. In the absence of a specification, the expert Assessment Committee will disregard that publication(s).

Applications must be sent via the electronic recruitment system on our website www.natmus.dk/job and must be uploaded by the 5th of August 2024.

Any publications to be included in the assessment must be received by the National Museum on the 5th of August 2024. Publications can either be uploaded to the recruitment system or sent to Nationalmuseet, Frederiksholms Kanal 12, DK-1220 København K, Denmark, marking the envelope ‘Personale’. Publications sent to the Museum must be submitted in 3 copies. Only books or similar will be returned.

The National Museum of Denmark will set up an expert Assessment Committee with external participation to evaluate the applications. When the Committee has completed its assessment, each applicant will receive the part of the overall assessment that specifically refers to her/him. Qualified applicants will be invited for interviews in a panel set up by the Museum.

For specific questions about the position, please contact Deputy Director Lars Højer, lars.hojer@natmus.dk, phone +45 41 20 69 05 or Head of Preservation and Conservation Eva Bøje Nielsen, eva.boje.nielsen@natmus.dk, phone +45 41 20 65 70

Nationalmuseet er Danmarks kulturhistoriske hovedmuseum og et statsmuseum under Kulturministeriet. Nationalmuseet styrker historiebevidsthed og medborgerskab ved at belyse Danmarks og verdens kulturer og deres indbyrdes afhængighed. Ca. 655 medarbejdere er fordelt på 4 afdelinger: Forskning, Samling og Bevaring, Museer og Slotte, Nationalmuseet København samt Drift og Administration. Se mere om Nationalmuseet på www.natmus.dk