Postdoctoral Associate Position in the Application of a Portable Laser Ablation Sampling Device and ICP-MS to the Analysis of Cultural Heritage Objects

at Yale's Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage

The Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH), at Yale University, is seeking a scientist at the postdoctoral associate level to focus on the refinement and application of a portable ultraviolet (UV) laser ablation micro-sampling tool for elemental and isotopic studies of glass and ceramic objects. The project involves the use of ICP-MS facilities at Yale's Department of Geology & Geophysics to quantitatively assess the performance of the existing prototype. Additionally, the postdoctoral associate will collaborate on the application of the sampling tool and analytical method to the study of objects, preferably made of glass, in the American Decorative Arts collection of the Yale University Art Gallery. This position offers the successful candidate the opportunity to work intensively with museum scientists, conservators, curators, scholars and students, while developing skills and experience that may be applicable in geology, mineralogy, paleontology, archaeometry, forensics, material culture studies, conservation science, etc.

Position and application information

The postdoctoral associate position is a full-time, 12-month position (renewable). The starting date is negotiable; a date in or before July 2019 is preferred. Salary will be based on Yale's guidelines for postdoctoral positions ( For a description of benefits, including health insurance, see Support for travel associated with projects is provided. This position is based at Yale's West Campus, on the border of West Haven and Orange CT, and at the Yale Metal Geochemistry Center on Central Campus. The position also requires visits to Yale's collections and conservation facilities on Central Campus. There is a free shuttle service between Yale's campuses.

About the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage

The Institute is a research collaborative, dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of material culture. Our research decodes art and artifacts, enabling scholars across disciplines to incisively interpret origins and histories. Fundamental to this work is understanding and managing change, especially deterioration and its detection, monitoring, and treatment. We also develop tools and methodologies that enable new modes of studying art and artifacts. Facilities include a variety of ED-XRF instruments, optical microscopes, FTIR microscope, Raman microscope, SEM/EDS, GC/MS, UV/Vis spectroscopy, and an array of accelerated aging and mechanical testing equipment. In addition to scientific laboratories, the IPCH also houses the Conservation Laboratory and the Digitization Laboratory, which are collaborative spaces providing infrastructure, equipment, and expertise to Yale's collections and researchers pursuing the examination, documentation and conservation treatment of objects. IPCH staff has easy access to the West Campus Materials Characterization Core, which includes XPS, FE-SEM-EDS, XRD and WD-XRF facilities. The Yale Metal Geochemistry Center includes two class ten clean rooms, two multi-collector ICP-MS systems, one single-collector ICP-MS system, and one multi-collector TIMS system.

Required qualifications

  • Completion of a PhD in the chemical, physical, earth or archaeological sciences.
  • Expertise with ICP-MS.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, organizational skills, and a desire to work collaboratively.
  • Curiosity about art, artifacts, or archival materials and an interest in engaging with museums and collections.

Preferred qualifications

  • Familiarity with geochemical analyses and isotopic studies is highly desirable.
  • Prior experience with the application of analytical techniques to cultural heritage objects is desirable but not required.

Application process

  • The closing date for applications is March 3, 2019; review will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
  • Applicants should submit a cover letter describing their interest in the position, a CV, and the names of and contact information for two references to Pablo Londero (, Conservation Scientist, Technical Studies Laboratory, Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage.

Yale University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. Yale values diversity among its students, staff, and faculty and strongly welcomes applications from women, persons with disabilities, protected veterans, and underrepresented minorities.

posted: 02 January 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.