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Associate Curator

Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Feb 15, 2024

Job Details

Founded in 1764, Brown is a leading institution for education, discovery, and global intellectual progress as well as one of the largest employers in Rhode Island. Working at Brown brings more than just a paycheck and generous benefits; it offers an opportunity to contribute to a greater good. Join us in supporting the pursuit of knowledge and individual growth that defines higher education and enriches our community.

Job Description:

About Brown:

Brown University is a leading research university distinct for its student-centered learning and deep sense of purpose. Our students, faculty and staff are driven by the idea that their work will have an impact in the world.

Brown University offers a flexible work/life balance; summer hours, winter break and a comprehensive Benefits package including time off, annual paid holidays; benefits offerings including health, dental, vision, tuition assistance, retirement, wellness, employee discounts and more. To learn about Brown University’s benefits, visit the University Human Resources web page here for further information.

About the Opportunity:

The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology is Brown University’s teaching and research museum. A resource across the university, we inspire creative and critical thinking about culture by fostering interdisciplinary understanding of the material world.


The Associate Curator is based in the Curatorial Department and reports to and assists the Head Curator and Associate Director, focused on topics of repatriation, restitution, provenance research, and community connections. They are expected to provide subject matter expertise in one or more areas of HMA’s holdings, with a preference for North America, and work collaboratively with staff across departments to meet shared goals.

The main priority is to assist the museum's legal responsibility to comply with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (PL 101-601). This work involves documenting repatriation efforts, sending out summaries and other reports, consulting with tribal nations, helping evaluate claims, and facilitating physical repatriations. The Associate Curator serves on the museum's NAGPRA committee. The role's additional purpose is to advance provenance research and restitution response across all collections. The position works with collections, records, and the museum database to improve the accuracy and completeness of museum documentation. It generates and shares new knowledge about holdings and their significance through external research, collaboration, and consultation.

The role assists with inquiries related to its operational focus. This function includes responding to requests for information, consultation, and/or repatriation of ancestral human remains and cultural materials from the United States and around the world, requiring long-term relationship and trust-building. The role will respond to inquiries and help host visits, as well as coordinate work as needed across museum departments.

The Associate Curator contributes to Brown’s curricular resources in decolonial scholarship and professional practice through exhibition, teaching, and other modes of public engagement related to their operational focus and expertise. They will bring best practices and debates in the field to the museum and university community, including by fostering diverse perspectives within university spaces. The role will support—and may propose and lead—physical and digital exhibition and other modes of engagement.

The Associate Curator will advise senior leadership in their areas of expertise and also contribute to programming and special initiatives, such as grants. The position will manage and supervise Curatorial Assistants, students, and interns. The role undertakes other duties as required.


Education and Experience:
  • MA in a relevant discipline such as anthropology, archaeology, history, Indigenous or American studies or comparable work experience

  • Minimum 3–5 years related experience

  • PhD preferred

  • Previous experience with NAGPRA implementation required and knowledge of recent updates to federal repatriation legislation; other restitution work welcome

  • Experience working in North America and with sovereign tribal nations and tribal government representatives (exp., Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, designated NAGPRA representatives, tribal leadership); experience in multiple regions is preferred

  • Established relationships with North American Indigenous communities, other communities related to collections, or other groups historically underrepresented in museum or university settings welcome

  • Respect for sensitive and restricted knowledge, requiring attentiveness to university, legal, and cultural protocols and discretion

  • Knowledge of museum operations and critical debates in the field

  • Excellent research, writing, analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills

  • Knowledge of museum information standards, including relational collections databases

  • Attention to detail and excellent organizational skills; ability to manage time and meet deadlines

  • Commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Ability to travel as needed

  • Management experience preferred

  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team environment

  • Initiative and judgment to independently problem solve and, when needed, collaborate and seek guidance

Salary Grade:


Additional Information:

The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology consists of the Collections Research Center and Circumpolar Laboratory in Bristol, RI, and the Manning Hall Gallery in Providence. This position will need to travel between and budget time efficiently across these locations.

This is a full-time staff position with no departmental affiliation. However, qualified candidates may apply for departmental affiliation as a lecturer if teaching.

Open until filled. For fullest consideration please submit within two weeks of the Brown University posting date.

Recruiting Start Date:


Job Posting Title:

Associate Curator


Haffenreffer Museum


Grade 10

Worker Type:


Worker Sub-Type:


Time Type:

Full time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:


Position Work Location:


Submission Guidelines:

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

Still Have Questions?

If you have any questions you may contact .

EEO Statement:

Brown University is an E-Verify Employer.

As an EEO/AA employer , Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law, and caste, which is protected by our University policies.


Brown University

Founded in 1764, Brown is a nonprofit leading research university, home to world-renowned faculty, and also an innovative educational institution where the curiosity, creativity and intellectual joy of students drives academic excellence.

The spirit of the undergraduate Open Curriculum infuses every aspect of the University. Brown is a place where rigorous scholarship, complex problem-solving and service to the public good are defined by intense collaboration, intellectual discovery and working in ways that transcend traditional boundaries. As a private, nonprofit institution, the University advances its mission through support from a community invested in Brown's commitment to advance knowledge and make a positive difference locally and globally.

Brown is a leading research university, where stellar faculty and student researchers deploy deep content knowledge to generate new discoveries on those issues and many more. What sets their work apart? Collectively, Brown's researchers are driven by the idea that their work will have a positive impact in the world.

Brown students and faculty are tackling the nation’s opioid crisis. Planning the next Mars landing site. Uncovering the locations of ancient civilizations. Advising world leaders on new political models. Exploring new frontiers in multimedia arts. In each of their intellectual endeavors, our scholars and researchers are uncommonly driven by the belief that their work must — and will — have an impact in their communities, in society and the world.

We are a learning community grounded in a commitment of respect for the diversity of viewpoints that is fundamentally essential to intellectual discovery. We encourage the right of all individuals to express ideas and perspectives — and we embrace the value of vigorous debate in pursuit of knowledge.

Providence, Rhode Island — Brown's home for more than two and a half centuries — is a vibrant place to live, work and study, a stimulating hub for innovation, and a city rich in cultural diversity. 

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