Postdoctoral Analytical Chemist in Art Museum Science Lab

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City, New York (US)
$58,500 + full benefits
Closing date
Jan 1, 2022

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Field of specialization
Analytical, Environmental, Materials
Work Function
Job Type
Full time
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Job Details


Conducts research using advanced analytical scientific instruments, techniques, and literature investigations to identify and quantify reactive volatile components of 40 commercially available materials with the purpose of developing a set of chemical solutions for benchmarking materials test methods. This research is the core of a 3-year Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership grant focused on establishing benchmarking tools for the tests used in the cultural heritage field for identifying materials for the display, transport, and storage of collections. This research associate will work in tandem with a second research associate in the Preventive Conservation Science Laboratory (PCSL) under the supervision of the Environmental Research Scientist.


  • Establish methods and protocols for identifying and quantifying the reactive volatile components of commercial products using analytical tools at the Met and, when necessary, local universities.
  • Collaborate with Germany’s BAM institute to conduct BEMMA testing on each material.
  • Determine the concentration of a subset of the reactive chemicals present in each product and subject those chemicals to Oddy and paper-testing.
  • Establish the levels of corrosion or tarnish produced by the materials and relate the chemicals and their concentrations to the limits for the three levels of degradation commonly used in the Oddy test (permanent, temporary, or unsuitable).
  • Purchase and utilize electrochemical stripping tools and methodologies to quantify the degree of metal corrosion on copper, silver, and lead coupons.  Correlate degree of corrosion with chemical concentration.
  • Utilize x-ray diffraction tools to identify the phase of corrosion observed on copper, silver, and lead coupons.  Correlate phase of corrosion with chemical reactants.
  • Establish benchmarking chemical solutions and provide solutions to at least 10 other institutions or individuals that also conduct materials testing using the Oddy test.
  • Collaborate with PCSL staff, research assistant, and steering committee throughout project.
  • Maintain analytical tools as needed throughout project.
  • Document novel methods and operating procedures.
  • Prepare manuscripts for publication in peer reviewed scientific journals.
  • Prepare and present results at national and/or international conferences.
  • Document and share results on the AIC’s Materials Testing wiki site, developing a benchmarking page for the site in collaboration with contracted web developer.
  • Other duties as assigned


Fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine (or approved for an exemption as a reasonable accommodation due to a disability, sincerely held religious belief, or pregnancy, or because you are a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sex offenses).

Experience and Skills:

  • Demonstrated expertise in advanced liquid or gas chromatographic analytical techniques such as GC/MS, HPLC, or ion chromatography (required).
  • Development and implementation of testing methods and protocols for volatiles analysis, ideally the identification and quantification of unknowns.(required).
  • Experience quantifying the concentration of volatiles in complex mixtures.(preferred)

Knowledge & Education:

  • Ph.D. in analytical chemistry, materials science, related disciplines, or equivalent experience.
  • 1-3 years of experience in quantification of volatile unknowns, air quality testing, or chromatography-based testing and analysis.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art collects, studies, conserves, and presents significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas.

The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Since it was founded in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum's galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.

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