Funded PhD studentship: E –Curator: 3D colour scans for remote object identification and assessment

This project draws on UCL’s expertise both in curatorship and in e-Science. It takes advantage of the presence at UCL of world class collections across a range of disciplines and of a state of the art colour scanner, the quality of which is unequalled in the UK. The project aims to apply e-science technologies to museum work and artefact analysis, exploring the potential to capture and share in a secure and repeatable manner very large, detailed datasets about museum artefacts, thereby enhancing international scholarship and facilitating the safe movement of artefacts. The ability to share validated 3D colour data could facilitate object-tracking and condition checking, enabling curators and conservators to compare records collected at different institutions and stored remotely, or collected over a period of time under different conditions, in order to assess and monitor change. The project is jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).
The specific aims of the project are to:
* Develop a repeatable methodology for recording the surface detail and colour quality of a range of object types and materials
* Explore the potential for producing validated datasets that would allow closer and more scientific examination of groups of objects, the processes involved in their manufacture, and issues of wear and deterioration.
* Examine how the resulting datasets could be transmitted, shared and compared.
* To begin to build expertise in the use and transmission of 3D scan data as a curatorial tool.
The PhD student will work as part of a team to explore the usage of the developed tools and undertake re-scanning and comparison of the objects on a periodic basis. This work will form the basis of a 4 year PhD investigation of the abilities of 3D colour scanning and e-science based data sharing and visualization for the museum community. The studentship will be supervised by Sally MacDonald, Director of UCL Museums and Collections and will be based in the Institute of Archaeology.
To be eligible for a full award, which covers the cost of tuition fees and a maintenance grant (£14,700 in 2007/8), applicants should be normally resident in the UK. Applicants should have a good background in museum, material culture, conservation, heritage studies or archaeology at honours degree level (first/upper second), and preferably some post-graduate training or museums experience. A strong interest in cultural heritage technologies is essential and experience in computing will be an advantage. The studentship must start no later than 1 October 2007.

Application forms can be downloaded from:
or are available from:
Lisa Daniel, Graduate Programmes Administrator, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H OPY. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7679 7499, email:
Candidates should indicate on the application form under “Programme of Study” that they are applying for the AHRC-EPSRC-JISC Research Studentship.
Further information on the application process may be obtained by email from: Lisa Daniel (
The closing date for applications is 10 August 2007.