Job offer at the Department of Botany of the Swedish Museum of Natural History!

Monday, 5 October, 2020

The Swedish Museum of Natural History is looking for its new head of the Department of Botany


Last application date: 25/10/2020

Reference number: 2.3.1-356-2020

About the workplace

The Swedish Museum of Natural History is one of the foremost natural history museums in the world, with extensive and unique collections managed by more than 245 employees. More than 11 million objects are curated in total. As a government agency, the museum has an annual volume of c. 650,000 visitors to its exhibitions and public events, and it is also a leading forum for meetings between researchers, science and the general public. The Swedish Museum of Natural History conducts research in the fields of geology, palaeontology, zoology, botany and the spread of environmental contaminants toxins in nature, and it offers a dynamic environment with internationally competitive laboratories as well as opportunities for collaborations across the boundaries of disciplines.

The Swedish Museum of Natural History is a strong academic environment and has the right to appoint professors. Doctoral students are supervised in collaboration with universities and higher education institutions, and the museum also accommodates postdoctoral researchers and guest researchers from all over the world. The Research Division has around 170 employees and consists of six departments. Its responsibilities include the museum's collections, to conduct basic research and applied research within its specialist fields, to perform commissioned activities, and to provide information and advice to the general public and other sectors of society.

The Department of Botany has around 25 employees, whose work involves research and managing collections of vascular plants, fungi, slime moulds, lichens, algae, mosses and bacteria, a total of more than 4.5 million items, of which 2.1 million are digitised. These collections have both scientific and cultural value and are in continuous use in the department's own research projects, but also by other researchers in Sweden and around the world. The research at the department is organism-centred and is based on natural history collections. It focuses on phylogeny, systematics, taxonomy, historical biogeography and phylogeography of land plants and fungi (including lichens).

Work tasks

As head of department, you will be responsible for the strategic work based on an overarching operational concept. Based on assignments and objectives, you will lead and delegate the work within the department in trustful interaction with your co-workers. You will plan, implement and follow up the activities in collaboration with Research Division management and the department's co-workers. You will have overall responsibility for the staff and budget at the department, as well as ongoing work on issues such as salary revision, performance reviews, and operational follow-up. You will also be part of the management of the Research Division and contribute to its long-term development.

Some current and important issues will be:
• Responsibility for collections management at the department in compliance with the museum's strategic plan, which includes work to strengthen the significance of the botanical and mycological collections for research and society at large, as well as to increase their digital accessibility.
• Support and contribute to the department's research in accordance with the strategic plan.
• Work for increased cooperation between the departments at the Research Division and the other departments within the museum.
• The department's premises will undergo a complete renovation over the coming years, and this means that staff and collections are moved to temporary premises. One important task will be to plan and implement the relocation, part of which will be to establish new working methods and routines.

Non-Swedish speakers are expected to acquire proficiency in Swedish within three years.


You are required to hold a doctoral degree, or equivalent, within one of the fields of botany or mycology preferably with a systematic focus. If you have competence as associate professor or equivalent and training in management, then this would be a merit.

You are also required to have extensive and documented experience in leading and planning activities at a collections-focused and/or research-intensive organisation, as well as in operations management, budgeting and financial follow-up at a larger organisation. You will need to have worked strategically and should have experience in leading change management based on an overarching operational concept. You are also required to have experience of applying for, leading and managing externally funded projects.

You must have knowledge and understanding of scientific research and scientific collections, and of their significance. You are also required to have good knowledge of English, verbally and writing. If you also have good knowledge of Swedish, verbally and writing, this would be a merit.

If you have experience of training and supervising within the field of botany or mycology this would be a merit. Experience of working with collections management and digitalisation and a well-developed international contact network within the field of botany or mycology, then this would also be a merit. Knowledge and understanding of Swedish public administration would be a merit.

To succeed in the position we believe that you:

- can identify visions and long-term goals, as well as to plan activities in collaboration with co-workers in order to achieve these visions and goals,
- have the ability to show/explain the way forward to others, as well as to make decisions, based on collaborative data analysis,
- have good interpersonal skills resulting in the ability to strengthen and maintain relationships and to help clarify the group's tasks and goals, and
- have the ability to delegate and demarcate, to designate powers and mandates.

In addition to your CV and personal cover letter, we request that you to attach the
five publications you consider most relevant to this position.

Scope of employment

Form of employment: Permanent employment

Scope: Full-time

Non-regulated working hours are applied for all managers. The position is a full-time permanent employment with a 6-month probationary period of employment. Start date by agreement.

See full job description description here.