Principal of Research (m/f/d) who will concurrently be Director of the Museum for Art and Cultural History Schloss Gottorf

On the idyllically located Museum Island in Schleswig, the imposing Schloss Gottorf, home to the Schleswig-Holstein State Museums Foundation Schloss Gottorf, dominates the landscape. The Schloss is also a landmark in Schleswig, a town distinguished by its unique location on the Schlei, a Baltic Sea fjord, and a high quality of life. Situated in Schleswig-Holstein, the so-called “echter Norden” (true north), the location of the foundation’s headquarters is defined by this unique region’s proximity to Scandinavia, enabling attractive cultural and creative connections to it, as well as partnerships across Northern Europe. The inclusion of the Danewerk border earthworks and Haithabu, a Viking trading post, in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2018 represent a conspicuous symbol of the region’s cultural development.


Schleswig-Holstein State Museums Foundation Schloss Gottorf is seeking to appoint a


Principal of Research (m/f/d)

who will concurrently be Director of the Museum

for Art and Cultural History Schloss Gottorf.


The Schleswig-Holstein State Museum Foundation Schloss Gottorf (SHLM), a foundation under public law established in 1999, is the most important museum authority in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. In focusing on art and cultural history, archeology, as well as Jewish life and folklore, the foundation’s museums tell the history of Schleswig-Holstein and its people from the Stone Age through to the present. Over 450,000 visitors per year make the foundation one of the largest and most important cultural institutions in Schleswig-Holstein and Northern Germany.


Your responsibilities:

As the Principal of Research, you and the Commercial Director will be leading the foundation jointly as peers. The comprehensive management responsibilities of the Principal of Research include, in particular, overseeing the future direction of the foundation in terms of content and strategy, oversight of human resource and organizational matters, reporting to the board of trustees, and representing the foundation in the public sphere, to sponsors, partners, and research institutions, as well as within the political arena and the state’s administration. The Principal of Research is concurrently Director of the State Museum for Art and Cultural History Schloss Gottorf. Your immediate area of responsibility also includes the development of exhibition concepts and content, for the Jewish Museum in Rendsburg and the Ornamental Cast Iron Art Museum in Büdelsdorf.


This results in a wide range of creative freedom, encompassing the following significant responsibilities:


Responsibilities as the foundation’s Principal of Research:

·         Strategic development of the foundation’s work and development of its thematic priorities

·         Planning of content and defining the museum concept, the museum’s areas of focus, and exhibition program

·         Representing the foundation internally and externally, liaising with committees, representing the foundation on the art and cultural scene, in the arenas of politics, business, and research, as well as in an international context

·         Collaborating with other museums, collaborating on research with universities as well as nationally and internationally relevant institutions

·         Acquiring third-party funding

·         Managing education and outreach for all the foundation’s museums

·         Development and review of target agreements and quality management


Responsibilities of the Director of the State Museum for Art and Cultural History:

·         Human resources management

·         Planning, conceiving, and implementing of an imaginative and high-quality program of exhibitions and events to national and international standards

·         The concept for and further development of the permanent exhibitions

·         Expansion, maintenance, research, and conservation of the collection

·         Development of research projects

·         Audience development and meeting the challenges of demographic change

·         Scrutiny of offers of gifts and loans, working with preeminent lenders of exhibits


Your profile

You are a flexible, highly communicative, and team-oriented leader with the relevant professional experience who is able to continuously expand the foundation, providing dynamic ideas and impetus. As a result of your confident and convincing presence, you will be able to effectively represent the foundation, jointly with the Commercial Director, to foundation committees and stakeholders from the fields of research, business, culture, and politics in both national and international situations. You will have an academic qualification, preferably a doctorate, and you will also be willing to teach at the Christian Albrecht University, Kiel (CAU).


·         Several years of museum experience in management roles and with budget responsibilities

·         A professional involvement in (international) exhibition work entailing a wide-ranging network of contacts on the national and international museum scene

·         Relevant studies at university in the fields of art history and / or cultural history, preferably with a focus on Northern Germany and / or Northern Europe or a comparable qualification

·         Openness to and understanding of the other key areas the foundation is involved in (archeology, folklore, Jewish life, etc.)

·         Strategic thinking skills and the ability to address current challenges and issues relevant to future developments in museum work such as digitization and environmental sustainability

·         The ability to employ contemporary methods in the various fields of museum work, especially education and outreach work

·         Knowledge and experience in strategies of addressing and securing target groups

·         Abilities in organizational development, management of change, and the overseeing of a decentralized institution

·         A highly developed proficiency in leadership and strong communication abilities, as well as social skills, and the ability to work in a team

·         Pronounced skills in networking and maintaining contacts as well as in communicating with a range of stakeholders

·         Experience in acquiring third-party funding and administrative talents

·         An ability to manage cultural real estate

·         Diversity management skills

·         Excellent written and spoken English, and ideally proficiency in a Scandinavian language


We are offering:

·         A position with responsibility in one of the most important museum complexes in Germany with wide-ranging creative freedom

·         An appointment initially limited to 7 years with the option of re-appointment

·         The opportunity of being an (honorary) fellow at the Christian Albrecht University, Kiel (CAU) if the relevant requirements can be met

·         An attractive place of work in a region offering outstanding recreational opportunities

·         Proximity to and the opportunity of interacting with neighboring Scandinavian countries


The foundation actively promotes equal opportunities for all people. As a result, we welcome applications from people regardless of their cultural and social origin, age, gender, religion, worldviews, disabilities, or sexual identity.

Severely disabled applicants will be given priority if they are equally qualified, taking into account all the circumstances of individual cases.


Please apply by January 9, 2022 with detailed application documents (letter of motivation, curriculum vitae, and educational certificates), in a PDF file (max. 10 MB) to the personnel consults KULTUREXPERTEN Dr. Scheytt GmbH by email (, quoting the reference KEX_3255.


By submitting your application, you are consenting to your personal data being stored and processed for this application process. It is possible to revoke such consent at any time.

If you have any questions, Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheytt and Annika Meyburg can be contacted at the above e-mail address or by telephone on +49 201 822 89 162.