Collections and Exhibitions Technical Specialist 4 (Senior Research Artist)

Penn State University

University Park Campus
Campus City:
University Park, PA
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
open until filled
Job Number:
Level/Salary Band:
04 – I – Exempt
Work Unit:
Office of the Vice President for Research
Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences
Full/Part Time:


The Huck Institutes for Life Sciences and the Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) invites applications for a designer to assist with the design and development of projects that represent scientific research and advancements. This new position will work closely with the Huck Institute’s Director of Science-Art Initiatives on the creation and implementation of SciArt projects. This position requires an understanding of the relationship between art, science and technology, and the ability to exploit each of these in different ways to create new artwork, artifacts, or other physical designs that will have a visual impact. Duties will include but are not limited to: consult with faculty to gather information and data that will be utilized to conceptualize the scope of the design and project; may include computer modeling to physical models that lead to a final project design; evaluate environmental and spatial conditions for the exhibition of artwork, artifacts, or other physical objects that may be displayed in various buildings, museums, or possibly in outdoor settings depending on the scope of the project; requires excellent time management and project scheduling skills to ensure deadlines are met; coordinate tasks with internal and external suppliers and manufacturers on fabricated artwork, artifacts, or other physical designs. The designer will collaborate and strategize with the scientific community at Penn State to communicate the science in an engaging way, through an artistic lens. The designer will assist in the design and development of interactive, innovative art installations using cutting edge technologies, based on scientific research. The designer oversees the production, installation, and maintenance of the installations and is primarily responsible for the production management of the SciArt projects, including: project planning, project scheduling, researching materials, processes, and technical methods; creating shop drawings; developing systems for successful fabrication and installation procedures; providing cost estimates. Also responsible for: identifying fabricators and/or independent contractors; ordering materials; quality control; delivery and transportation; and creating relationships with institutions interested in sponsoring installations for touring residencies. The designer will coordinate with engineers, architects, fabricators, & contractors to review design/shop drawings and other technical aspects of the installation, as well as ensure structural integrity and safety. Coordinates with facilities and Office of Physical Plant staff to ensure each project is in compliance with codes, and has been reviewed for fire safety, ADA compliance and other safety concerns. The candidate will have a comprehensive understanding of, and enthusiasm for, the arts and sciences, and expertise in installation art. Will have in-depth knowledge of contemporary art, the ability to analyze problems in terms of design and physical form, and the technical competence to translate a design into a built work. Must have extensive expertise coordinating all aspects of artwork production; demonstrated experience with various design and fabrication techniques; up-to-date knowledge of best practices in art production and handling; demonstrated experience managing complex projects and multiple staff/contractors; computer-based design skills (Adobe Creative Suite, Auto CAD, Sketchup, and Unity 3D); knowledge of augmented and virtual reality applications. Must have the ability to work well in a collaborative environment. Good budget and project management skills, attention to detail, and communication skills are essential. Typically requires a Bachelor's degree or higher (Master's degree preferred) or higher plus six years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Master’s in a design field (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Fine Arts or related field) preferred. This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with excellent possibility of re-funding

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088