Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

Exhibit Content Developer [California Academy of Sciences]


Reporting to the Associate Director of Exhibit Content Development, and working as part of an exhibit team, this position plays a key role in development of new Academy exhibits. The Exhibit Content Developer is responsible for creating engaging scientific content and developing successful interpretive strategies for Academy exhibits, researching and writing exhibit and aquarium labels, and collaborating with Academy colleagues to develop exhibit interactives and media.


  • Responsible for assigned exhibit development projects. Conduct content research and develop interpretive strategies for assigned exhibits. Includes literature review, visitor research, theme and topic development, brainstorming with other team members.
  • Collaborate, communicate progress, and coordinate work with cross-functional teams including project managers, designers and developers, scientists and other subject matter experts, collections staff, educators, and other Academy staff.
  • Research and interpret science information, images, objects, tools, and technologies. Develop exhibit content for delivery through text, images, interactives, video, and audio. Includes writing lively text for labels and scripts; editing, revising, fact-checking, and proofreading; researching, selecting and helping to secure specimens, artifacts, images, diagrams, video, and other educational resources.
  • Serve as an audience advocate, striving to create exhibit experiences that make science engaging, surprising, and compelling for broad audiences.
  • Ensure that exhibit goals, objectives, and key messages are clearly established, reviewed at specified points in the process, achieved in the exhibit, evaluated and redressed by remediation, when practical.
  • Facilitate content review by in-house staff and outside consultants and incorporate feedback; coordinate distribution of exhibit content summaries and updates.
  • Follow and contribute to the Academy’s exhibit development process.
  • Ensure timely completion of work so that exhibits are done on time and within budget.
  • Stay current in exhibit development field to pursue best practices, initiate relevant partnerships, and serve new audiences.
  • Follow Academy safety regulations.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Please submit your cover letter and resume online at Note that the recruitment timeline for positions vary and depend on many factors, so it is impossible to accurately predict when a position will close. We appreciate your patience during this process. No phone calls please.

Job Requirements


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


The ideal candidate will possess a combination of the following education and/or equivalent experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, museum studies, or related field; Master’s degree preferred.
  • 3-5 years of experience in exhibit development for informal science or similar setting.
  • Gifted science communicator and storyteller with demonstrated experience in research and science writing for diverse public audiences.
  • Experience at successfully handling multiple projects simultaneously and meeting tight deadlines.
  • Thorough understanding of exhibit development process, design principles, and concepts.


  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and ability to write clearly, concisely, and imaginatively.
  • Ability to work successfully in a team environment as well as independently.
  • Ability to balance multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to develop thematic structure for exhibits using a variety of methods and techniques that communicate concepts to general audience(s).
  • Ability to read and understand scientific literature.
  • Knowledge of exhibit evaluation methods in informal education settings.
  • Knowledge of conservation factors and proper presentation of artifacts.
  • Knowledge and skill in museum exhibit methodology.
  • Detail-oriented and accurate.
  • Skilled in using Microsoft Office and other digital media tools and equipment to create and manipulate text documents, spreadsheets, images, and other digital assets. Some familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite is a plus.
  • Ability to ensure that exhibit content is intellectually and emotionally engaging. Exhibits should have a “fun” or “Wow!” factor that will drive attendance to the Academy.


  • Ability to read and interpret floor plans and elevations, safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.
  • Ability to speak effectively before groups or individuals.
  • Ability to write persuasive reports and correspondence.


The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, and reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear. Must be able to perform repetitive motions 75% of the time. Must be able to lift 20 lbs.

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.

The California Academy of Sciences is a non-smoking facility. Smoking is also not allowed anywhere in Golden Gate Park.


  1. Brent Linville

    May 29, 2013 at 12:43 pm


    My name is Brent Linville. I have a B.S. and M.S. in Biological Sciences and am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in science education. I have been involved in informal education for many years now and working within a science and/or natural history museum is my ultimate career goal. I started the pursuit of my Ph.D. in science education because I wanted to work in a science and/or natural history museum setting. What I exactly wanted to do within that setting I did not really know until I got an opportunity through the Adventure Science Center in Nashville, TN that allowed me to develop my own temporary exhibit that conveyed my science research to the public. I now know that I want to be responsible for designing and developing exhibits that are accurate, current, educational and entertaining. I feel like my life has finally steered me into this concrete direction and I fear that my current Ph.D. will not necessarily prepare me for obtaining a job such as this. Most of the job openings that I found wanted some sort of a science education background, however they wanted a rather large amount of experience with exhibit design. How can I get this experience without having a museum studies or design background?

    Thank you so much for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

    Brent Linville

  2. Hello Brent,

    I am in a very similar boat and was wondering the same thing. Did you ever get a reply?



  3. Hi Sarah (and Brent)
    That is a great question. I think you are likely to get more useful advice from a discussion forum — this blog is student-run and while we try to encourage people to use the blog as a place for discussion, it doesn’t always happen. I recommend the American Alliance of Museums group on LinkedIn or a group specific to your content interests such as science museums.
    Good luck with your searching,

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