NAGPRA Grant Assistant (Anthropology Curator II)

  • Full Time
  • Temporary
  • DeKalb, IL

Northern Illinois University

The Department of Anthropology at Northern Illinois University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Anthropology and cares for large teaching collections in osteology and archaeology. The Pick Museum of Anthropology, which is a part of the department, cares for a collection of cultural heritage materials from around the world. Working under the chair of the department and the Pick Museum’s director, the NAGPRA Assistant will be responsible for initiating consultations with Tribes regarding the Native American human remains recently identified in our collections and prepare NAGPRA inventories of this material. The Assistant will also work with the newly established NIU NAGPRA Committee to develop policies for how to manage unaffiliated human remains in the collections. The NAGPRA Assistant will also review the museum and department’s archaeological material, initiate consultation with tribes, and complete summaries of these objects. In addition, they will catalog the department’s archaeological repository to review any Native American material. This is a one-year, grant funded position with an annual salary of $46,058 ($23.62/hr at 37.5 hrs/week).


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Reopens or initiates new consultations with Tribes regarding department archaeological, and osteological collections.
  • Identifying appropriate Tribal contact.
  • Preparing formal letters that clearly and concisely convey collections information and reason for contacting
  • Conducting follow-up conversations via email, mail, and phone.
  • Responds to requests for further information, which may include conducting additional collections research, compiling information, scanning and sharing department documentation, photographing department objects, conducting virtual collection visits, or assisting with in-person collection visits.
  • Conducts collections-based research, including examination of department archives, investigation into provenance and provenience of department objects andancestral remains, tracing the history of collectors and others associated with acquisition of department collections, and consulting with academic and community experts
  • Identifies collection areas requiring further consultation to establish cultural affiliation
  • Meets regularly with department chair and Pick Museum of Anthropology staff to review progress of grant project and discuss any issues.
  • Keeps accurate records of all activities, including collections research and consultations.
  • Prepares quarterly reports on progress of grant activities, including final report with recommendations for next steps.
  • In consultation with department chair and museum staff, drafts updated or new NAGPRA summaries and Notice of Intent to Repatriate.


Minimum Required Qualifications:

1. Any one or any combination totaling three (3) years (36 months) from the following categories:

a. college course work in anthropology, museum studies or a closely related field as measured by the following conversion table or its proportional equivalent:

  • 30 semester hours equals one (1) year (12 months)
  • Associate’s Degree (60 semester hours) equals eighteen months (18 months)
  • 90 semester hours equals two (2) years (24 months)
  • Bachelor’s Degree (120 semester hours) equals three (3) years (36 months)

b. work experience that provided knowledge of anthropology or museum studies and techniques used in the preservation, restoration, and/or exhibition of museum collections.

2. Two (2) years (24 months) of work experience in the profession of anthropology curation including the development, storage, security, and exhibition of anthropological artifacts.

Note: A Master’s Degree in Anthropology, Museum Studies, or closely related field may be substituted for one (1) year (12 months) of experience.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • MA in anthropology or related field.
  • Demonstrable understanding of the history and ethical issues of museum collecting practices and museum relations with Native American tribes.
  • Experience or demonstrated knowledge of NAGPRA regulations
  • Experience working with Native American tribes


Closing Date: 12/11/2023

Please see the official NIU job posting for complete details, including job responsibilities, qualifications and requirements, and for application procedures.

To apply for this job please visit