Assistant Curator, Public (Farrell Centre)

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 21st Dec 2021
  • Salary: £22,254.00 - £28,756.00 pro rata
  • REF: 14961
  • Closes: 23rd January 2022
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Part Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £22,254.00 – £28,756.00 pro rata

Closing Date: 23January 2022

The Role

This post is a unique opportunity to work alongside the Centre Director in establishing the programme of a new public cultural institution dedicated to engaging the public with architecture and cities. Situated in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, the Farrell Centre project has been instigated by renowned architect-planner Sir Terry Farrell who donated £1 million to Newcastle University to establish the Farrell Centre in 2018. The building project to transform a late 19th-century building into the centre’s new home started on-site in Summer 2021 and is due to complete by the end of 2022.In the meantime, we are looking to launch a number of projects and initiatives taking place online or on location around the city and region, while planning the programmes that will take place on-site once the centre opens. The Assistant Curator, Public will support the Farrell Centre Director in all aspects of the planning and delivery of the centre’s publicly geared activities. These include an ambitious programme of temporary exhibitions, talks, lectures and seminars, ideas competitions, commissions, podcasts, videos and publications.

What is the Farrell Centre?

The Farrell Centre emerges from the belief that the forces shaping the present and future of cities – whether architectural, in the context of planning and public policy, technological and digital, economic and environmental, social and cultural – should be of vital public concern.

It takes inspiration from Sir Terry Farrell’s recommendation that every city should have an ‘urban room’ where citizens can actively engage with their city’s past, present and future, while connecting with and contributing to broader national and international debates around architecture and cities.The Farrell Centre will be a new type of public institution: part research hub, part civic space, part gallery and museum. It will run exhibition programmes, public talks and debates, organise workshops for schools, young people and community groups, make publications and commission projects.On its top floor, the Centre will also offer subsidised studio spaces for start-up companies working in the built environment, thus also helping nurture the next generation of architects, planners, artists, designers, filmmakers and other creative professionals.

The Farrell Centre will work in close collaboration with the Farrell Archive, which Sir Terry Farrell generously gave to Newcastle University in 2018 as a resource for research and public engagement. The Farrell Archive is the founding collection in a new programme of architectural archive acquisition at Newcastle University.

To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and a cover letter. Your cover letter should be a supporting document outlining why you are a good fit for the role. Please provide examples of how you meet the criteria outlined below.

The post is a part-time 18.5 hour permanent position.

For informal enquiries, please contact Owen Hopkins, Farrell Centre Director via email on

Key Accountabilities

Exhibitions and Events

  • Assist with the organisation and delivery of the Centre’s diverse programme of exhibitions and events. Contributing to exhibition/event conception and development.
  • Compiling and maintaining the exhibit list for each exhibition.
  • Liaising with lenders, including individuals and institutions, speakers and collaborators.
  • Working closely with architects and artists on commissioned projects.
  • Putting in place loan agreements with institutions and private lenders.
  • Working closely with exhibition designers, printers, plinth/vitrine/build fabricators as necessary.
  • Liaising with University insurers to ensure appropriate cover.
  • Booking transport and art handling support.
  • Liaising with conservators and preparing condition reports.
  • Playing a full role in exhibition installation and de-installation (e.g. assisting with hanging works, installing interpretation, lighting etc.)
  • Organising venue and IT or AV support where applicable.
  • Ensuring the delivery of a high-quality experience for speakers and visitors.
  • Ensuring regular briefing and liaising with Farrell Centre visitor experience team


  • Reporting to and working closely with the Farrell Centre Director, assist with the organisation and delivery of Centre projects such as ideas competitions, commissions, videos or podcasts.

Publications, Marketing and Communications

  • Supporting the Farrell Centre Development in all aspects of the production of publications.
  • Collating and editing content.
  • Researching images and clearing permissions research.
  • Writing marketing copy and uploading events to Farrell Centre website.
  • Provide images and content for the Architecture Planning & Landscape (APL) Marketing Officer and Faculty press officer as required.
  • Contribute to Farrell Centre social media.
  • Play a leading role in the production of the regular Farrell Centre e-newsletter.


  • Administrating programme budgets.
  • Arranging purchase orders, ensuring suppliers are paid etc. liaising with APL finance team where necessary.


  • Organise the ‘Public programmes working group’.
  • Develop opportunities for and manage volunteers and interns.

The Person

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Demonstrable knowledge of key issues and trends in contemporary architecture, design, art and visual culture
  • Excellent general IT, administrative and organisational skills
  • Excellent written English
  • Experience organising and delivering cultural programmes for public audiences / working in a public-facing cultural organisation / demonstrably equivalent setting.

Attributes and Behaviour

  • A passion for engaging the public with architecture and cities through a variety of means
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative, fast-paced, hands-on environment
  • Attention to detail in all aspects of work
  • Willingness to devote equal attention to both creative and practical aspects of the job


  • A qualification in a field or fields appropriate to the proposed activities of the Farrell Centre and/or curation practices.

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all. You can learn more about what is available here on ourBenefitsWebsite page.

Requisition ID: 14961

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