Consultant opportunity - Aligning Heritage Science to the Science Curricula

The National Archives (TNA) with the National Heritage Science Forum (NHSF) seek a consultant to research the connections between heritage science research and applications and the national curricula of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Heritage science is the application of science and technology to the understanding and long- term management of heritage, and people’s engagement with it. The field encompasses many disciplines, for example conservation science, archaeological science, and materials science.

The National Archives and other members of the National Heritage Science Forum have a shared vision to develop and sustain a skilled and diverse heritage science community. This ambition is central to the Strategic Framework for Heritage Science in the UK. To achieve our goal, we believe that engagement with heritage science at school age will provide more equitable opportunities for young people to discover heritage through scientific research, encourage them to think about the breadth of applications of STEM, and to consider career opportunities as a scientist or heritage scientist.

The objective of this project is to research the alignment between five areas of heritage science research and its applications and the science curricula of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland at key stages 1-2/P2-P7 (5-12). This research will demonstrate how heritage science can support the delivery of the national curricula and as a consequence, how heritage can be used to demonstrate the integral relationship of the sciences and the humanities.

The project will build on existing research (for example, the Pye Tait research for Historic England on the built historic environment, work by Historic Environment Scotland to support the Curriculum for Excellence through The Engine Shed, or Historic England’s Heritage Schools programme which links to the English history curriculum). We are particularly keen that the research considers the opportunities provided by moveable heritage, i.e. heritage held in archives, libraries, museums and similar organisations. The consultant will be supported by a small working group drawn from members of NHSF and others in the heritage science and education field who will help identify existing resources and five key areas that heritage science can be mapped against the science curriculum.

The key outputs required from this research are:

  • Final report encompassing the findings of desk-based research and interviews. Report to be delivered in Word and pdf formats.
  • A matrix showing how heritage science research/applications maps to the UK national science curricula; incorporating a list of existing resources and how they map to the science curriculum
  • A presentation summarising findings to TNA and NHSF members

The research outcomes will assure a good understanding of the national curricula by the heritage science community through a clear framework (matrix) that shows how heritage science can deliver aspects of the curricula which can be used by learning providers to develop learning resources.


The budget for this work, inclusive of expenses is £4,800 ex. VAT


Work on this project should start the week of 21st February and all outputs should be delivered by 31st March 2022.

How to respond

If you are interested in undertaking this piece of research please email detailing your relevant experience and method outline by February 13th 2022 23:59. We envision to shortlist four candidates for an online interview February 18th 2021.

The full brief and further information on how to apply is available here: Consultant Brief - Aligning Heritage Science to the Curricula (pdf)