Creative Digital Media Specialist with The Media Majlis at Northwestern University in Qatar

Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), situated at Education City in Doha and a member of Qatar Foundation, is one of the twelve schools of Northwestern University, a leading non-profit research university founded in Evanston, Illinois, in 1851. Since 2008 NU-Q has offered Bachelor of Science degrees in Journalism and in Communication, as well as a certificate in Middle East Studies and a joint minor, with Georgetown University, in media and politics. In January 2017 Northwestern opened its new home in Doha, designed by the highly regarded architect Antoine Predock.

A focal point of this new building will be The Media Majlis, the first university museum in Qatar, the first museum in the Arab world dedicated to the content of media, journalism and communication, and the most digitally advanced museum in the region. Through active discussion and interrogation, the museum’s exhibitions will explore journalism, communication and media—pasts, presents and futures—with a global orientation that reflects the universal nature of media, overlaid with Qatar, Persian Gulf, and Middle East perspectives.

Historical perspectives will help visitors understand the media landscape but The Media Majlis will largely focus on present-day and future aspects and issues of journalism and communication, featuring interactive and digital components combined with physical objects. The museum will use extensive technology resources to take a future-orientated trajectory to all its work. This is an active space that brings people together, where exhibitions and programs challenge standard narratives with audiences. As an integral and integrated learning space within the university, The Media Majlis will make accessible and engaging experiences the priority, irrespective of audience.

As a future orientated museum The Media Majlis will feel different than other institutions in the region. Exploring the interplay between local, regional, and global perspectives means that the museum challenges standard narratives. It will pull audiences out of their ‘filtered bubble’ and offer polarities of opinion, broadening audiences’ diet of information. It draws back the curtain on media by exploring lesser-known angles alongside majority views.

Exhibitions aim to introduce and facilitate exploration of topics to better equip audiences to examine the world surrounding them, and engage with it. Audiences leave empowered and with a greater understanding and ability to themselves interrogate the media around them. Each exhibition will explore a narrow but deep, multi-faceted topic, be accompanied by publications, programming, courses, and online materials, amongst other engagements.

The Media Majlis is a bilingual museum, which will be open to the general public. The Media Majlis staff is a small international team, supported by, and working in collaboration with, the staff and faculty of one of the world’s highest ranked universities.

Position:  Creative Digital Media Specialist

The Media Majlis is looking to hire its lead creative and visual voice to create exhibitions with extensive technology. The Creative Specialist will work with curators to produce exhibitions which will challenge and engage audiences, and will push and question both subject matter, exhibitionary practices, and uses of digital media. The Creative Specialist will be a critical member of a small international team. Due to the place of the museum within a university, extensive production, IT, digital media, and related aspects, facilities, and staffing are already in place to support the museum’s work.

Working with extensive creative software systems, and a bespoke exhibitionary space, the Specialist will bring their background in gaming, gamification, digital design, and creativity to the creation of two exhibitions per year, including interactive, projection, responsive, and online content. This creative work will also be reflected in the display of each exhibition’s physical objects. Digital content will include born digital and digitized moving image (film, animation, video games, etc.), still image, audio and music, and created content (from exhibition specific interviews, to infographics), amongst other materials.

On a basic level the Specialist will direct and deliver layout and design of content within digital displays, use of sound, interactivity, and compliance with content copyright agreements. However, this position offers an expansive creative landscape for the Specialist to develop new digital-audience engagements which are both visually inspiring and experimental in storytelling, and in ways of sharing and exhibiting content. The Specialist is expected to challenge and push exhibition engagement with audiences, collaborate with internal and external entities, and question and expand what digital media can do within museum and exhibition environments.

Candidates should have an entrepreneurial outlook, be interested in exploring what exhibitions can be, and enjoy being challenged. Ideally candidates should have experience in a museum with in-gallery exhibitions (as opposed to solely online), or other exhibition-based institution.

The Creative Specialist will also act as liaison with the university’s Production and Digital Media, and IT, departments regarding equipment, repair, sourcing of new equipment, maintenance, and tracking of all equipment and maintenance.  The Specialist will work with The Media Majlis Registrar on recommendations for digitization processes for physical assets, including off-site digitization, 3D scanning and printing, and subsequent digital storage.

The Creative Specialist will report to the museum’s director, and contribute to budget creation, tracking and reporting, including recommendations on hard- and software updates, and equipment. The Specialist will work with student researchers and Masters placement/internship students as required. Active participation in conferences, publications and public speaking is expected of this position, which will also include exhibition-related program participation, and participation in university wide projects or committees.  This is a full time position, may involve frequent travel, and is open for immediate hire.

Position requirements:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in audio video, media technology, or comparable field and significant computerized interactive technology experience or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience
  • Three – five years of experience in exhibition and/or event style video production systems, media workflow, compression/video streaming technology, or computer based video production, effects, and post-production.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of media production software in both Macintosh and Windows environments (Adobe Creative Suite), and Christie (Coolux) Pandoras Box experience highly desirable.
  • Creative eye with interest in audience engagement with digital media, informal learning spaces, and desire to create new exhibition environments.
  • Strong analytical skills and exceptional teamwork and time management skills, demonstrated organizational skills, and ability to take initiative and work independently.
  • Fluent in English; ability in Arabic or French highly desirable.
  • Ability to lift/move and install equipment up to 20kg (approx. 44lb)
  • Proven knowledge of DVB/Mpeg standards.
  • Ability to travel

Highly desirable:

  • Masters, Graduate Certificate, or professional qualification in audio video, media technology, or comparable field and significant computerized interactive technology experience
  • Five plus years of experience
  • Work or study time spent outside of applicant’s home culture
  • Experience working with museums, exhibitions, archives or similar institutions
  • Experience with creative projects designed for audience end-user
  • Experience with museum DAM system
  • Experience working with budgets, and overseeing interns
  • Experience in a university, and working with faculty and students

Northwestern offers a highly comprehensive compensation and benefits package.

Application is via the Northwestern University Human Resources site:      Choose the ‘External Candidates’ option, and once myHR opens, choose Qatar from the Primary Location menu on the left to see all Qatar-based positions.  Closing date for applications is 15 April 2017.