January 20, 2023

The University of Chicago: The Oriental Institute 


Chicago, IL 

Open Date 

Jan 12, 2023

Apply on Workday


Job Summary

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago seeks a Field Director for the Epigraphic Survey, the Institute’s permanent epigraphic expedition based at Chicago House in Luxor, Egypt. Reporting to the Director of the Oriental Institute, the Field Director leads an international team of professional photographers, artists, Egyptologists, conservators, archivists, and support staff dedicated to the Survey’s core mission of preserving Egypt’s monumental heritage through high-quality documentation, scholarly publication, conservation, and restoration. The primary responsibilities of the Field Director are the planning, implementation, and management of a range of epigraphic recording, conservation, and publication projects at several monumental sites in Luxor and its environs for which the Survey holds concessions from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities/Supreme Council of Antiquities, as well as appropriate fundraising to support that work. The Field Director is also responsible for the management of Chicago House, the Institute’s field research facility and staff residence during each year’s six-month expedition season, in addition to the management of the Survey’s office at the Oriental Institute. Review of applications will begin Monday, February 6, 2023. Applications submitted after this date may not be reviewed. We encourage interested applicants to submit materials as soon as possible.



  • Direct the Epigraphic Survey’s implementation of the Chicago House Method of epigraphic documentation, along with a wide range of other epigraphic documentation methods suitable for a variety of field environments, including the latest computer-aided recording techniques, to attain the highest standards of quality in epigraphic recording and publication. 

  • Direct and strengthen the work of the Epigraphic Survey staff by establishing and articulating clear short/long term goals and supervisory relationships across three core areas: artwork; epigraphy; and photography. Ensure research projects progress according to plan.

  • Prioritize and organize the Epigraphic Survey workflow to support the regular publication of major volumes while maintaining the highest standard of accuracy and quality.

  • Conceptualize and manage grant and funding applications, including applications to U.S. government grant programs, in close coordination with OI leadership and University Research Administration. Establish, monitor, and control sponsored project budgets.

  • Serve as the trusted, primary liaison with Egyptian government authorities, particularly the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Supreme Council of Antiquities, as well as with the Egyptological community, both Egyptian and foreign. 

  • Ensure compliance of research activities with institutional, state, and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives and mandates.

  • Manage the staff, property, and facilities of Chicago House, including the Chicago House library, the Institute’s field research facility, and staff residence during and between each year’s six-month expedition season.

  • Perform formal philological analysis of monumental hieroglyphic inscriptions of the Pharaonic and Ptolemaic/Roman eras and produce critical translations and commentary. 

  • Determine staffing requirements and, in accordance with University policy, manage contracting/hiring and personnel for University staff, contractors, and seasonal workers, both Egyptian and foreign.

  • Facilitate coordination between the Luxor- and Chicago-based Financial teams to support appropriate resource allocation, a participatory budgeting process, and efficient financial reconciliation procedures in compliance with University and sponsored award financial accounting policies.

  • Through frequent and regular contact, work effectively with the leadership, staff, and faculty of the Oriental Institute and University of Chicago, building consensus on and awareness of the Epigraphic Survey’s goals, progress, and challenges.

  • Establish, maintain, and deepen donor relations, working effectively with the Oriental Institute Development Office and Alumni Relations and Development to generate support for the fieldwork of the Epigraphic Survey. 

  • Manages the laboratory facilities, including the purchase of new equipment and the maintenance and repair of laboratory equipment.

  • Reviews research of others, and may conduct own research, in area of expertise. Edits and approves articles, reports and manuscripts. Presents research findings at meetings and/or conference. Manages the research of processes in clinical or non-clinical settings. Program and use computers to store, process, and analyze data.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • PhD or equivalent degree preferred in Egyptology from an accredited institution of higher education. 


  • Supervisory experience in an epigraphic documentation program in Egypt, with demonstrated ability to lead a field team composed of both foreign and Egyptian staff working in the context of the antiquities sector.   

  • Sole or joint authorship of scholarly articles on philological or epigraphic topics. 

Preferred Competencies

  • Willingness and ability to live and work at Chicago House, Luxor, Egypt, during the six-month field season, generally, mid-October through mid-April; and in Chicago during the summer months when Chicago House in Luxor is closed.

  • Functional command of Egyptian Arabic.

  • Deep familiarity with each of the phases of the ancient Egyptian language (Old, Middle, and Late Egyptian) commonly encountered in monumental hieroglyphic inscriptions of the Pharaonic and Ptolemaic/Roman eras.

  • Expertise in the iconography and historical development of the various categories of ancient Egyptian relief decoration commonly found in temples and tombs of the Pharaonic and Ptolemaic/Roman eras.

  • Expertise in the historical, religious, and mythological background of ancient Egyptian monumental texts and representations.

  • Excellent organizational and task-management skills.

  • Strong verbal and writing skills, high attention to detail and follow-up.

  • An exceptional work ethic and track record of personal initiative.

  • Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills characterized by the ability to listen, to speak, and to write well.

  • Ability to manage confidential information with discretion and tact.

  • Ability to work in a busy and diverse setting and manage multiple activities and priorities.

Working Conditions

  • International travel required, with approximately six months’ residency in Luxor, Egypt.

  • Must be able to lift and move loads appropriate to job requirements and be able to bend and work in a kneeling position for periods of time and in high dust, high dirt environments.

  • Must be able to climb stairs and ladders.

  • Must be capable of working at heights as required.

  • Must be able to enter and work within tight spaces.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letter (required)

  • Three professional references (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family


Role Impact

People Manager

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

 Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

 We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

 All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

 The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: http://securityreport.uchicago.edu. Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.