Research is core to our activities as a Museum, crucial to our stewardship of collections and to the intellectual development of subject knowledge.

Research is fostered through curatorial work, enquiries, projects and grants undertaken with other institutions and universities worldwide. It is communicated to the wider public through temporary and permanent exhibitions, lectures, conferences, as well as workshops, and social media. Research is essential to the dynamic reappraisal of our collections and knowledge about art, society and the world around us. The research we do has national and international relevance. 

Curatorial departments conduct research programmes across the broad range of collections disciplines. Many members of staff hold honorary or adjunct positions in universities leading to doctoral programmes and are involved in university teaching and examining.

The research programme is guided by the Research Strategy Group, a senior management committee. It includes the Director, the Directors of Collections and Public Programmes, Trustee representatives with university experience and all heads of collections departments who drive research. Meeting regularly, it encourages research activity and gives it strategic focus. 

Current research

Find out more about on-going research projects at National Museums Scotland.

Highlights of previous projects

Explore past research projects at National Museums Scotland.
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Discover the story of Scottish pop music as we take you on a musical journey from the 1950s to the present day in our new exhibition.

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