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Project Editor

Royal Academy of Arts
Art Museums and Institutions, Art Publishing
   Location: London
   Salary: Up to £29,000
Experience: 3 years +
  Organisation: Royal Academy of Arts
Deadline: 02/02/2020

About the Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is one of the UK’s foremost arts institutions. We are best known for our world-class programme of exhibitions, including David Hockney RA: A Bigger PictureAnselm KieferAi Weiwei, Antony Gormley and our forthcoming Picasso and Paper.

This is a particularly exciting time in our history. Sir David Chipperfield CBE RA’s masterplan for the redevelopment of our 2.5-acre campus in Mayfair has now been realised, uniting our two buildings and providing Burlington Gardens with refurbished galleries, a state-of-the-art auditorium, new public spaces and a dedicated collections gallery. The General Assembly of Royal Academicians elected Rebecca Salter as their new President in December 2019, the first woman to hold that office in our 251-year history.

We are an innovative and forward-looking organisation, yet we’re also immensely proud and respectful of our heritage. Our mission is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists, and we are leaders in exhibiting, creating and debating the visual arts and architecture.


About this role

Books from the RA’s imprint stand out for the richness and authority of their content, their exemplary editorial standards and their handsome production values. Our titles are among the finest art books being published today, as recent awards attest. We are searching for an exceptional project editor to work on exhibition catalogues and books on all aspects of the visual arts.

Please note this is a maternity cover.


About you

With at least three years’ experience in a comparable editorial role, you will have a passion for excellence; an enquiring mind; superlative organisational skills; impeccable spelling, grammar and punctuation; and an eagle eye for detail.

Proficient in at least one foreign language, you will be able to communicate effectively with artists, authors, curators and designers. You will have a calm, methodical approach under pressure.

You must be able to demonstrate a genuine interest in and knowledge of the visual arts; a sound understanding of the optimum relationship between author and editor, and the fine judgement required when considering whether to intervene or to leave well alone; and a commitment to the aims and objectives of the Royal Academy of Arts.


What benefits do we offer?

  • We offer a very generous pension scheme, contributing up to 10% of your salary into a defined contribution scheme.
  • In addition to 25 days’ holiday and 8 public holidays each year, we close between Christmas Eve and New Year, allowing staff further paid leave.
  • We encourage staff to attend free History of Art and life drawing classes on site. We also have a staff choir, staff gallery and running and craft clubs.
  • Best of all, we have reciprocal agreements with many leading museums and art galleries in London and New York, enabling you to enter for free with your staff pass.


How to apply

To apply for this position, candidates must complete an application form. For further information about this role, and to find our application form, visit our website at:

Closing date for applications:                     02 February 2020

Interviews to be held:                                   w/c 10 February 2020





JOB TITLE:                Project Editor

DEPARTMENT:          Publishing

REPORTS TO:           Editorial Director, RA Publications



To copy-edit and proofread a number of titles in the RA Publications list per annum, winning the trust of all artists, authors and curators involved and taking responsibility for their texts’ clarity and concision, internal consistency, accuracy of style, spelling and grammar, and adherence to RA House Style.



  1. To copy-edit all texts for a book, negotiating suggestions for improvements with their authors and securing their approval of all amendments.
  2. Wherever necessary, to clear permission to reproduce copyright text quoted by an author.
  3. To prepare approved copy-edited texts for freelance designers and foreign-language co-edition publishers in accordance with the schedule.
  4. To circulate page proofs of approved layouts to authors, curators, freelance copy-editors and indexers, and to supply InDesign files of these to foreign-language co-edition publishers.
  5. To proofread all pages of a book’s approved layout, collate and resolve others’ corrections, and incorporate corrections on screen.
  6. To interact with other RA departments concerning captioning for catalogue plates, the compilation of photographic acknowledgements, the placement of logos and sponsor credits, the texts of sponsors’ prefaces and the typesetting of lists of Royal Academy benefactors.
  7. To check and approve a book’s ozalids.
  8. To code and administer editorial invoices and organise the dispatch of complimentary copies to authors and other contributors.
  9. To write texts for sales and distribution purposes, including the RA Publications six-monthly sales catalogue.
  10. To undertake any other duty which may reasonably be allocated by the Editorial Director, RA Publications, or other senior officers.



  • A willingness to engage with and interrogate complex ideas.
  • A wish to seek out and accept responsibility and accountability.
  • A calm, methodical approach under pressure.
  • Excellent spelling and a firm grasp of grammar and punctuation.
  • An eagle eye for detail.
  • A conscientious determination to look things up, just to make sure.
  • A considerate, diplomatic bearing.
  • Proficiency in at least one foreign language.
  • Proofreading to the highest standard, with the ability to work quickly and accurately.
  • Experience using Microsoft Word and InDesign.
  • Sound administrative skills for the maintenance of office systems and files.
  • The ability to juggle different tasks, to monitor developments and progress, to decide on your own priorities and to deliver on time.
  • Excellent communication skills to forge good working relationships within the RA and with a wide range of freelance staff.
  • At least three years in a comparable editorial role.
  • Proficiency in word-processing and desktop publishing with excellent keyboard skills.
  • A background or strong interest in the visual arts.
  • An enquiring mind.
  • Unusual clarity of thought and expression.
  • A genuine interest in the visual arts and in books about them.
  • Patience and flexibility.
  • Resilience and stamina.
  • A sense of humour.
  • The ability to work co-operatively within a team.
  • Steadiness under pressure.
  • A commitment to the aims and objectives of the Royal Academy.

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