Early Career Historians

Durham University – Post Doctoral Research Associates

Postdoctoral Research Associate (2 posts)

Durham University – School of Government and International Affairs and Department of History

Salary:£32,004

Post: Postdoctoral Research Associates (2) – Church, State, and Nation: the Journals of Herbert Hensley Henson, 1900-1939.

Closing Date: 17 April 2017

This post is Full Time and Fixed Term for 36 months.

The School of Government and International Affairs (SGIA) and the Department of History at Durham invite applications for two full-time PDRAs, appointed for three years. They will be employed on an AHRC funded project on ‘Church, State and Nation’ in Britain during the first four decades of the twentieth century. The focus of this project is the unpublished journals of the leading twentieth-century churchman, public moralist and member of the House of Lords, Herbert Hensley Henson, Bishop of Durham, 1920‒1939.

The project team will produce a scholarly, digital edition of the 63 journals that cover the period 1900‒1939, when Henson was a leading commentator and penetrating reporter on religious issues and many aspects of political, social, moral and international affairs. They will also engage in research and publication on the relationship between religion and politics during this period, making extensive use of the journals.

Too apply, go to: http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AYA951/postdoctoral-research-associate-2-posts/

 

Lecturer in Early Modern History/ Eighteenth‐century History – University of Leiden

The Faculty of Humanities, Institute for History is looking for a Lecturer in Early Modern History/ Eighteenth‐century History (0.8 fte)

Starting date 1 August 2017

Vacancy number 17‐107

The Institute for History invites applications for a position in early modern history, with a focus on Europe in the eighteenth century and/or the revolution and restoration age. The position is to be taken up on August 1, 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter. The candidate will be appointed at the Leiden University Institute for History (LUIH).

Key responsibilities:   

  • Teach and supervise students in the BA and MA programmes in History
  • Teach for Leiden University College The Hague
  • Contribute to the research specialization ‘Collective identities and transnational networks in medieval and early modern Europe, 1000‐1800’
  • Use her/his research experience to co‐supervise doctoral research
  • Develop research projects, and write national and international grant proposals
  • Undertake some administrative tasks, and play a role in the various teaching and examination committees
  • Be present in Leiden throughout the academic year.

Selection criteria: 

  • A historian (F/M) with a PhD and a good range of publications in early modern history, with a focus on the eighteenth century, and/or the revolution and restoration age
  • Preference may be given to applicants whose research extends to several different European countries, those who work from a global perspective and/or have an expertise in the history of the British Isles
  • An experienced and inspiring academic teacher, with clear ideas on teaching methods
  • A teacher willing and able to teach outline papers across the early modern period, as well as a BA course on the Birth of the Modern World
  • A team player eager to contribute to the lively setting of the Leiden History Institute
  • A scholar with experience in obtaining research funding
  • A scholar with an international academic network and collaborations
  • Have an excellent command of English as well as some other European languages. If the successful applicant is not Dutch‐speaking, s/he is expected to acquire a good command of Dutch within two years, so as to be able to teach in the BA programme. The administrative language of Leiden University is Dutch
  • Upon appointment, depending on experience and formal qualifications to date, the successful applicant may be required to enter a nationally standardized tertiary teaching skills certification trajectory (BKO or Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs).

About our faculty, institute and programs

The Faculty of Humanities is rich in expertise in fields such as philosophy, religious studies, history, art history, literature, linguistics and area studies covering nearly every region of the world. With its staff of 930, the faculty provides 27 master’s and 25 bachelor’s programmes for over 6,000 students based at locations in Leiden’s historic city centre and in modern buildings in The Hague.

For more information:  http://www.hum.leidenuniv.nl

The Institute for History is one of the seven Research Institutes of the Faculty of Humanities, employing c. 120 members of staff who teach in a variety of programmes. The BA in History attracts around 250 new students every year, the MA and ResMA around 150; we have around c. 50 Ph.D candidates with full funding. Its central research mission is to study ‘Global questions’, through the study of ‘local sources’ (https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/humanities/institute‐for‐history/research). In the last decade or so, our staff has been exceptionally successful in attracting new research funding and new students, and the Institute is growing fast. It is proud of its reputation as a vibrant, international academic community, and its collaborative and friendly atmosphere.

The Institute’s academic staff collaborate in six research programmes – we would expect the lecturer to participate in the research programme Collective identities and transnational networks in medieval and early modern Europe, 1000‐1800

https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/humanities/institute-for-history/medieval-and-early-modern-europe

Terms and conditions

We offer an appointment of 30,4 hours per week,  initially for 2 years from 1 August 2017 through July 2019 with the possibility of a permanent position thereafter.   The monthly salary will range between € 3.427,‐ and € 5.330,‐ gross, based on a full‐time appointment (pay scale 11/12 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities)  ), commensurate with qualifications, with substantial holiday and end‐of‐year bonuses. Depending on qualifications, the lecturer may start at the appropriate step in scale 10 until s/he fully meets the requirements for scale 11 as specified by the Faculty of Humanities, particularly with regard to teaching skills certification and the number of years of relevant work experience. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

Diversity Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Information

Queries may be sent to Prof. J.S. Pollmann (j.pollmann@hum.leidenuniv.nl), Academic Director of the Institute, or Prof. J.F.J. Duindam (j.f.j.duindam@hum.leidenuniv.nl, Professor of Early Modern History.

Applications

Applications must be received by 1 May 2017 09.00h. Interviews are scheduled for 1 June.

Applications should be submitted to vacaturesgeschiedenis@hum.leidenuniv.nl, with the items listed below included in this order in a single PDF document named ‘Family Name – AG vacancy’.

  • A CV
  • A letter of motivation
  • A research agenda with clear potential for applications to funding bodies such as NWO (max 1500 words) or the ERC
  • Two sample course descriptions and two course evaluations
  • Names, positions, and email addresses of two referees (no reference letters at this stage).

 

Four Nations History Network blog – call for contributors

Call for Contributors

The Four Nations History Network is looking for bloggers for this upcoming summer and autumn.

There is no set format for the blogs. The idea of the site is that we provide a platform for PhD students, early career researchers and more established academics to explore four nations themes and methodologies. Our aim is to generate discussion and collaboration.

Blog posts should be 750 – 1000 words maximum. They should also include a blog title and short bio.

Email your submission to fournationshistory@gmail.com

You can find out more about the network here: https://fournationshistory.wordpress.com/

 

PhD Studentship. Engineering ‘Modern’ Scotland: The Stevenson Maps and Plans and Scotland’s Built Infrastructure, c.1800-c.1900

Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD: Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded PhD studentship for research on the Stevenson maps and plans and Scotland’s built infrastructure, c.1800-c.1900. The award, which is made by the Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium as part of the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Programme, will be managed jointly by the University of Edinburgh (Institute of Geography) and the National Library of Scotland, The studentship, which is full-time and funded for 3.5 years, will begin in October 2017 and will be jointly supervised by Christopher Fleet and Alison Metcalfe (National Library of Scotland) and Professor Charles W. J. Withers (University of Edinburgh). Part-time applications are welcome.

 The Studentship: The PhD project centres on the maps and plans within the business archive of the Stevenson civil engineering firm. Robert Stevenson and descendants played a significant role in a range of civil engineering projects across Scotland. The archive reflects that activity. The archive includes in excess of 3,000 maps and plans, supported by correspondence, reports, accounts and other business records, and reflects the broad range of civil engineering endeavours with which the firm was involved (sea-works, harbours, canals, river-courses, railways, and, importantly, lighthouses). The maps and plans of this built infrastructure have received almost no scholarly attention. They together provide a rich opportunity for understanding the geography and history of a fast modernising nation – Scotland in the nineteenth century. During the studentship, there will be opportunities within the NLS to enhance the Library’s collections and digital strategy and to work with the NLS public programmes to engage public audiences.

 How to Apply: Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree and a relevant Masters in geography, or history (economic and social), or politics. You will have some experience of relevant research methods (NB: research training is a required element in each year of the studentship). For details on eligibility criteria, including UK residency, applicants should check the AHRC website.

 Applicants should submit a summary curriculum vitae (max 2 pages), an example of recent academic writing (e.g., MSc chapter or UG Dissertation) and a short statement (1 page) outlining your qualification for the studentship, and the names and contact details of two academic referees to: Professor Charles W. J. Withers, Institute of Geography, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Drummond Street, Edinburgh EH8 9XP (c.w.j.withers@ed.ac.uk) by Friday 7 April 2017. Interviews will be held on Wednesday 3 May 2017. For further information, contact Professor Charles W. J. Withers, Chris Fleet (c.fleet@nls.uk) or Alison Metcalfe (a.metcalfe@nls.uk).

 

Publishing for Historians: a workshop for advanced postgraduates and early career researchers in History 10 June 2016

Publishing for Historians: a workshop for advanced postgraduates and early career researchers in History

Sponsored by the Royal Historical Society (RHS), the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH), and the School of Humanities, University of Glasgow (SoH)

9.30-4.00, Friday 10th June 2016, University of Glasgow

This workshop is for postgraduate research students and for early career researchers in History in the Scottish universities. (Additional workshops will be held elsewhere in the UK over the coming months). Academic representatives of the Royal Historical Society and the Institute of Historical Research, will provide a day-long workshop on publishing. The workshop will focus on journal articles, monographs, peer review and the editing process, and Open Access. In addition to focused presentations in these areas, students will be able to spend time with journal editors, book series editors, and RHS and IHR staff and council members, learning more about pathways to publication of research. By providing high levels of discipline-specific training for high quality publication, this workshop will better prepare participants for the academic job market, and for the REF. Those not anticipating academic careers will nonetheless benefit from detailed information about publishing historical research and scholarship.

Programme:  Publishing for Historians workshop

This workshop is free for eligible PGR students (who are enrolled in SGSAH universities) and Early Career Researchers (who have not yet published a monograph, and are employed by Scottish universities or are resident in Scotland). However, places are limited and attendees must register in advance of the workshop at http://publishingforhistorians.eventbrite.co.uk

The SGSAH have provided funding for a number of travel bursaries for eligible PGR students who are registered at Scottish universities.  Application forms must be returned by noon on Friday 22nd April 2016.

 

ECH Grants: Research trips and/or training events

Funding for research trips to archives and libraries or to undertake fieldwork or training is available from many sources.  Obtaining one or more of these small grants as a PhD student lays excellent groundwork for making more substantial grant applications as a postdoctoral researcher.  This indicative list will give you an idea of where to begin looking for funding options:

 

ECH Publishing: Submitting to a Journal

What makes a good journal article? First, it must stand on its own. It may be a version of a chapter of a PhD dissertation, but it has to be self-contained. Second, it ought to have a strong and distinctive argument. The standard way to demonstrate this is by reference to the historiography – but it’s not enough (or even, really, at all persuasive) to say that your subject has been ‘neglected’ by the historiography. Some subjects are neglected for a good reason – they’re not interesting or important. You need to show how the historiography will look different by including your paper – what arguments are called into question, what new light is cast on bigger subjects, what new subjects are being developed that command attention. Sometimes people publish articles that give the overarching argument of a PhD thesis; sometimes they pick the richest or most provocative argument (perhaps from a single chapter). Third, you ought to be able to provide convincing evidence in support of your arguments. This isn’t easy within the scope of an article – which ought probably to be 8-10,000 words; it’s a real skill to learn how to select evidence that will fit within these limits and still carry conviction. How do you decide which journal to submit to? (You must only submit the same paper to one at a time.) The best course is to ask yourself which journals have published papers in your field that you have admired, or papers with which you have disagreed and would like to engage. Go for the highest-quality journal that fits this description – the one that publishes the work you consider to be the best in your field. If your work is accepted by that journal, people like you will also recognise it as standing with the best in your field. If you don’t succeed with the first submission, try the next journal down the pecking-order. This is likely to be a more specialised journal. Before you submit your paper, check your chosen journal’s website for their advice to contributors – how to format a submission, how to send it in. It’s polite to format the paper to suit the journal’s house-style; if they have an unusual style, very different from other journals, you can format it in a generic style so that you don’t have to keep re-formatting every time you submit to a new journal. For more details on what happens after your paper has been accepted, see publishing in a journal.

 

 

ECH Presenting Work – What happens in a viva?

A PhD viva is a unique opportunity to discuss your research with two experts. They will have read every word of your thesis and all their attention will be on you and your work.  Though any examination is nerve-racking, you should try to enjoy the viva; this detailed, thoughtful consideration of your work does not happen very often.

In contrast to most other European countries, UK vivas are rarely public events. There is no audience and very few people are in the room, often just the candidate and the two examiners one internal to your university and one from outside. In some universities another academic, who is not involved in examining the thesis, chairs the viva; in others the supervisor may be present with the candidate’s consent. Find out exactly what your university’s regulations for the conduct of viva voce examinations are.  The details varies quite widely, so make sure that you have the right information for your institution.

When preparing for a viva, remember that you are the expert.  Nobody else knows as much about your thesis as you do; the examiners will genuinely be interested in discussing your research and its wider implications.  Be prepared to explain how you came to this particular topic and why it merits dedicating three years of your life to it.  Step back from the detail of the thesis to think of its general importance.  How does it contribute to the historiography?  Why should historians outside the immediate field be interested in it?

A few days before the viva, think about how you will explain your thesis to the examiners. You should practise summarizing it; prepare both a five-minute explanation of the thesis and a two-minute one.  Identify what you think is most important and original about it and explain how the thesis relates to the published literature on the topic.

It’s also worth thinking carefully about method.  Why have you approached the topic in this particular way? Think about how to justify and explain your approach. Be prepared to answer a critique. Remember that, if you’re pushed on a particular point, you can bring the question back to the thesis by, for example, accepting that you didn’t do ‘x’ but pointing out that you did do ‘y’.

Don’t leave preparing for the viva to the last minute. You must read through your thesis carefully beforehand but do this at least 48 hours (and preferably a week) before the examination date so as to give yourself some distance from the thesis. This will help you to convey the overall shape and purpose to the examiners rather than simply the research detail.

During the viva itself, listen carefully to the examiners. Be polite and don’t worry if you have to ask for a question to be clarified or if you appear nervous. The examiners will be expecting this and suggestions and advice given by your examiners will be invaluable and should try to put you at your ease. Think before replying to the questions and give considered responses.  Look to develop a dialogue with the examiners, a probing but rewarding discussion on your work to date.  And remember that any piece of work benefits from this kind of review. If you are hoping to publish the thesis then the suggestions and advice offered by your examiners will be invaluable.

Return to main Presenting Work page

 

 

 

ECH – Open Access

All historians should want their work to be as accessible as possible – and so they ought to support ‘open access’ (i.e. free access to their work posted on the web), wherever possible.  But there are limits to what is possible without sacrificing academic freedom and quality.  For example, publication doesn’t come free – there are costs involved in editing your work and mounting it on the web.  Furthermore, as an author you have certain moral rights to have work properly used, reproduced and attributed, which not all forms of ‘open access’ respect.  What follows is a very rough guide to a complicated and ever-changing landscape.

 Manuscripts

You have the right to do whatever you want with your own manuscripts (drafts of papers, conference presentations, etc.), so long as you’re not using content that belongs to other people (e.g. images, music, major portions of copyright works).   Why not post them on your own website or a site such as academia.edu?  But you will need to consider what rights over your own content you wish to give to others.  You’ll need to indicate the terms on which you are posting.  If you say ‘all rights reserved’, then you are of course permitting others to read your work, but not to use it in any other way.  If you are happy for others to use your work – for example, to copy and distribute it – Creative Commons has designed a range of licences that you can use to indicate exactly what uses you are happy to permit (see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/).  The most popular of these licences among humanities scholars tends to be CC  BY-NC ND.  This allows others to copy your work in full and distribute it intact, but not to alter it or to combine it with their other work in ways that make it difficult to distinguish yours from theirs, and not to make use of it commercially.  Just add the relevant CC logo to your paper when you upload it to show under what terms you are making it available.

 Dissertations

This is a particularly vexing subject.  Most universities are now developing institutional policies for dissertations produced by their own students, but these vary widely.  All universities require you to deposit your dissertation in their libraries (or, increasingly, their online repositories), but many offer ‘embargoes’ that prevent others from accessing your work without your permission for a period of 2-6 years or longer. This is because, in our discipline, dissertations do not (as they often do in the sciences) bring together work that has been published elsewhere in article form, and they are often seen only as rough drafts for a book that will eventually be published.  It’s not clear whether the availability of your dissertation will interfere with your ability to publish a book based on it.  So the embargo gives you some control over the dissemination of your work until it is published.  The American Historical Association encourages universities to permit embargoes of up to 6 years (see http://blog.historians.org/2013/07/american-historical-association-statement-on-policies-regarding-the-embargoing-of-completed-history-phd-dissertations/).  You should find out for yourself what is your own institution’s policy.

 Journal articles

This is the area where open access has extended furthest (reflecting the centrality of the journal article in the sciences, where the open access movement began, and upon which many policies are based).  Funding bodies are now often mandating open access – that is, if they pay for your research, and you publish it in the form of a journal article, you must make it open access according to certain prescribed conditions.  So your approach to your own journal articles will depend on who (if anyone) has paid for you to do your research.  The RHS has prepared information sheets explaining the open-access conditions for those funded by the research councils (e.g. AHRC, ESRC) – which are particularly stringent – and those employed on teaching and research contracts by universities who are eligible for submission to the REF.    A good general rule of thumb – you don’t need to pay an ‘Article Processing Charge’ (APC) or any other publication fee in order to ensure ‘open access’ for your article.  Any publisher that insists on payment without offering free open-access options merits the closest scrutiny.

 Books

There are at present no mandates from any UK funders of historical research (except for the Wellcome Trust who fund research in the history of medicine) requiring open access for work published in book form, including chapters in collections of essays.  (Some mandates refer to ‘conference proceedings’, but this refers to journal-like forms of publication common in the sciences and does not cover collections of essays published as books, even if they derive from conferences.)  In other words, you are unlikely to be required to put your work published in book form on open access anytime soon – and certainly not for the next REF (c. 2020).  Because publication of books is a good deal more expensive than publication of articles, there are formidable barriers to providing open access for books in ways that do not discriminate against un- or under-funded historians (i.e. most of us!).  Nevertheless, there are some interesting experiments in open-access publishing for monographs and if you have an opportunity to take part in such experiments, without paying a publication fee, we encourage you to do so.  We’re happy to provide informal advice on this subject to people who email us about specific schemes.

Return to main ECH Open Access page

 

 

EHC Presenting work: Intervening in academic discussion

Questions after a seminar or conference paper provide an important opportunity to participate in academic debate. This can be nerve-racking. Some university cultures have a robust style of questioning, which can lead to a critique, for example from the panel chair, to which you are expected to reply. In others, questions are much longer than the repartee style of question and answer than is common in Britain. Try to find out as much as you can in advance about what to expect.

It is also worth thinking about the kind of questions that you might be asked. Don’t plan this out in too much detail—you will have to improvise at least some of your answers—but try to identify some ‘big’ questions about your work and plan a response. These questions can be hard, particularly when compared to the ‘nitty-gritty’ of doctoral work.  Historians often ask about the nature and limits of sources, so it’s definitely worth having something to say about them.

It’s useful to note down what people are asking you, particularly if the panel chair is taking several questions together. Be prepared to defend your position, both in replies to questions and in the questions you put to others.  Conferences are great opportunities to intervene in debates; if you don’t agree with a critique of your work then say so, and explain why.  Again, it’s worth knowing your audience. Interdisciplinary or general audiences tend to pose broader problems while specialist audiences may pose more complex, detailed questions. Whatever the framing, however, always take the question seriously.

Conferences also provide opportunities for discovering other forums for debate and outlets for your work, such as newsletters, virtual discussion groups or blogs. Getting involved in some of these will allow you to exchange ideas and address wider audiences, including public ones.

Return to main ECH Presenting Work page.