Vacancy: Vice President, RHS Council


The Royal Historical Society (RHS) seeks to appoint a new Vice President to its Council, the Society’s governing body, which currently comprises a total of 18 Officers and Councillors who are Trustees of the RHS.

The Vice President will become a Trustee of the Royal Historical Society, sit as an Officer on Council, attend Council meetings, and act as Chair of the Membership Committee. The new postholder will take up the position from January 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The role requires a time-commitment of up to 2 days per month, and is fully supported by the Society’s professional central office based at University College London.

The appointment is for a two-year term, with possibility of renewal up to four years, and has been created as part of an ongoing review of the Society’s governance to focus on areas of key importance to the discipline at this time.

Applicants will be current Fellows of the Royal Historical Society and based in the UK. Those interested in the role are welcome to speak informally with the Society’s President, Professor Emma Griffin: The closing date for applications is: Friday 14 April 2023.

About the role

The Vice President of the Society plays an important role as an outward-facing representative of the Society and in helping to shape the strategic direction of the organisation. S/he will represent the Society and foster positive relationships with our community through sharing with the President the chairing of Society’s programme of events and visits. S/he will also deputise for the President as necessary.

The Vice President will chair the Society’s Membership Committee and play an active role in developing the Society’s relationship with its members. S/he will normally take ownership of at least one of the Society’s strategic initiatives on behalf of Council and will undertake duties requested by and agreed with the President or Council as the need arises. The Vice President will offer creative ideas and connections and represent the Society to members, audiences at RHS events, and external organisations.

The RHS is governed by Council which determines all strategic policy, creates and oversees its committees, appoints the President and Officers, manages the Society’s finances and its award of grants and prizes, determines the editors of its various publications, and directs relations with the Society’s members. As a Trustee of the Society, and member of Council, new Vice President is expected to play his/her part in these spheres of activity.

He/she will also help us realise our ambitions to make the Society an open and welcoming organisation that reflects the wide variety of professional historians contributing to the health and vitality of the discipline.

Specifications of role

Suitable candidates for this role will likely have had prior involvement in a similar historical organisation, especially in its strategic development, policy and committee work, or will have held a leadership, creative or organisation position in an academic department. Applicants must be Fellows of the Royal Historical Society.

The role requires a time-commitment of up to two days per month. Owing to the Society’s charitable status, the role is unremunerated. The Society employs a small, highly skilled staff who will provide full support to assist the role-holder in the execution of his/her duties. The RHS will reimburse all reasonable expenses incurred as part of undertaking this role.

The Society is looking for someone who is willing and able to:

  • chair Society events and represent the Society at in-person meetings and events, when the President is unavailable;
  • chair the Society’s Membership Committee and make a creative and positive contribution to the Society’s relationship with its membership;
  • play a prominent role, with other Officers and senior staff, in developing and overseeing the Society’s strategy for advocacy of other initiatives on behalf of the discipline and profession;
  • act as a Trustee of the Royal Historical Society, adhering to governance best practice, as set out by the Charity Commission, at all times;
  • attend Council and relevant committees and actively participate in the associated workload;
  • deputise for the President when needed.

Application Process

Submission must be made via the Society’s applications platform. Those interested in making an application will be asked to provide:

  • a CV (no more than 3 pages);
  • a letter / statement outlining their ability to perform the role and relevant experience;
  • the names of two referees at least one of which will be a Fellow of the RHS. We will not contact referees without prior permission.

Informal enquiries about the role may be made to: Professor Emma Griffin (

Questions about the application process may be sent to: The closing date for applications is: Friday 14 April 2023.