‘Applying for your First Job: a Guide to Preparing & Interviewing for a History Teaching Post’


An RHS Online Training Workshop for Early Career Historians


Tuesday 8 March 2022

Watch the recording of this event


‘Applying for your First Job: a Guide to Preparing and Interviewing for a History Teaching Post’ is the next in the Royal Historical Society’s series of online training events designed for early career historians.

In ‘Preparing and Interviewing for a History Teaching Post’ we’ll provide a practical, step-by-step guide to applying for teaching positions in History at UK universities. The Workshop will cover how to prepare for the academic job market, and what to do while you’re researching your PhD; and how best to present yourself — in writing, online and in person — for a specific application and interview.

The Workshop brings together historians from UK universities with extensive experience of seeking and recruiting new academic staff, both for fixed-term and permanent teaching posts. Panellists will offer advice on what a department seeks, and what makes for a strong application and interview.

Topics for the Workshop include: when to start thinking about the job markethow best to prepare while researching your PhD (including advice on teaching and publishing); CV writingsubmitting a strong applicationinterviews and presentations on the day; and what happens next.

The Session will also consider the current state of the UK job market in History, and its possible future development; what departments seek when they create a vacancy; and — importantly — History vacancies and applications from the perspective of Heads of Department and hiring committees.

Our panellists bring experience of working in a range of universities, with advice focused on applying for teaching posts in the UK. We intend to return to ‘applying for a research position’ in a later Workshop session.

After contributions from the panel, the event will take the form of a discussion involving all attendees. Those attending will be invited to submit questions in advance of the Workshop.


About our panel

Elaine Chalus is a historian of English social and political history in the long eighteenth century with a particular interest in the interplay of gender and politics. Elaine joined the University of Liverpool in 2016 as its new Head of Department following an earlier teaching career at Bath Spa University.

As a historian, Elaine has extensive experience of mentoring PhD researchers as they prepare for academic careers. As a Head of Department, Elaine will also offer insight into the application process from the perspective of those seeking to hire new teaching staff.

Matthew Johnson is a historian of modern Britain with a specialism in the impact of war on politics and society, and in militarism as a political and ideological phenomenon in Britain during the twentieth century. At Durham Matthew serves as the History department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies and has extensive experience of candidate shortlisting and interviewing.

Julian Wright is Deputy Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts Design and Social Sciences, having been Head of Northumbria’s Department of Humanities since 2017. A historian of modern Europe, Julian taught previously for 13 years at Durham University.

As a Head of Department, Julian has similarly extensive experience of career preparation and planning in History, and of academic applications. In January 2022 Julian joined the RHS Council as its new Secretary for Professional Engagement, and will oversee the Society’s work to promote career development and networking for historians at all career stages.

Emma Griffin is President of the Royal Historical Society in which role she is in regular contact with History Heads of Department across the UK.

As Professor of Modern British History at the University of East Anglia, Emma also has wide experience of departmental management, student mentoring, and the recruitment of new early career teaching staff. Emma researches the social and economic history of Britain during the period 1700-1870, with a particular interest in gender history, the industrial revolution, and working-class life.


Watch the recording of this event



About RHS Training Workshops

‘Applying for your First Job’ is the next in a new series of RHS ‘Getting Started’ training events for early career historians. Events will provide guidance and insight into key areas of professional development. Details, and videos, of the first workshops in the series — on publishing a first article and creating a public history project — are available here.

The ‘Getting Started’ series runs three times a year with the next session — on finding employment in History outside academia  — to take place on 14 July 2022.