Past & Present Fellow: Race, Ethnicity and Equality in History

9 January 2019

Job title:              Past & Present Fellowship: Race, Ethnicity & Equality in History

                            Royal Historical Society/Institute of Historical Research

Salary:                 £35,328 – £36,921 per annum (inclusive of London Allowance)

Location:            Bloomsbury, London

Fixed-term:        24 months, full-time

Start date:          1 March 2019 (earliest) to 1 June 2019 (latest start date)


The Royal Historical Society (RHS) is the UK’s leading learned society for the discipline of History, with over 4,000 members nationally and internationally.  The Society: represents history as a discipline and historians as a group; promotes the vitality of historical scholarship through support for research and publication; advocates best practice in history teaching in universities and schools; provides a forum for all historians to meet and exchange ideas; and supports and encourages early career historians.  For the past several years, the Society has been actively involved in monitoring and enhancing equalities issues in UK History, producing reports on gender equality in the discipline in 2015 and 2018 ( ) and its first report on Race, Ethnicity & Equality in UK History in 2018: .  The advertised post, funded by the Past & Present Society, is intended to support and continue the Society’s equalities work, with an especial focus on race and ethnicity.

Main Purpose, Duties and Responsibilities:

The Fellowship funds a two year (24 months) postdoctoral position at the Royal Historical Society (RHS), as well as an affiliation with the Institute of Historical Research, London (IHR).  The balance of work in any week or month will vary.  But over the course of each of the two years the post will be 50% research, writing, engagement, organisational work and event management to advance the work of the RHS Race, Ethnicity & Equality Working Group (REEWG), and 50% research, writing and seminar/conferences/workshop attendance to advance the postdoctoral fellow’s academic career development in History.  The appointed candidate will be predominantly based in London at the RHS’s office and at the IHR (both are located in Bloomsbury).  There will also be UK travel throughout the year as part of the postdoctoral fellow’s engagement activities.  As appropriate to advance their own postdoctoral research, periods of research outside the UK will also be accommodated.

The Past & Present Fellow will work under the RHS president’s supervision with REEWG and the Officers and Council of the RHS ( ).  The Fellow will undertake activities that include: recording and assessing responses to the two 2018 reports; identifying and helping establish communications with new stakeholders relevant to REEWG’s work; organising and participating in workshops and other events designed to build upon the REEWG report’s findings; gathering, assessing and communicating new data; scheduling and minuting REEWG meetings.  Over the course of the appointment, the Fellow will work with staff at a range of UK universities as well as with schools, cultural institutions, community groups and other learned societies/institutions.  There will be scope within the post for the P&P Fellow to devise and lead one or more initiatives that support the aims of REEWG, and the RHS’s broader equalities-related activities.

An important goal of the Fellowship is to advance the P&P Fellow’s research profile.  The Fellow will be assigned at least one academic mentor from the Past & Present Board in addition to the RHS president, selected to complement the Fellow’s research specialism.  Regular meetings with the mentor to discuss research and publication plans will be complemented by attendance at IHR seminars and suitable training workshops or courses.  Both the RHS and the IHR annually offer workshops for early career historians on publishing, career development and the academic job market, which the Fellow will be encouraged to attend.  A research allowance of £500 in year 1 and £600 of year 2 will be awarded by the RHS to support the post holder’s research.

 Person Specification:


Qualifications, experience and knowledge:

  • PhD in History (including the history of race and/or ethnicity) from a UK university, awarded no earlier than 1 January 2016 (Essential)
  • Potential to publish high-calibre historical scholarship (Essential)
  • Experience of/work in widening participation activities in schools, universities or cultural organisations, either as a participant in such programmes or a volunteer/employee/organiser (Essential)
  • Knowledge of UK equalities legislation and its higher education context (Desirable)
  • Experience organising academic events (Desirable)
  • Minute-taking experience (Desirable)

Skills and abilities:

  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written (Essential)
  • Excellent standard of written English including ability to draft copy (Essential)
  • Excellent organisational skills, including the ability to work to tight deadlines (Essential)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate to academic audiences (Essential)
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team (Essential)
  • Social Media skills (Desirable)
  • Ability to use WordPress (Desirable)
  • Training in databases such as Access, Excel, Tableau (Desirable)

Personal attributes:

  • Reliability and punctuality

Applicants must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.

The Royal Historical Society values diversity and is committed to equal opportunities.

Application Process:

  • Letter of application: the letter of application should be a maximum of 2 sides of A-4 paper (font size 11 or more), and should outline why this position attracts you and why you are well qualified for it;
  • CV (4 sides maximum:: include your contact details; each of your degrees (including institution and date); publications if any (including full bibliographical references and page numbers); employment experience (including widening participation, work with schools, teaching, etc); organisational experience (organisation of conferences, events etc); conference/seminar papers delivered; any other information relevant to this specific application; Please list all material in reverse chronological order (2018, 2017, 2016, etc, not 2016, 2017, 2018);
  • Writing samples: Please submit one (1) article/chapter-length academic writing sample which you believe best illustrates your potential to publish high-calibre historical scholarship. This may be (for example) a published or unpublished chapter from your doctoral dissertation, or a published or unpublished journal article or book chapter.  The quality, not the format, of the submitted material is important.  The word length of the submitted item must not exceed 15,000.  Applications that exceed this total will not be considered.
  • Description of WP experience: Briefly outline the experience with widening participation initiatives most relevant to the P&P fellowship, and assess what you gained and/or contributed to it (250 word limit);
  • Project proposal: Outline for the selection panel a proposed initiative which, based on your reading of the RHS’s 2018 Race, Ethnicity & Equality in UK History: A Report and Resource for Change, you believe could be undertaken successfully during the period of the P&P Fellowship. Clearly indicate why this proposal is important, and for whom?  (250 word maximum)

Applications should be submitted as separate Word documents (letter of application, CV, writing sample, WP description and project proposal) AND as a single PDF to Dr Sue Carr, Executive Secretary, RHS, .

The deadline for receipt of materials is 13:00 on Wednesday 30 January 2019.

Interviews for short-listed candidates will be held in the first half of February 2019.

Enquiries: Informal inquiries can be made to Margot Finn ( )


Download file: P&P Fellow Royal Historical Society 9 January 2019