Vacancy: Honorary Secretary, RHS Council


The Royal Historical Society seeks to appoint a new Honorary Secretary to replace Dr Alana Harris (KCL) who is stepping down from the role after completing her term in office.

The Honorary Secretary will sit as an Officer on Council and attend Council meetings. S/he will also sit on the Society’s Executive and work closely with the President, Academic Director and CEO (currently vacant) in order to provide strategic leadership for the Society. The new Honorary Secretary will take up the post from 1 January 2022.

The appointment is for a two-year term, with possibility of renewal up to four years. Applicants must be Fellows of the Royal Historical Society.

About the role

It is a particular requirement of the Honorary Secretary role that they are able to deputise for the President during periods of absence, whether planned or unplanned. It is therefore necessary that the Honorary Secretary plays an active role in the day-to-day business of the Society and has a strong grasp of the Society’s agenda and priorities through regular participation in the Society’s monthly Executive meetings.

The Society is governed by Council, which comprises a total of 22 Officers and Councillors who are trustees of the RHS. Council determines all strategic policy, creates and oversees its committees, appoints the Presidents 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. The Honorary Secretary is expected to play his/her part in these spheres of activity. S/he facilitates the work of the Society in the broadest sense, providing advice and assistance on key policy initiatives and the other services the Society performs.  As such, the role offers an opportunity to contribute to the shaping of the discipline at a national level and to understand issues facing UK historians.

Suitable candidates for this role will likely have had prior involvement in a similar historical organisation, possibly in a leadership position, especially in its strategic development, policy and committee work. 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 is looking for someone who can offer creative ideas and participate actively in the Society’s decision-making and events programme. The Society employs a small, highly skilled staff who will provide full administrative support to assist the role-holder in the execution of his/her duties. The operational work will be run through the RHS Office, working with the Honorary Secretary who’ll bring academic and disciplinary focus.


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

  • to make a creative contribution to the full range of the Society’s activities, lectures, publications, grants and prizes, and research and policy work
  • to attend Society events and to chair and provide hospitality where needed
  • to join and commit to the Society’s Executive team, and contribute actively to the Society’s policy work and strategic development
  • to help the RHS develop future initiatives and to promote recognition of the Society
  • to be willing to deputise for the President at events, including potentially at very short notice, to ensure the smooth running of all the Society’s public-facing activities
  • to be willing and able to deputise for the President across the full sphere of activities, including policy work, during planned periods of absence or leave
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. 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 deadline for applications is: 11:59 PM, Friday 24 September 2021.