Research Associate in the Department of History

London (Greater) (GB)
£38,826 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
28 Apr 2022
End of advertisement period
05 Jun 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

The Department of History in King’s College London invites applications for the position of Postdoctoral Research Associate to collaborate on a UKRI FLF project, Medicine and the Making of Race, 1440-1700, led by Dr. Hannah Murphy. This project examines the role of medical practitioners in the development of the early Transatlantic slave trade and the way in which encounters with ‘foreign bodies’ informed early modern ideas of race.   

We welcome applications from candidates with a PhD in early modern history or related discipline, with a strong interest in the themes of this project. The PDRA will have the opportunity to develop and lead an independent strand of research which adds to the objectives of this project. They will be expected to produce research outputs appropriate to their career stage and their plans for future career development. The PDRA will also be required to undertake specific, designated research in archives and libraries which support the PI’s research and publications. This will require travel, up to a maximum of one month per calendar year, as well as on site work in libraries and archives in the UK.  The PDRA will be expected to contribute to the project’s ambitious impact and engagement strategy, working to engage a broad variety of stakeholders.  They will be expected to maximise the academic impact of this project by leading and designing a workshop, helping to plan project conferences and presenting work in a broad variety of settings. The ideal candidate for this position is ambitious, imaginative and flexible, able to work collaboratively and independently. The scope of this project is trans-regional and ideally the PDRA will add linguistic and archival competency to the project team. Preference may be given to a candidate with one of the following languages and historical geographies: Portuguese, Dutch or French.  

[A specific training in history of medicine and/or slavery is welcomed but not essential and can be developed during the fellowship.] 


The PI is committed to supporting the PDRA’s career-development, by cultivating their intellectual and academic trajectory and programme of work, and by providing support for training and career development.  

This postdoctoral position will provide the selected candidate with an opportunity to work and develop in one of the most dynamic history departments in the UK, and the successful candidate will be offered opportunities to contribute to department life, through teaching, relevant committee work, collaboration, and mentorship.   


Applicants are asked to provide a CV and a statement (c.1200 words max), clearly articulating a proposal for their own research plans and how they would contribute to this project. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide a writing sample and will be invited to present on their research plans in interview. It is understood that these plans may be preliminary and that there will be room for them to develop and change over the course of the project.  


All applications from members of groups with protected characteristics that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the Equality Act are welcomed. 


This post will be offered on a full-time, fixed term contract for 18 months.


Key responsibilities

  • Carrying out research and writing under the direction of the principal investigator.  
  • Planning and delivering an independent programme of research in keeping with project aims 
  • Producing high-quality research outputs, consistent with project aims and the candidate’s career stage.  
  • Carrying out archival fieldwork, and contributing other relevant research materials  
  • Assisting in maximising the ‘impact’ of the project, in particular through fostering links with project partners and international academic networks and contributing to the project’s programme for impact.  
  • Assist with such other work as may be reasonably requested by the Principal Investigator, or by the Head of Department. 

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.  

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria  

1.       PhD in early modern history or related discipline 

2.       Excellent command of research skills, including archival research 

3.       Proven analytical and communication skills 

4.       Ability and willingness to work under pressure and to meet deadlines 


Desirable criteria

1.       Experience of developing, organising and reviewing outreach activities 

2.       Experience with working as part of a team 

3.       Experience of authoring or collaborating on high quality publications 

4.       Paleography and languages (ideally one of the following languages: Portuguese, Dutch or French) 


Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

Further information 

Interviews for this position will be held online in June.