Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Department of Classics and Ancient History

Durham, United Kingdom
£34,304 - £35,326 per annum
16 Aug 2022
End of advertisement period
19 Aug 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of Classics & Ancient History

Grade 7: - £34,304 - £35,326 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 36 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date : 19-Aug-2022, 6:59:00 AM 

Durham University 

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare benefits and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

The Department

The Durham Department of Classics & Ancient History is a large and successful department. We consistently rank as one of the top Classics and Ancient History Departments in the UK for research and teaching. We came joint 4th in the 2021 REF in Classics, and 13th in the 2022 QS World University Rankings. We regularly attract postdoctoral research fellows to the Department, either through the fellowship scheme administered by the University's Institute of Advanced Study, or with funding from national and international research councils and foundations. Four interdisciplinary research centres are based in the Department: the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East; the Centre for Language and Writing Systems; the Durham Centre for Classical Reception; the Durham Centre for Ancient and Medieval Philosophy.

For more information, please visit our Department pages at https://www.dur.ac.uk/classics/ 

The Role - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Classical Reception

The Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University invites applications for a three-year Postdoctoral Research Assistant position in Classical Reception on the Leverhulme-funded research project Aristotle Beyond the Academy: The Reception of Aristotle in Britain and Ireland 1660-1922. 

The aim of this project is to ask how and why Aristotle has made cultural appearances outside university circles in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales since the Restoration, focusing on ethics/politics, rhetoric, and natural science. 

The post-holder will specialize in the reception of Aristotle’s science and report to the Principal Investigator, Professor Edith Hall, in weekly meetings.

Essential requirements for the post include a PhD in a classical subject relevant to this project. The ideal candidate would have specialist experience in ancient Greek philosophy and/or science and in Classical Reception, although dedicated training in appropriate methodologies will be given. High motivation and organisational skills are essential. 

The post-holder will examine the non-academic reception of Aristotelian works on natural science including the Peripatetic Problems, treatises on animals, Physics, De Caelo, De Generatione et Corruptione, De Mundo, and the Parva Naturalia. These are (mis)quoted, illustrated and epitomised in works on zoology, health, reproduction, gynaeocology, and more occult matters. The post-holder will write four articles, including one for publication in the proceedings of the project’s closing conference.  

The post-holder will also help organize and host virtual workshops and the conference. They will contribute to the design and maintenance of the project’s website; competence in IT would be an advantage. 

The post-holder will be a member of the Department of Classics and Ancient History, the Durham Centre for Ancient and Medieval Philosophy and the Durham Centre for Classical Reception.   

Responsibilities : 

  • To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions that leads to the presentation of research papers in conferences and publications.
  • To prepare and deliver presentations on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
  • To publish high quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the direction of the Principal Investigator.
  • To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator.
  • To work with the Principal Investigator and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.
  • To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator and offering creative or innovative solutions.
  • To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
  • To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • To deliver training in research techniques/approaches to peers, visitors and students as appropriate.
  • To be involved in student supervision, as appropriate, and assist with the assessment of the knowledge of students.
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • To engage in wider citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
  • To engage in continuing professional development by participation in the undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programmes or by membership of departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses.   

This post is fixed term for 36 months. The funding from Leverhulme is available from 1 September 2022 for this fixed period only; the project is time limited and will end on 31 August 2025.  

The post-holder is employed to work on research/a research project which will be led by another colleague. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 01 September 2022.    How to Apply 

For informal enquiries please contact Professor Edith Hall (edith.hall@durham.ac.uk).  All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/. As part of the application process, you should provide details of 3 (preferably academic/research) referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University .

What to Submit 

All applicants are asked to submit: 

  • A CV and covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;  

Next Steps 

The assessment for the post will include an interview. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a virtual interview, date to be confirmed.

Interview date confirmed as 12th September 2022

The Requirements  



  • A good first degree in Classics, A Scientific Subject of History of Science.
  • A PhD (or be close to submission) in Classics or a related subject.


  • Experience in conducting high quality academic research.
  • Demonstrable ability to write material of a quality commensurate with publication in highly-ranked journals.
  • Demonstrable ability to present research papers at national/international conferences and communicate complex information to specialists and within the wider academic community.
  • Experience in using standard reference works in Classics.


  • Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings.
  • Ability to work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.



  • Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career.
  • A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or meetings, commensurate with stage of career.
  • Demonstrable ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics.
  • Experience of overseeing students with respect to the development of their practical/research skills e.g. acting as a demonstrator; supervising student projects/practicals.
  • Experience in IT, especially running virtual workshops and website development.


  • Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research. 

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.