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Postdoctoral research

The Department has long supported postdoctoral researchers of all kinds in successful applications to myriad funding schemes. These include UK Research Councils, the British Academy and the Leverhulme Foundation, the Danish and Irish Governments and the Wellcome Trust. We welcome applicants to join one of our research schools and benefit from the facilities and collegial environment of one of the top English departments in the world.

Arts and Humanities Research in York is generously supported by the facilities offered by the purpose-built Humanities Research Centre on our main campus and in the King’s Manor in York city centre. The University library is home to the Borthwick Institute for Archives (the largest public record office outside London) and the dedicated Raymond Burton research library and we also have research links with York Minster Library. The Department supports a broad range of scholarly, intellectual and cultural activities in a variety of media, including theatre, film and creative industries. Writers at York brings high-profile national and international authors to campus every term. Our interdisciplinary research centres all host their own seminar series and York-based research projects.

We will support candidates who can demonstrate a track record of excellent research, and compatibility with the work of our research schools and centres.

If you want to pursue your research here please contact our Director of Research, Professor Matthew Campbell in the first instance. Please feel free to contact any colleagues on these pages.

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In the information that follows, where dates have passed, please bear in mind that we expect very similar deadlines in future.

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

The Department welcomes expressions of interest for Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships.

In the past we have supported exceptional applicants for Leverhulme ECRs. Potential candidates are welcome to submit a concise 800 word draft proposal along with their CV for consideration by an internal review panel before they commit to an institution. Expressions of interest should be submitted well in advance of the announcement of the opening of the Leverhulme scheme, that is, by the beginning of January 2021. An internal panel will be able to give an indication of whether we can support an application by mid-January 2021. The department will not be able to support more than one application for funding starting in the academic year 2021-22.

Please contact Matthew Campbell, Chair of Research.

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships

The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships are three-year Fellowship awards made to an annual cohort of outstanding Early Career Scholars. The scheme provides a salary for three years and associated research expenses.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be within three years of the award of a doctorate or have an expectation that they will receive their doctorate before the Fellowship commences. Applicants must be a UK or EEA national or have completed a doctorate at a UK university.

The next deadline for applications is 14 October 2020 and the Department is now inviting expressions of interest from potential applicants. If you are interested in applying please contact the relevant academic member of staff to discuss your proposal. Applications are invited in all areas of English and Related Literatures.

EU - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships

This fellowship of up to three years is open to experienced researchers with a PhD (or at least four years’ full-time research experience). In all cases, the fellowship must involve an element of mobility (specified below).

  • European Fellowships are held in EU Member States or Associated Countries and are open to researchers either coming to Europe or moving within Europe. European fellowships are 12-24 months in length. To apply for a fellowship with York, you must not have been based in the UK for more 12 months of the three years preceding the call deadline (9 September 2020)
  • Global Fellowships are based on a secondment to a third country and a mandatory 12 month return period to a European host. Global Fellowships are 12 to 24 months for the outgoing phase, plus 12 months for the return phase in Europe. To apply for a fellowship with York, you must be an EU / Associated country national or have been resident in the UK for five years or more. You must also have spent you must not have spent more than 12 months of the three years preceding the call deadline (9 September 2020) in the third country.

In order to be considered, please submit the following documents to Matthew Campbell

  • A copy of your CV (following the Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship guidelines) 
  • A two page outline of the proposed research project
  • Up to one page on your proposed mentor, your reasons for this choice and the wider fit between your project and the Department

It is recommended that you contact your proposed mentor in advance of applying. If you have any questions regarding the process please contact Matthew Campbell.

Wellcome Trust Research Fellowships

For the three year Research Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust candidates are expected to have been awarded their PhD before they apply and must not hold a long term established post. The research must be in any area of human and animal health.

The deadlines for applications are 5 January 2021 and 16 June 2021

In order to be considered, please submit the following documents to Matthew Campbell:

  • A short CV (one page)
  • An outline of the proposed research (max 500 words) and the name of your proposed mentor and why you have chosen them (max 100 words). The outline should include a summary of the project, the research questions, how the research advances the field and the proposed methodology.

It is recommended that you contact your proposed mentor in advance of applying. If you have any questions regarding the process please contact Matthew Campbell.

Society for Renaissance Studies

The Society for Renaissance Studies invites applications for its Postdoctoral Fellowships, which support research in all aspects of Renaissance Studies. There will be two Postdoctoral Fellowships awarded in the academic year 2020/21, each worth £15,000. The period of tenure is twelve months from 1st October 2020.

Among other topics, previous holders of the Fellowships have studied dynastic world of the late medieval and Renaissance Gaeltacht, practices of religious recantation in early modern England, the relationship between marital harmony and health in early modern England, the influence of Italian pattern books on Welsh country houses, the technical innovations in music introduced on the continent by fifteenth-century English émigré communities, the relationship between the space of the church, its decoration and the administration of charity in early modern Lutheran Germany, late medieval illuminators who worked on ornamenting early modern printed books, and the scientific studies of a female Paduan apothecary.

The closing date for applications is 30th April 2020. Applicants must be graduates of British or Irish universities, and currently engaged in full-time research, part-time teaching or independent scholarship. Applicants must either already have been awarded their PhD no more than five years before 1st October 2020, or have been provisionally awarded their PhD by 31st May 2020, subject to no more than minor corrections. In normal circumstances, such fellowships should not be held in conjunction with a postdoctoral or academic teaching post which is for more than 60 per cent of a full-time post.

HRC Postdoctoral Fellowships

For early and mid-career researchers: AHRC Leadership Fellowships

The AHRC’s Leadership Fellows scheme provides time for research leaders, or potential future research leaders, to undertake focused individual research alongside collaborative activities which have the potential to generate a transformative impact on their subject area and beyond. In addition to demonstrating support for high quality, world leading research and associated outputs, proposals must include collaborative activities to support the development of the Fellow’s capacity for research leadership in the arts and humanities.

Leadership Fellows awards are supported as a partnership with Research Organisations. Applicants should discuss any potential application with their Research Organisation at an early stage, as strong evidence of institutional support for the proposed Fellow’s career and leadership development is required as part of the application process.

Applications to the scheme will be welcomed for research in any subject area within the AHRC’s remit. Proposals may be for research at a range of stages of development, provided that substantial high quality research outputs are planned to emerge directly from the Fellowship. A range of activities, including knowledge exchange, can be included in proposals and the scheme incorporates elements of the former Fellowships in the Creative and Performing Arts and Knowledge Transfer Fellowships schemes.

This route supports applications from early career researchers with outstanding future leadership potential who meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Research Funding Guide. There is a separate route for mid and senior researchers.

The early career route of the Leadership Fellows scheme provides funding for periods of between six and 24 months. Proposals with a full economic cost of between £50,000 and £300,000 may be submitted.

UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship

The UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) will grow the strong supply of talented individuals needed to ensure that UK research and innovation continues to be world class. This cross-UK Research and Innovation scheme will support early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential in universities, UK registered businesses, and other research environments. The support offered will be long-term and flexible, providing a comprehensive package, including the Fellow's salary and justified research, staff and training costs. Seven years of support is available, employing a four year + three year model, with an external review in year four. Upon cessation of the FLF (after either four or seven years) and subject to performance, the University will offer Fellows an open-ended independent research position. There will be six calls for these Fellowships; two calls per year between 2018/19 and 2020/21 (UKRI financial years). 50 Fellowships will be awarded in the first round.

The University has an internal process for helping with applications to this scheme. Please contact Matthew Campbell for details.