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BA Postdoctoral Fellowship

The History Faculty welcomes expressions of interest for BA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2019/20. The internal Faculty deadline is 5pm on 16 August 2019.

The Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge invites applications for British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships in History. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 16 August 2019.

The Faculty is delighted to receive applications in any area of History. To complement our current broad range of research strengths, in this coming cycle we would be particularly keen to receive applications in any of the following general areas: the medieval middle east/north Africa; the history of south America; global intellectual history; the history of sexualities; the early modern maritime world. But we are open to all strong proposals.

Potential candidates should first contact a suitable mentor from among our existing staff; if needing guidance on whom to approach, please contact the Research Director Professor John H. Arnold. Please note that the scheme is competitive, both at the internal stage, and then in the subsequent application to the British Academy. The Faculty will nominate a small number of successful candidates to the University’s selection process; some will then go on to compete at a national level in the funding competition.

The British Academy stipulates that institutions must operate internal competitions in advance of the BA deadlines to ensure only the most appropriate applications are submitted to the BA. The Research Strategy Office (RSO) of the University manages the internal competition. The RSO requires all departments to solicit and rank Expressions of Interest from candidates according to the following procedure:

  • Prospective candidates must complete the internal Expression of Interest form and submit this to before the deadline of 16 August 2019.
  • Prospective candidates must include their CV (2 A4 sides maximum), a list of publications, and a writing sample (5,000 words, excluding footnotes) as either Word or PDF documents.
  • Prospective candidates must stipulate an academic mentor. This person MUST be an employee of the University during the period of mentorship, so if a potential mentor currently has a different status they should enquire with the Research Director as to eligibility.
  • The Faculty will then rank Expressions of Interest and submit a Faculty ranking to the RSO by their deadline of 06 September 2019.
  • Candidates who are successful in this internal competition will then be asked to prepare and submit their outline applications to the British Academy.

Specific guidance for the 2019/2020 is not yet published. Here is a link to last year’s information on the British Academy website.

The aim of the British Academy (BA) in making these awards is to offer opportunities for outstanding early career researchers to strengthen their experience of research and teaching in a university environment, which will develop their curriculum vitae and improve their prospects of obtaining permanent lecturing posts by the end of the Fellowship. The primary emphasis is on completion of a significant piece of publishable research, which will be assisted by full membership of an academic community of established scholars working in similar fields.


  • Applicants must be supported by the UK host institution in which they wish to hold the Fellowship.
  • Applicants must be within three years of the award of a doctorate (for the 2019/20 competition this means either already having been awarded a doctoral degree following a viva voce examination held on or after 1 April 2017; or having a reasonable expectation that they will have submitted and had their thesis examined by 1 April 2020).
  • Applicants in the 2018/19 competition awarded a PhD following a viva voce examination held prior to 1 April 2017 who are unable to offer extenuating circumstances, such as interruption to their academic career for maternity leave or illness, will not be considered.
  • Applicants must be a UK or EEA national, or have completed a doctorate at a UK university. Any applicant who does not fall into one of these categories must demonstrate a strong prior association with the UK academic community, for example through having already been employed in a temporary capacity (longer than twelve months) at a UK university.