The Department of African Studies and Anthropology (DASA) at the University of Birmingham seeks a postdoctoral fellow in African Studies to contribute to our research and teaching for 18 months.
This post is funded by an endowment that enables members of the staff at sub-Saharan African Universities to spend a period of time at the University of Birmingham. The post is therefore limited to applicants currently based on the African continent and affiliated with an African Higher Education Institution.
The appointee will undertake a significant programme of research and publication. While the specific goals of the programme are to be identified with the fellow’s dedicated mentor, they should include the publication of high-quality outputs such as a single-authored book or peer-reviewed articles based on the fellow’s own research. In addition, the appointee will facilitate exchange and collaboration between DASA and one or more institutions in Africa and engage with non-academic audiences and beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of research.
The appointee will also contribute to teaching on Africa, spending a maximum of six hours per week on average in the convening, teaching and assessment of modules, dissertation supervision, tutorial sessions and other forms of student engagement. The department has a particular need for introductory (year 1 undergraduate) teaching in African history. The appointee will be given the opportunity to obtain a teaching qualification through the University’s professional development programme, and have access to academic development and support structures including a dedicated mentor.
The University will provide support for the visa application process, and it will pay for the visa and pre-agreed visa application expenses for the successful candidate. It will also be responsible for the appointee’s NHS surcharge fee, which allows the applicant to access the National Health Service.
Skills, Qualifications and Experience
- Currently based on the African continent and employed by or affiliated with an African Higher Education Institution.
- Candidates must EITHER not currently hold a permanent academic position OR submit, with their application, a statement confirming that they will be released by their home institution for the period of their appointment.
- A doctorate examined and passed between 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2021.
- An appropriate record of research and publications
- A convincing and achievable research and publication proposal in the field of African Studies.
- Ability to contribute to undergraduate and Masters’ level teaching in African Studies, including introductory (year 1 undergraduate) teaching in African history.
- Experience of collaborative research activity, including participation in large research projects and meeting deadlines.
- An awareness of current policy issues and contacts with civil society organisations.
- Expertise in the history of Africa and/ or its diasporas.
PLEASE NOTE: As part of your application, please upload a piece of published research (there will be an option to upload documents whilst completing the electronic application form).
- Work within specified research grants and projects and contribute to writing bids
- Operate within area of specialism
- Analyse and interpret research findings and results
- Contribute to generating funding
- Contribute to licensing or spin out deals with demonstrated commercial success (such as revenues, asset or company sales, IP generated) and/or public understanding of the discipline
The responsibilities may include some but not all of the responsibilities outlined below.
- Develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research, with assistance of a mentor if required
- Contribute to writing bids for research funding
- Analyse and interpret data
Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding
- Disseminate research findings for publication, research seminars etc
- Supervise students on research related work and provide guidance to PhD students where appropriate to the discipline
- Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods
- Undertake management/administration arising from research
- Departmental/School research-related activities and research-related administration
- Contribute to enterprise, business development and/or public engagement activities of manifest benefit to the College and the University, often under supervision of a project leader
- Collect research data; this may be through a variety of research methods, such as scientific experimentation, literature reviews, and research interviews *
- Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof, for example at seminars and as posters *
- Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research *
- Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines*
Promotes equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.
* These indicative responsibilities may also be included in a research role at grade 6
- First degree in area of specialism and normally, a higher degree relevant to research area or equivalent qualifications
- High level analytical capability
- Ability to communicate complex information clearly
- Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones
- Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
- Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes
- Contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and/or specific research project
- Co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
- Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly