Postdoctoral Research Associate (History of Philosophy)

7 days left

County of Durham, United Kingdom
Jun 09, 2020
Jul 09, 2020
Contract Type
Full Time
This role is fixed term (12 months) and part-time (O.4 FTE) and therefore the salary will be pro-rata to the salary shown.

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
Durham Philosophy department is amongst the most prestigious departments in the UK, and we pride ourselves on our excellence in research and teaching. The Durham Philosophy community is a lively, friendly group of people including undergraduates, postgraduates and staff, committed to the pursuit of philosophical knowledge and understanding. For further info:

Applications are invited for one part-time postdoctoral research associate in the history of philosophy. The successful applicant will work on the project Inventing Time: Past, Present, and Future in British Metaphysics 1878-1938. The project is hosted by the Department of Philosophy at Durham University, and directed by Dr Emily Thomas. The Project is supported by funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The role is suitable to be held remotely, and all collaboration could be achieved online.

The Project
Inventing Time: Past, Present, and Future in British Metaphysics 1878-1938

This AHRC history of philosophy project explores why and how new questions about the past, present and future emerged in British philosophy around the turn of the twentieth century. The project will examine the work of philosophers such as Shadworth Hodgson, Bertrand Russell, Arthur Eddington, Susan Stebbing, Samuel Alexander and A. N. Whitehead. It will explore their theories of time, and place them in intellectual context: drawing links with the science of the period, and international philosophers (such as Henri Bergson, William James, and Mary Calkins). By stressing the work of women such as Stebbing and Calkins, it will also contribute to the ongoing recovery of historical women philosophers. The project's Principal Investigator (PI) is Dr Emily Thomas.

The Role
The role involves producing original research to further the project, and supporting an existing scholarly network around the project. By conducting research, and being involved in this scholarly network, this role should provide a stepping stone for an early career researcher to advance in the history of philosophy. All these activities can be completed remotely.

Applicants are expected to be early career historians of philosophy, possessing relevant PhD or postdoctoral research expertise in late nineteenth/early twentieth century history of philosophy, or history of philosophy of time, or historical women philosophers, or some related area.

  • To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature.
  • To publish at least one high quality journal article, under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To support the project's existing scholarly network, by organising a virtual/online conference or talks, as planned with the PI.
  • To produce one public outreach piece in reputable venue, such as a Conversation magazine article.
  • To prepare and deliver at least one research presentation, publicising the project; this may be online.
  • To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To work with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder 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 or Grant-holder and offering creative or innovative solutions.
  • To liaise virtually with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
  • To independently plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • 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 membership of departmental committees, etc. or attending relevant training and development courses
This role is fixed term and part-time at 2 days per week (0.4 FTE) for a period of 12 months; the salary will be pro-rata to that shown. It could also be taken as a full-time role, over 4-5 months. The work is suitable to be completed remotely from Durham.

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 on 1st October, 2020. An alternative start date is negotiable with the PI but the post must end by March 2022, due to funding constraints.The Requirements



• A good first degree in Philosophy, or History and Philosophy of Science.
• A PhD (or be close to submission) in Philosophy, or History and Philosophy of Science


• Experience in conducting high quality academic research in the history of philosophy.
• Demonstrable ability to write material of a quality commensurate with publication in highly-ranked journals.
• Ability to present research methods and findings clearly to a variety of audiences.
• Demonstrable ability to present research material and communicate complex information to specialists.


• Ability to plan research and work independently on own initiative
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
• Good organisational and time-management skills with the ability to prioritise workload and meet deadlines.



• A research background that fits well with the project
• A strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals reflecting research interests in the history of philosophy, commensurate with stage of career.
• A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia or meetings (in-person or online) commensurate with stage of career.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Emily Thomas: All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. 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, including a list of publications (if any), a cover letter which details i) your experience and potential with regard to the requirements set out above and ii) includes a short description (around 200-300 words) of how you could contribute to the project. It is understood that at this stage any research ideas will be tentative
• A history of philosophy writing sample, published or unpublished, around the length of a journal article (co-authored pieces should be identified as such)

Next Steps

The assessment for the post will include a 50 minute formal interview. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview and assessment online shortly after the closing date.