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Research Fellowship in Commonwealth Studies at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, UK

Publish Date: Sep 17, 2015

Deadline: Nov 20, 2015

The Smuts Management Committee invites applications for a non-renewable Smuts Visiting Research Fellowship in Commonwealth Studies, tenable for 9 months from 1st October 2016.

The successful applicant will be expected to pursue research in the field of Commonwealth Studies, including Commonwealth-related aspects of archaeology, anthropology, economics, history, human geography, law, literature, oriental studies, sociology, politics and social psychology. The Fellowship holder is expected to live in Cambridge for the majority of their tenure and accommodation is normally offered

by Wolfson College. The successful candidate will also be affiliated with a particular, relevant department within the University. The Fellow is expected primarily to advance Commonwealth Studies in Cambridge mainly by pursuing research and to take part in seminars and analogous activities within the University. The Fellow will have access, by agreement, to the holdings of Faculty and Departmental libraries, to the libraries of the Centres of African Studies and South Asian Studies and to the University Library, which houses the extensive collection of materials relating to the history of the British Empire and Commonwealth formerly housed in the Royal Commonwealth Society Library in London

Candidates should be members of staff of a University, or similar institution, outside of the UK. The person appointed will be expected to have obtained a Ph.D. (or equivalent) degree or be working at post-doctoral level. The Managers will give preference to scholars with an established or emerging international reputation and an active research interest in an area or areas of scholarship falling within the remit of the Smuts Fund. The Managers expect that the person appointed would be intending to come to Cambridge to work on a project that builds on existing research for which a period of residence in Cambridge is demonstrably appropriate, although they would not rule out the initiation of a new piece of work where there is a realistic expectation that it could be completed by the end of the 9 month tenure of the Fellowship.

The Fellow will receive a contribution towards their expenses of between £38,511-£48,783 per annum (pro rata) for a nine-month stay or less. This sum may be reduced to the extent that the Fellow receives income from another source. The contribution to expenses is subject to tax and National Insurance in the UK. However, depending on personal circumstances, the Fellow may be eligible for Tax exemption following assessment from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. A further sum of up to £6,000 is available towards travel and expenses, including the associated costs of being lodged at Wolfson College, such as the £100 monthly membership fee. The Managers are not able to provide additional sums for the travel or living expenses of anyone accompanying the Fellow to Cambridge.

How to apply

Applications should be sent to the Smuts Administrator, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX, UK by the 20th November 2015. Alternatively they may be sent via email, in either Word or PDF format to References can be sent by email in the first instance but hard copies complete with signature must follow.

The application should consist of:

  • Your curriculum vitae, including full name and title, correspondence address, occupation in the academic year 2015-16, net monthly salary (in local currency) to assist the Managers in fixing the value of your Fellowship, your email address, the titles, dates and places of any previous Fellowships or awards you have held since completing your PhD or have held before October 2015, name and address of your two references (please note that you must ask your referees to write in support of your application, the Smuts team cannot do this for you).
  • The name of your project
  • Project details, including the subject area your project encompasses and whether or not this project has already started (see the section on ‘Application Guidance’ for further details)
  • Two references to be sent direct by your referees to the Smuts Administrator, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX, UK. (see the section on ‘Guidance to Referees’ for further details)

All applicants will be notified by email of the outcome of their application in late February 2016.  Please be aware that due to the large number of applications, it is not possible to give feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Please ensure that your project proposal includes the following:

  • The area of Commonwealth Studies supported by the Smuts Fund within which your topic falls
  • The field/s of research your topic falls under – whether archaeology, anthropology, economics, history, human geography, law, literature, oriental studies, sociology, or politics and social psychology
  • Why residence in Cambridge is particularly appropriate for your topic. You might mention relevant library resources, or particular academic staff who you would hope to consult
  • The aims and range of work you would hope to complete in the 9 months in Cambridge. The Managers expect that many applicants will be continuing or completing research they have already begun.  If you intend to undertake a new area of research, please explain how much of the topic you would be able to cover and how you would complete the work once in your home country
  • How long you wish to stay in Cambridge to undertake your project. The maximum tenure available is 9 months
  • The likely outcomes of your work in Cambridge, for instance the completion of a manuscript, submission of articles, a data set etc.

Guidance to Referees

You have been asked by the applicant to write a confidential reference to the Managers of the Smuts Memorial Fund for a Smuts Visiting Fellowship in 2016-17.  The Managers wish to thank you in advance for your assistance which is crucial in maintaining the standard of the competition.  The Managers would be particularly grateful if you were good enough to include in your reference your advice on the areas given below:

  • the quality of the applicant’s work to date
  • the applicant’s suitability for the proposed area of research
  • the extent to which the project proposal prepared by the applicant would benefit from residence in Cambridge as opposed to any other location
  • the importance of the proposed research
  • the extent to which the applicant will be able to meet their aims in the period available to them in Cambridge

Please submit your reply on letter-headed notepaper with a signature.  Any references received that are not on letter headed notepaper cannot be considered.

Please return by 20th November, 2015 to the Administrator of the Smuts Memorial Fund, University of Cambridge, 17, Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX, UK.

An e -mailed reference can be sent to, which will suffice in the first instance, but should be followed up by a signed letter.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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Host Countries

United Kingdom