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Call open for V&A/Sussex Exchange Fellowships

Hannah Field, V&A/Sussex Exchange Fellow 2017/18

The V&A and University of Sussex have launched this year’s call for applications to the V&A/Sussex Exchange Fellowship scheme.

The scheme seeks to appoint one fellow each in the academic year 2018/19 to support ongoing research collaboration between the two institutions.

The V&A

The V&A has entered a period of unprecedented expansion, involving collaborations with partners in higher education, the heritage sector, the creative industries and policymakers across the UK and abroad.

The next five years will see the creation of a new public entrance and exhibition hall on Exhibition Road, the V&A Museum of Design in Dundee, a pioneering design gallery in China, and a major new museum at the heart of the cultural and educational quarter in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

It will also see the move of stored collections into a new collections centre and major renovation and redisplay projects at both South Kensington and the Museum of Childhood.

Additionally, the transfer of the Royal Photographic Society collection to the V&A will create the world’s leading collection for the Art of Photography, paving the way for the creation of a new International Photographic Resource Centre.

The V&A/Sussex Exchange Fellowship scheme

This exchange offers staff from across the University of Sussex the opportunity to hold a fellowship in the V&A’s Research Department. The fellow will normally spend the equivalent of one day a week of their dedicated research time at the Museum; proposals to take an equivalent amount of time as one or more focused blocks will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Fellowship can be used by Sussex staff to:

  • Further develop their expertise and undertake research in their field.
  • Develop a collaborative research project and/or funding proposal with V&A colleagues.
  • Organise at least one interdisciplinary workshop, bringing together colleagues from across the V&A and, where appropriate, the University.
  • Deliver a research work in progress seminar on their project towards the end of the fellowship.
  • Engage in research-led teaching and offer advice to early career members of staff.

It provides Sussex academics from across the University with the opportunity to contribute to the V&A’s aim of improving knowledge of and access to its collections. 

Dr Hannah Field, V&A/Sussex Exchange Fellow 2017/18, said: “I’m just at the start of my V&A exchange, but it’s a wonderful place to begin two new research projects.

"The first is setting up (with Kiera Vaclavik at Queen Mary) an interdisciplinary research network for academics and curators working on childhood and dress – how best to research and display children’s costume, and what we can know about childhood through what children wear and have worn.

"The second is a big new individual research project centred on the figure of the dunce or the dull child in the 19th century, which will use this figure to explore ideas about failure, hard work, and individual talent in the period.

"As a scholar who works across literature, the visual arts, and material culture, the V&A is an incomparably rich research resource. And the ceramic staircase isn’t bad, either!”

How to apply

Please submit your application in a Word document, no longer than one side of A4 (there is no application form to complete). Please indicate the nature of the research you would like to undertake, as well as how this opportunity will benefit your own professional development, the V&A’s strategic objectives and the University of Sussex’s commitment to interdisciplinary research. Applications need to be signed by your Head of School as an indication of their full support.

Please send completed applications to by Monday 25 June 2018.

If you would like to discuss your application, please contact Flora Dennis

Further information

Further details about this scheme can be found here:


Posted on behalf of: Sussex Research
Further information:
Last updated: Thursday, 7 June 2018