Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Modern British Education/Language/History Ref 3911

School/department: School of English; Media, Arts and Humanities
Hours: 0.5 or 1.0 FTE
Contract: Fixed term until 31/08/2021 (at 1.0 FTE) or 31/08/2022 (at 0.5FTE) as Research funded
Reference: 3911
Salary: starting at £35,845 per annum, pro rata if part time
Placed on: 16 June 2020
Closing date:  16 July 2020.  Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected interview date: tbc
Expected start date: 01 September 2020

Job description

The Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Education and Language is a one-year full time position / two-year 0.5 position funded by the AHRC project ‘Speaking Citizens: The Politics of Speech Education 1850-Present’.

During this period, the PDRA will assist the project Principal Investigator, Dr. Tom F. Wright, and work with Co-Investigators Dr. Arlene Holmes-Henderson and Dr. Hester Barron at Sussex, and Professor Stephen Coleman at the University of Leeds.

The project explores ideas about speech, education and citizenship in modern Britain from the Victorian period to the present. The interdisciplinary team are contributing overlapping studies and working closely with teachers and partner organisations to investigate how citizenship education can be taught through a focus on speech. The project will develop these findings into teaching resources and workshops to be delivered across the UK. We are hosting a major conference during 2021, and our work will culminate in 2023 with policy presentations in Westminster and a special session at the House of Commons. 

Summary of Role

The PDRA’s time will be split equally between project responsibilities and their own independent research.

A team member is required with expertise in modern education and language, broadly conceived, to explore the history of speaking in multicultural British society from the 1960s to the present day. Independent research time will be spent working toward the presentation and publication of a peer-reviewed journal article that addresses the project’s themes in this broad area and draws on the PDRA’s own research interests.

Additionally, the PDRA will have chief responsibility for the organisation and administration of the project’s conference to be held during 2021, and participate in other public activities as required.

Start date and duration are flexible. There is no requirement that the successful candidate re-locate. 

Main Duties

  • Carrying out independent research leading to a peer-reviewed journal article in an area relevant to the project.
  • Co-organising the project conference.
  • Presenting research at conferences and symposia (subject to post-Covid conditions)
  • Attending regular meetings with the PI and Co-Is (remote or in-person)

Please see for details of the project, and contact for informal enquiries.

For full details and how to apply see our vacancies page

The University of Sussex values the diversity of its staff and students and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.


Download job description and person specification Ref 3911 [PDF 159.18KB]

How to apply

Download our academic post application form [DOC 301.50KB] and personal details and equal opportunities form [DOC 162.50KB] and fill in all sections.

Email your completed application, and personal details and equal opportunities form, to

You should attach your application form and all documents to the email (don't use a web-based upload/weblink service) and use the format job reference number / job title / your name in the subject line.

You can also send your application by post to Human Resources Division, Sussex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

Download our terms and conditions summary for Research Faculty Terms and Conditions [DOC 36.00KB]

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