Research Fellow in Interdisciplinary Prison Research - School of Geography, Earth and Environmental

6 days left

United Kingdom
£30,942.00 - £42,792.00
Sep 27, 2020
Oct 27, 2020
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322 with potential progression once in post to £42,792

Grade 7

Full Time/Fixed Term Contract for 34 months

Closing date: 31st October 2020

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to support the ESRC-funded interdisciplinary research project 'The Persistence of the Victorian Prison'.

Working with Professors Dominique Moran, Matt Houlbrook and Yvonne Jewkes, and operating across their areas of specialism (in carceral geography, history and criminology respectively), the post-holder will be a key part of an interdisciplinary team addressing critical questions about the afterlives of the Victorian prison in the period after 1901, and continued operation of Victorian-era prisons in the UK.

Applicants should hold, or be close to completing, a PhD/DPhil in a relevant discipline (e.g. human geography, criminology, history). They should have an emerging publication record commensurate with their career stage. Applicants should possess a strong foundation and demonstrable experience in some or all of the methodologies relevant to the project, ideally in relation to prisons or other carceral settings. These methodologies include archival research in national and local record offices, discourse analysis, and qualitative methods including the ethics and practice of oral interviews. They should also be willing to further develop their methodological skills with appropriate training and mentoring. They should have excellent oral and written communications skills, strong organisational skills, and exemplary interpersonal skills with the ability to work constructively and effectively both within a small research team and under their own initiative. Experience with website management, exhibitions and other forms of public engagement, a background in the study of prisons and incarceration (appropriate to disciplinary perspective), and an interest in prison architecture/architectural history would be an advantage.

The post is full-time and fixed-term for 34 months, starting on 1 January 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. The post-holder will be based in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham (line managed by Professor Moran), but will also work closely with Professor Houlbrook in the Department of History at Birmingham, and with Professor Jewkes in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. They will also subsequently work with a second Postdoctoral Researcher (to be recruited).

The University of Birmingham is committed to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. In addition to relevant research training, and involvement in research design, conduct and dissemination, the post-holder will therefore also benefit from a Career Development Fund of £1000 per full-time year.

Further information about the project itself is available at

Role Summary
  • Work within the ESRC-funded interdisciplinary research project 'The Persistence of the Victorian Prison', with Professors Dominique Moran, Matt Houlbrook and Yvonne Jewkes, operating across their areas of specialism in carceral geography, history and criminology respectively
  • Generate, analyse and interpret research findings
  • Contribute to publication and dissemination of research findings, and to public engagement
  • Contribute to management of research activities

Main Duties
  • Generate research data; this will be through a variety of research methods, including discourse analysis, analysis of archival data, and qualitative methodologies such as interviews with currently and formerly incarcerated persons, and prison staff. It is not expected that the successful candidate will already have experience of all of these methods - they will work with the investigators to develop expertise
  • Analyse and interpret data
  • Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding
  • Disseminate research findings for publications and conference papers
  • Co-organise and contribute to development of a series of project exhibitions, and support associated public engagement activity
  • Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods
  • Undertake management/administration arising from research
  • Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof, and co-presenting at academic conferences
  • Manage the project website
  • Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research
  • Promote equality and value diversity, acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture

Person Specification
  • First degree in a relevant area of specialism (such as human geography, history or criminology) and normally, a PhD or near completing, relevant to the research area
  • Experience of at least one of the following types of research methodology, ideally in relation to prisons and carceral settings: (a) archival research; (b) discourse analysis; (c) qualitative methodologies such as in-depth interviews, oral histories and photo elicitation; and a willingness to develop skills in the remaining methodologies, again in relation to prisons.
  • 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
  • Ability to contribute to the planning and organising of the research project
  • Ability to 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

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community '

Valuing excellence; sustaining investment

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