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Job opportunities

Vacancies within the Institute are posted here.

Current vacancies

Postdoctoral Research Associates x 4 (Fixed Term)

Salary: £31,604-£38,833.

Applications are invited for four three-year Postdoctoral Research Associates (PDRAs) to work on the European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant project (2017-22), ARCTIC CULT , Arctic Cultures: Sites of Collection in the Formation of the European and American Northlands, led by Dr. Richard Powell.

The project investigates the construction of the Arctic that emerged from the exploration of the region by Europeans and North Americans and their contacts with indigenous people from the middle of the sixteenth century. It examines that ways that texts, cartographic representations and objects were collected and returned to sites like London, Copenhagen, Berlin and Philadelphia. The construction of the Arctic thereby became entwined within the growth of colonial museum cultures and, indeed, western modernity. This project delineates the networks and collecting cultures involved in this creation of Arctic Cultures. It involves research at museums, archives, libraries and repositories across Europe and North America, as well as in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. The project aspires to a new understanding of the consequences of colonial representations and decolonial processes for debates about the Circumpolar Arctic today.

The project is based in the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) and Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. The holders of the four posts will have office space in the SPRI.

Candidates will have (or be about to obtain) a PhD (or similar qualification) and may also have some postdoctoral experience in a relevant area. Relevant subject areas include but are not limited to: human geography, cultural anthropology, colonial history, museum studies, global history, history of science, science and technology studies, history of art or material cultural studies. Candidates will have knowledge and/or experience of research into the cultures and peoples of the Circumpolar Arctic (or related issues), the ability to work independently and with colleagues in a team, and good data analysis and communication skills. Fluency in English is essential for all posts. For each of the four posts, knowledge and reading of relevant languages is desirable, including ability in one or more of the following languages, among others: Inuktitut, Kalaallisut, Danish, German, Norwegian, Swedish (see the Further Particulars for specific information on each post).

The successful candidates will be expected to undertake research at relevant museums, archives, libraries and repositories across Europe and North America, as well as in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, in support of their case study. In addition to academic outputs, the project will create a website, an exhibition, a major international conference, a series of workshops, seminars and public events. All team members will take active roles in these activities.

Preferred start date for each post is 1 October 2018.

Fixed-Term: The funds for these posts end in September 2021 in the first instance.

Salary: £31,604 to £38,833

The closing date for applications is 30 April 2018.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held on 21/22 May 2018 in Cambridge.

The University, SPRI and Geography are committed to equality and diversity. The University holds an institutional Athena-SWAN silver award and the Department is a bronze award holder. Details of some of the family-friendly policies operated by the University are at: http://www.hr.admin.cam.ac.uk/pay-benefits/cambens-employee-benefits/family-friendly.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button on the University's jobs site page. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Informal enquiries about the post and ERC project may be addressed to Dr. Richard Powell (rcp31@cam.ac.uk). Any questions about the application process should be directed to Jenny Dunstall (jenny.dunstall@spri.cam.ac.uk).

Please quote reference LD14939 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.


  • Form CHRIS/5 should be used for applications for support staff posts and not for applications for academic, academic-related and contract research staff posts.
  • Form CHRIS/6 should be used as a cover sheet for applicants to include with a CV.
  • The information given will be processed for employment selection and statistical purposes and will be retained for successful candidates. Applications from unsuccessful candidates will be retained for up to twelve months. You will be given the opportunity to state any disability needs if called for an interview.

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