Economic History Society Fellowships

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The Economic History Society (EHS), in conjunction with the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), offers up to four one-year postdoctoral Fellowships in economic and/or social history, tenable at the Institute. Fellows will not be required to be resident in London but should participate in the activities of the Institute by attendance at - and the presentation of a paper to - an appropriate seminar series and by networking with fellow scholars.

The Fellowships will be awarded to postdoctoral candidates who have recently completed a doctoral degree in economic and/or social history, or who will have submitted their thesis for examination by 1 October in the academic year in which the Fellowship is to be held. The Fellowships are open to candidates who are British citizens and/or holders of a degree from a British university. It is the intention of the Economic History Society to promote work of a kind that might be published in the leading refereed academic journals in economic and/or social history. Fellows will be expected to pursue research in economic and/or social history at an advanced level with a view to publication.

These awards cannot be held in conjunction with any other substantial maintenance grant, nor can they be used to fund a sabbatical year for the holder of a permanent academic position. At the discretion of the Director of the Institute, Fellows may engage in teaching or other paid work for up to six hours per week.

It is important that applicants demonstrate that the research proposed in their applications is in the field of economic and/or social history, both broadly defined.

The Fellowship stipend will be £22,000 (an additional £2,000 will be paid for fellowships held in London institutions).  The stipend will be payable in four instalments through the Institute.

In addition, the Economic History Society will fund travel costs for each Fellow for up to four visits to the Institute of Historical Research during the period of his/her Fellowship, subject to the provision of receipts and the Society’s standard procedures for funding travelling expenses. Fellows are eligible to apply to the Economic History Society’s Research Fund for Graduate Students to support minor research costs and conference attendance. Details of the scheme are available here.

Fellows must be affiliated with a British university for the duration of their Fellowships. In this context, ‘affiliation’ means an informal arrangement whereby Fellows will have access to academic staff who are familiar with their area of research and with whom they can discuss their work. This does not need to be arranged during the application process, although, if called for interview, candidates should be able to suggest likely institutions.

It is the responsibility of Fellows to ensure that the university with which they are affiliated provides the support that they require.

Fellows, if they do not have the right to reside and study in the UK, will require a visa, and must ascertain what category of visa is most suitable for them.

The University of London is licensed to issue sponsorship certificates for Tier 5 visas. If Fellows need to enter the UK under a Tier 5 visa, they should apply for a sponsorship certificate through the IHR Fellowship Office, which they can then use in their visa application to the Home Office. Further details of visa categories can be found here.

Equality and Diversity
The Economic History Society and the Institute of Historical Research are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all. Fellows may suspend the fellowship for a period of up to 12 months to allow for, for example, parental leave, ill health, caring responsibilities or a career development opportunity. Please do contact the Director of the IHR should you wish to suspend your Fellowship. Applications will be considered on an individual basis, in line with University of London’s diversity and equality policies.


  • Complete applications must be received at the Institute of Historical Research no later than 3 April 2020. Incomplete applications, or applications arriving after this date, will not be considered.
  • Before completing your application you will need to create an account in the online application system. It can take up to 24 hours for new accounts to be approved so please ensure you create your account well in advance of the competition deadline.
  • Two supporting letters of reference must be received by no later than 17 April 2020.
  • Interviews will be held in June/July 2020.

Application  Format

  • Hard copy applications will be deemed ineligible.  Only applications made using the IHR’s online application system will be considered.
  • Applications for which the requested supporting documents (one-page CV, thesis summary and research proposal) are not uploaded will be deemed ineligible.
  • Applications which do not receive their full complement of two supporting letters of reference will not be considered. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that his/her referees supply letters in support of the application.

Once an application has been submitted, a standard email will be sent to the addresses supplied by the applicant in the ‘Referees’ section of the online application form. Applicants may arrange instead for a portfolio of generic references to be sent by their university, where such a service is offered. In that case the box in the ‘Referees’ section marked ‘Portfolio to follow’ should be ticked, and the referee details left blank. All letters must be emailed as Word document attachments to and the applicant’s surname must appear in the subject line of the email.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that his/her referees supply letters in support of the application, and it is strongly advised that referees are contacted well before the application is submitted. Applications which do not receive their full complement of two supporting letters of recommendation by 20 April 2020 will not be considered.

Final Report
Within three months of the end of the Fellowship period (i.e. before 1 January 2022), each Fellow will send to the Institute of Historical Research (by email) a written report on the Fellowship experience, detailing the activities undertaken during the period of his/her Fellowship and an outline of future career plans.

Selection Policies
The EHS is committed to promoting diversity, and the interview panel will be chosen accordingly. Panel members will assess the quality of applications with reference to the following criteria:

  • The academic record of the candidate as exhibited by CV and references.
  • The importance of the proposed research to the applicant's field and its prospects for publication in a leading academic journal or monograph series in economic and/or social history.
  • The prospects for completing research within the time projected and funds awarded.
  • All other considerations being equal, the candidate's likely contribution to the academic life of the IHR.

The School of Advanced Study
Applicants are strongly advised to investigate the resources that are available to them within the University of London and particularly at the School of Advanced Study, to which the IHR belongs.

Application Contents
As well as completing the 'Personal Details', 'Education' and 'Referees' sections, applicants should also upload the following three documents:

  • A one-page CV, listing any educational details, publications, research papers and other relevant academic information not submitted elsewhere in the application. Your name must be included on all pages. 
  • A summary of the doctoral thesis (no more than 750 words). Your name and page numbers must be included on all pages.
  • A postdoctoral research proposal with timetable for completion (no more than 1,000 words). This should include a clear statement indicating how the proposal contributes to the existing literature on economic and/or social history, both broadly defined. Your name and page numbers must be included on all pages.

EHS applicants do not need to upload the sample of written work which is requested in the Postdoctoral Fellowships 'Upload Section' of the online application form.

The deadline date for the receipt of applications has been extended to: 17 April 2020.  All references must be received at the IHR by 1 May 2020.

Further Particulars
The Economic History Society’s objective in awarding the Fellowships is to further research in economic and/or social history by enabling new researchers to strengthen their research record with a view to following a career which will enable them to undertake high-quality research in the field. The Power and Postan Fellowships are also supported financially by the Power and Postan Fellowships trusts administered by the London School of Economics.

Candidates may be asked at the interview what difference a Fellowship would make to their prospects of sustaining research in economic/social history in future.

Holders of Fellowships should acknowledge the Society’s financial support in publications which result from the Fellowship.

The Society seeks to encourage research across a broad range of economic/social history.

Apply online

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