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Postdoctoral Research Associate: Attitudes to Biological Purity

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
32,817 - 40,322 a year
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Role Description


This position will be a member of the Department of History, and hosted by the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity.  

The University of York is one of the finest institutions in Europe for the advanced study of History, combining ground-breaking research with teaching programmes of incredible chronological breadth and geographic and thematic scope. The Department of History is one of the largest in the UK, with over 45 academic staff, 900 single and combined honours undergraduate students, and more than 150 postgraduate students. The Department has been awarded a Bronze Athena Swan award.

The Times Higher Education's ranking of the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) placed the Department second overall for research performance, as well as in the top 10 for both the quality of its outputs and the impact of its research outside academia.  The Department is ranked 6th for History in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2020 and is ranked 7th in the UK in the Times Good University Guide 2019. The current Head of Department is Professor Lawrence Black. 

The Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity is home to a community of academics, researchers and postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines, all working on different aspects of how human activity impacts on Earth. As such it is a dynamic environment where you will be able to explore your research topic with input from a host of intellectual perspectives through day to day interactions as well as dedicated regular interdisciplinary activities such as seminars, workshops and meetings. You will also be able to engage with visiting academics from our partner institutes.



Key responsibilities include:

  • · To plan, coordinate, develop and undertake historical research, write up research findings and contribute to the production of research outputs
  • · To collaborate with, and advise, other researchers to increase the effectiveness of transdisciplinary research in the Centre
  • · To develop understanding of human conceptualisation of Anthropocene change

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • PhD in an appropriate subject, or equivalent research experience.
  • Ability to develop and carry out own research projects investigating the cultural definition and interpretation of biodiversity and responses to ecological novelty.
  • Presentation of research in various forms, e.g. publications, conferences and public engagement.
  • Willingness to actively contribute to the intellectual life and culture of the Centre, including transdisciplinary working
  • Work with others in developing understandings of the Anthropocene through approaches developed in the Humanities and Social Sciences in order to set your own research in wider contexts.
  • Receptive to different methodologies and able to communicate effectively with different kinds of audiences. 
  • Knowledge of relevant source material in your specialism and of key concepts, approaches and debates in this field of research.
  • Experience of independent and joint research, and developing appropriate syntheses and interpretations of historical and cultural knowledge. 
  • Collaborative ethos, enthusiasm for research into Anthropocene change and ability to plan and prioritise your work to produce high quality outputs. 

 The interview is likely to be on 29 January 2019.

For informal enquiries: please contact Centre Director Professor Chris Thomas on and Associate Director Dr Mark Jenner on

This post is available on a fixed term basis for 3 years.

The University is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community  – a place where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit. We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, staff engagement forums, campus facilities and services to support staff from different backgrounds.

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