Research Fellow - School of English, Drama and Creative Studies

University of Birmingham

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Position type:

Full time


£30,942.00 - £30,942.00

13 May 2020
10 Jun 2020

Full details:

Reference number: BIR-200001U4

Position Details

School of English, Drama and Creative Studies - College of Arts and Law

Location - University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK

Full time - 37.5 hours per week

Fixed term - 12 months from September 2020

Due to limited external funding, the maximum starting salary that can be offered for this position is £30,942 per year.

Closing date - June 10, 2020



The Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Medieval Latin is a one-year position funded by the AHRC project ‘Group Identity and the Early Medieval Riddle Tradition’. During this period, the PDRA will assist the project Principal Investigator, Dr Megan Cavell, and Co-Investigator, Dr Jennifer Neville. The project is focused on the Old English and Latin riddle tradition of early medieval England, as well as its global links and contexts. It explores group identity by examining: networks of riddlers working in England and further afield, performances of identity within the riddles themselves, the ways in which scholarship has replicated the riddle tradition's policing of group identity, and contemporary engagements with the riddles, specifically in relation to museum/heritage activities and education. We are committed to making this research and the riddles themselves as accessible as possible, and so the development of a website – with riddle texts, translations, commentaries, bibliographies and interactive content – is a crucial part of the project.


Summary of Role

The PDRA’s time will be split equally between project responsibilities and their own independent research. Project responsibilities will include: translating Latin riddles and providing public-facing commentaries of their notable literary, thematic and cultural features, disseminating this and other content on the project website, and co-organising a project symposium. Independent research time will be spent working toward the presentation and publication of a relevant, peer-reviewed journal article that draws on the PDRA’s own research interests.


Main Duties

  • Translating Latin riddles and providing public-facing commentaries of their notable literary, thematic and cultural features
  • Disseminating translations, commentaries and other content on the project website.
  • Carrying out independent research leading to a peer-reviewed journal article in an area relevant to the project.
  • Co-organising a project symposium.
  • Presenting research at conferences and symposia.
  • Attending regular meetings with the PI and Co-I.


Person Specification


  • A doctoral degree (or near completion) relevant to medieval Latin language, literature and culture (such as Latin, English, History, Medieval Studies, Classical Studies, etc.).
  • A proficiency in Latin language and translation.
  • A developing research profile, appropriate to their career stage, in an area relevant to the project.
  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills.
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills.
  • Excellent computer and digital media skills.
  • Ability to manage own academic research.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • An interest in public engagement.


  • Familiarity with Old English and/or the history of early medieval England.
  • Previous experience of academic event organisation.
  • Publications in a related area.
  • Previous experience of public engagement.

Online interviews will be held at the end of June 2020


Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Megan Cavell at:

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