The School has become a noted centre for the training of postdoctoral research fellows (PDRFs), who habitually go on academic careers as leaders in their fields. The School is usually home to around 20 externally-funded PDRFs, holders of prestigious awards from the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, the Wellcome Trust, national Academies and Councils (Swedish, Finnish, Swiss), and the European Research Council. It is a lively and international group of emergent scholars, who are fully integrated into the School. Our relationship with our PDRFs begins early, at the stage of application, as the School - through its Director of Research Funding, Dr Andrew Mendelsohn - helps promising candidates to develop their applications to the funding bodies. Such careful and close work has led to our School's remarkable reputation in supporting successful applications.
At the School of History, we believe that the postdoctoral stage is a particularly exciting and formative one. Our Postdoctoral Research Coordinator, Prof Kim Wagner organises and chairs a postdoctoral research colloquium series of thematically paired talks by PDRFs and acts as research mentor. Although the main aim is to promote research during the postdoctoral years, we also offer opportunities for teaching – usually from the second year – and PDRFs benefit from a wide range of training opportunities on all aspects of teaching and student support, which the School has developed for its teachers. Since our teaching is research-driven, PDRFs can develop modules based in areas of existing or developing expertise.
The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), of which we form a part, also facilitates contact between PDRFs across the Faculty. Its Institute promotes contact between PDRFs and other early career researchers, and offers funding in support of workshops, networks and conferences. In addition, the HSS Early Career Network offers support to QMUL academics at the start of their careers. The Network hosts talks and workshops on various aspects of academic life and provides opportunities for early career academics across the Faculty to meet and to share their experiences.
PDRFs are encouraged to organise meetings in support of their research, and the School's Research Manager Sarah Saines (email@example.com) is able to offer advice. QMUL's dedicated Centre for Public Engagement supports public-facing events and projects through administrative support and funding.
The School offers its postdoctoral fellows experience in the whole array of activities that make the academic life – teaching, research, public engagement, international networking – and is delighted with their success. Several past PDRFs now teach in leading universities in the UK, the rest of Europe, the U.S. and Australia, and others have chosen pathways into interesting careers in museums, research libraries, archives and collections.
Caroline Ashcroft is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow working on technological determinism in Cold War political thought.
Lyndsey Jenkins is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow working on Labour women MPs between 1945 and 1979.
David Kennerley is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow working on the history of sound, musical life and performance in Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Michael Romyn is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow working on the 'emotional experience' of the English inner city from the 1970s to the present day.