Research and Outreach Associate (Fixed Term)

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The Centre of Islamic Studies (CIS) at the University of Cambridge is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research and Outreach Associate in Islamic art and architecture and/or material culture. The post is a three-year, fixed-term position which will commence in September 2024. It is full-time and based in the Centre of Islamic Studies, which is located in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

CIS research and outreach posts are distinctive in that postholders are expected to 1) pursue a research project in an area of Islamic art, architecture and/or material culture and 2) design and run a set of outreach activities that reach beyond the academic community. What form the latter will take will depend on the specialism of the appointee but collaboration with the Fitzwilliam Museum, other Cambridge museums, the University Library and local schools are welcomed, as well as proposals for other forms of outreach.

CIS is one of a network of centres and research and outreach associates are strongly encouraged to collaborate with colleagues at our UK partner institution, the Alwaleed Centre at the University of Edinburgh. The new postholder will also be an academic contact within the developing Alwaleed Cultural Network which connects the network of centres to external partners in the heritage and culture sectors. When appropriate, research and outreach associates apply for additional external funding for the activities they design.

The postholder may also contribute to the teaching of Islamic art, architecture and material culture within the Department of Middle Eastern Studies with which CIS has close links. Previous postholders have also given lectures in the History of Art Department.

Candidates will need to demonstrate an upward research trajectory and an ability to develop and carry out research projects of a high academic standard. They will also need to show an interest in and understanding of the remit of the Centre of Islamic Studies and a commitment to outreach beyond academia. Attendance at and participation in CIS weekly seminars and events during term-time, and annual conferences or symposia, is expected. The role requires an ability to work independently but also as part of a team, and native or near native fluency in spoken and written English.

The successful candidate will be expected to have been awarded their PhD by the date their employment commences. CIS Research and Outreach posts are intended primarily for early career researchers. Applications are therefore invited from researchers who have submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination not more than four years prior to the application closing date. Those wishing to make a case for a career break due to maternity leave, family commitments, illness, or other exceptional circumstances should provide relevant details. Please note that time spent working outside academia does not qualify as a career break.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

The closing date for applications is Friday 8 December 2023.

The deadline for receipt of academic references from shortlisted candidates is 12 January 2024.

It is expected that interviews will take place in late January or early February 2024. They make take place in-person or online, depending on applicant and interviewer availability. Any offer of employment will be conditional on the offer-holder having or gaining the right to work in the UK.

Enquiries may be addressed to the Acting Director of the Centre of Islamic Studies, Professor Amira K. Bennison at

Please quote reference VN39245 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

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

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