Research Fellow

Contract Full-time University of Birmingham
  • Post Date : June 3, 2021
  • Salary: £42792
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Job Description

Research Fellow – Modern Languages – Grade 7 – 80809

– (210000S8)

Position Details

School of Modern Languages

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK – The role is based in Berlin for the first 4 months of the post and last 2 months either UK or Germany

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322. With potential progression once in post to £42,792 a year. Due to funding restrictions maximum starting salary available for this post will be £32,817

Grade 7

Full time

Fixed term contract for up to 6 months

Closing Date: 14th June 2021

Job Purpose

Knowing the Secret Police: Secrecy and Knowledge in East German society is a three year research project funded by the AHRC (2018-2021). It overturns the approach of existing research to ask not what the ‘all-powerful’ Stasi knew about society, but what and how East Germans knew about the ‘secret police’. It seeks to have impact on dominant narratives on the GDR past in Germany today. The project is managed by PI Anselma Gallinat (Newcastle University), CI Joanne Sayner (Newcastle University) and CI Sara Jones (University of Birmingham).

The project team are now recruiting for a 6-month Research Fellow position for the ‘Literary Networks’ strand of the project. This strand has as its focus the ways in which knowledge about the Ministry for State Security (MfS) was acquired and circulated within the GDR literary sphere. The research in this strand is based on close textual analysis, archive research and semi-structured interviews. This post has become available as the current Research Fellow is taking up a new post from September 2021.

The RA will be employed in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham and based in Berlin for the first 4 months of the post. They will start on or as soon as possible after 1 September 2021.

Summary of Role

The Research Fellow on the ‘Literary Networks’ strand of Knowing the Secret Police will be employed by the University of Birmingham and based in Berlin for the first 4 months of the post. They will be supervised by Prof. Sara Jones. In this context, they will carry out primary archive research on how knowledge of the Stasi was acquired and circulated in the GDR literary sphere, principally in the Stasi Records Archive (BStU) and the Archive of Suppressed Literature in the GDR. The RA will also support project administration and overarching project work.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Contribute to qualitative data collection through archive research
  • Conduct independent research on the ‘Literary Networks’ strand of the project
  • Support the project team in the management/administration of the project, e.g., in the organisation of events and outreach/impact activities
  • Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines

Person Specification

  • First degree in the humanities or social sciences
  • PhD (or equivalent) relevant to research area in history, German Studies or cognate discipline
  • Expertise in historical approaches including archival research
  • Good knowledge of the historical context of the research, i.e., the GDR
  • Fluency in German and English
  • High level analytical capability
  • Ability to conduct independent research
  • Highly developed ability to communicate complex information clearly both orally and in writing
  • Ability to contribute to the planning and organisation of the research project
  • Ability to co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
  • Experience of carrying out individual or collaborative research projects
  • Experience of archive and/or text-based historical research
  • Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently

Informal enquiries should be directed to Professor Sara Jones at

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment
We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community’

Primary Location GB-GB-Birmingham
Job Academic Non-clinical
Organization Arts and Law
Schedule Temporary
Job Posting 20.05.2021, 6:00:00 PM
Grade (for job description) Grade 7
Salary (Pay Basis) 32,817.00
Advert Close Date 14.06.2021, 5:59:00 PM
Fixed Term Contract End Date 28.02.2022

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