The Centre for Design History (CDH) at the University of Brighton invites applications for a Postdoctoral Visiting Research Fellow (VRF) to spend time at the Centre to pursue their research within CDH’s themes.

CDH examines the production and consumption of visual and material culture – images and things – in their widest social and cultural contexts across diverse histories and geographies. It contributes to an expanded field of design history that embraces the conjunction of professional and amateur practices; digital and analogue artefacts; the decentring of design practice away from the singular object to complex ecologies, objects and systems, and the role of design and material culture in everyday life. It is committed to taking global perspectives on how colonial and post-colonial narratives of design have been constructed and to consider what voices and practices these exclude.

CDH comprises over 50 members including artists and designers, archivists and curators, activists and academics from PhDs to Professors. We have a vibrant research community and a rich programme of seminars, workshops and conferences. Related research resources include the internationally renowned Design Archives. For detail of recent CDH activities, see our lively blog.

We are inviting applications from scholars within c.12 months of completing their PhD from any institution (this period can be flexible for those with caring responsibilities). The CDH VRF Fellowship scheme aims to support scholars in developing their research career, by providing support for their research activities such as working on publications, events and funding bids. The position would especially suit a postdoctoral researcher seeking an institutional afiliation.

The aims of the Postdoctoral CDH VRF scheme are to:

* provide a postdoctoral researcher with an opportunity to immerse themselves in CDH’s research culture

* offer an opportunity for a postdoctoral researcher to work collaboratively with CDH staff

* support a postdoctoral researcher to the next stage of their career

* develop a stimulating intellectual environment for advancing bid development, convening events and / or authoring publications

* give a postdoctoral researcher a platform for presenting their research to staff and students

CDH research is currently grouped around four thematic strands:

  • Fashion and dress histories
  • Graphic design histories
  • Transnational design histories
  • Museums, archives and exhibitions

Cutting across these themes, we are committed to research approaches and practices that decentre cultural privilege and engage with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We particularly welcome applications from postdoctoral researchers that address one or more of these areas.

On successful application, CDH will cover the £200 administrative fee for the scheme, but no salary or stipend will be paid. For visa purposes, where needed, CDH can provide a letter with the formal start / end dates plus an outline of the specifics of the role.

Postdoctoral CDH Fellowships can be up to one year in duration. Due to limited research staff capacity, we can usually only accommodate 1-2 Postdoctoral VRFs per year. Where there are multiple requests, CDH staff will select applications with the best fit to our themes.

CDH Postdoctoral Visiting Research Fellows will have access to:

* a University of Brighton campus card, which enables access to University facilities and resources, including CDH research training events and activities

* Information Services (including libraries) and to computer, printing and copying facilities

* a University of Brighton email address

* a sponsor (a member of CDH academic staff) plus CDH administrative support

How to apply

Enquiries should be made in the first instance to the CDH Director, Dr Annebella Pollen Applications are due by 5pm GMT on Friday 26th November 2021 to

One application will be put forward in this round. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 20th December 2021.

Applicants should ensure that they address the following in their application:

* their proposed contribution to CDH’s research culture

* the fit between their plans and one or more of CDH’s themes and priorities

* details of the activities and outcomes to be delivered during their Fellowship

Application Process

Please refer to the application forms and details here but please note that documents need to be submitted in the first instance, by the deadline, to

* Visiting Research Fellows application form

* Visiting Research Fellows guidance

* IT Account Registration form