The Centre for Design History (CDH) at the University of Brighton invites applications for Visiting Research Fellows (VRF) to spend time at the Centre in the autumn semester (September-January 2022-23) OR the spring semester (February-June 2023) of 2022/23 to pursue their research within CDH’s themes and to form collaborations with CDH members.

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 research is currently grouped around four thematic strands:

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

We are also seeking to develop a fifth strand in Sustainablity, in line with an emerging research specialism within the centre.

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 that address these areas.

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.

Fellowships run for the duration of the semester, fellows are not expected to reside in Brighton for all of this time, but will be required to visit Brighton to benefit from and contribute to our research community (stays are usually expected to last between two weeks and two months).

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.


The aims of the Visiting Research Fellow scheme are to:

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

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

* foster international networks within design history research

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

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


Visiting Research Fellows will have access to:

* a University of Brighton campus card, which enables access to University facilities and resources

* 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


In addition to conducting their own research, Visiting Research Fellows will be expected to:

* contribute to the CDH’s vibrant research community

* contribute a post to the CDH’s blog

* give a seminar on their research open to all staff and students


Applications are due by 5pm GMT on Friday 27th May 2022 to

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 24th June 2022. Fellowships can start from 15th September 2022.


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

* their proposed contribution to CDH’s research culture (with justification for their activities to take place either remotely or in-person; travel to Brighton is preferred, but optional, depending on the applicant’s plans)

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

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

Potential applicants are welcome to contact the CDH Co-Director, Dr Megha Rajguru:, and are advised to contact a potential mentor amongst the CDH membership to discuss their application.


Application Process

There are three schemes in place, please be sure to apply to the scheme that is relevant to you:





For International VRFs: Travel, accommodation and Fellowship-related research costs up to £1200 are part of the Fellowship (to include the £200 administrative fee for the scheme), but no salary or stipend will be paid. Any Fellowship-related costs need to be settled by 15th July 2023 (and must meet the University expenses policy, available on request). A indication of how the £1000 expenses will be spent, and the duration and format of the planned Fellowship should be included in your application form.


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


* application form: POST-DOCTORAL VISITING RESEARCH FELLOW (self-funded)

* application form: VISTING RESEARCH FELLOW (self-funded)

* Visiting Research Fellows guidance

* IT Account Registration form