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UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship for two candidates (round 6) in Psychosocial Studies / Birkbeck, University of London.

The Department of Psychosocial Studies is seeking two candidates to support in a bid for a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship.

The Department of Psychosocial Studies (part of the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London) is seeking two candidates to support in a bid for a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship

These prestigious awards provide postdoctoral researchers with an opportunity to undertake a significant project of original research over four years, leading to a position in the Department. We are looking to select two outstanding candidates with expertise in either Race, racism, identity and intercultural encounter, or Medical humanities, mental health, madness and theorising the clinical.

If successful, the fellowship holder will primarily focus on their own research in the UKRI-funded period but will also have the opportunity to develop and teach advanced BA and/or MA modules in their field of expertise, as well as contributing to team-taught courses.

The Department of Psychosocial Studies (DPS) at Birkbeck has a long and distinguished record as a centre of research and teaching excellence and a longstanding commitment to research-led teaching. Psychosocial Studies researchers at Birkbeck are defining and shaping the field by investigating issues of social, political and personal concern such as violence and conflict, racism and diasporic experience, and care and welfare, with the hope of throwing light on both the socio-political sources and psychological investments that help to sustain them. The Department’s 2014 REF submission was ranked 13th in the country for research excellence in Sociology. For further information about DPS, please visit

Race, racism, identity, and intercultural encounter

A key area of inquiry for the Department has been around race, racism and identity. This includes: our long-running leadership of the Birkbeck Race Forum and of the unique Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity MA programme, the latter building on the previous MSc in Race and Ethnic Relations developed by Professor Emerita Avtar Brah; and our close collaboration with the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, which seeks to place research on antisemitism within the largert of research on racialisation. Some of the themes that are central to this are: urban multicultures and diasporic formations, neighbourly ethics, the relationship between different forms of racialisation, and psychosocial approaches to hate. More recently, we have secured ESRC funding for a major transnational project on intercultural encounter, focusing on ethnographic research on Muslim/Jewish encounters in urban Europe. We are seeking a Future Leaders fellow whose work develops these fields and complements these strengths. The fellow would also contribute to developing creative and robust psychosocial methodologies, so we particularly welcome a developing expertise in postcolonial/decolonial methodologies, critical ethnography, visual and creative methods, or work with cultural texts that cuts across social science and humanities borders. Teaching on race, racism and identity is also central to our undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum and we seek a fellow who could make a contribution to our teaching portfolio, e.g. on hate, urban multiculture or observational methods.

Medical humanities, mental health, madness and theorising the clinical

The Department wishes to build on its success in attracting research funding around Medical Humanities and Mental Health. This includes Waiting Times, a major Wellcome Trust project on waiting and healthcare; and Data Worlds and Futures: Archives, Bioinformation and Evidence, also funded by Wellcome. In addition to work in DPS department, the School hosts the Hidden Persuaders project and a current UKRI Future Leaders fellowship on the history of Cognitive Behavioural Therapies in Britain in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology (HCA). As well as DPS’s MA in Psychoanalytic Studies which we teach in collaboration with HCA, our department is a world-leading centre for clinical training in psychoanalytic and psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy, and we are seeking an excellent researcher whose work relates both to the academic and clinical work of the department and to our broader project of theorising, contextualising and critiquing ‘the clinical’ and mental health encounter, e.g. via the philosophy and politics of mental health, madness studies or mental health activism. The successful fellow would be able to demonstrate philosophical rigour and critical orientation towards mental health practice, have a developing track record in interdisciplinary empirical and theoretical research (for instance combining philosophy and clinical practice), and experience of research around the experiences of mental health service users. The Fellow would contribute to cross-departmental initiatives on mental health studies and contribute to teaching around mental health and madness, including leading a postgraduate module on this topic open to students across the School of History, Social Sciences and Philosophy.

Interested candidates should submit a CV, covering letter indicating how your work fits the areas identified and how you see yourself contributing to the department, and 600-word outline research proposal by Monday 16th November to Helen Rumble:

The successful candidate will be informed on Friday 20th November and the department will then support them in developing their outline application for submission to the UKRI by Thursday 10th December. 

Candidates should check their eligibility for the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship before submitting their application to Birkbeck.  

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