Job Opening: Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research ECR Development Lead

Post: Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research ECR Development Lead

Location: Durham City

Faculty / Division: Arts and Humanities

Department: Institute for Medical Humanities

Grade: Grade 6

Contract Type: Casual, hourly paid, ~10 hours/month.

Salary: £14.90/hour

Closing date: Thursday 16 December 2021 

Job Summary and Purpose

  • Are you a highly motivated and well organised early career researcher who is passionate about the future of medical humanities research?
  • Would you like to support other ECRs in developing their careers whilst gaining skills and networking opportunities that will enhance your own?
  • Are you ready to take on an active role in the running of a major research network?

Founded in 2013, The Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research (NNMHR) is a hub for academic researchers as well as practitioners, artists and others working in or allied to the medical humanities. It is led by the Universities of Durham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Northumbria, Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan, Sheffield and York. Since 2017, the NNMHR has supported medical humanities research in, and beyond, these ten institutions through four annual congresses, dedicated ECR events, a competitive seed scheme funding over a dozen research projects, and twelve Early Career Fellowships. The NNMHR runs a web site, e-list and Twitter account, further connecting scholars across the field.

The Network recognises the pressing need for meaningful support for early career researchers. In addition to issues of sector-wide precarity, scholars working in the medical humanities can face specific challenges around navigating interdisciplinarity (often engaging in the medical humanities while balancing the needs of a ‘home’ discipline), conducting engaged research in the context of cross-sector collaborations and engaging the public around sensitive and health- related topics.

The NNMHR is looking to appoint a new part-time ECR Development Lead to help shape the Network’s activities over the next four years, with a particular focus on ensuring that ECR support and development remain at the heart of the Network’s endeavours. The postholder will co-ordinate a series of ECR workshops or other events, with a focus on creating community, promoting interdisciplinary connections, introducing new methodologies and thematic / theoretical approaches, and offering skills training and career development opportunities within the medical humanities. Previous workshops (2019-2021) organised by the outgoing postholder have included: ‘Ethics of Sensitive Visual Material in the Medical Humanities’; ‘Picking Yourself Up’; ‘Preparing Conference Presentations’; ‘Advice on Working from Home’; a ‘Networking Breakfast’ at the NNMHR Congress; and regular ECR Coffee Mornings online. In addition, the postholder will be expected to serve as an active and enthusiastic member of the NNMHR’s Steering Group, attending and contributing to Steering Group meetings, coordinating NNMHR communications (including regularly updating the WordPress site and maintaining the Twitter account); contributing to long-term Congress planning; and supporting other aspects of day-to-day network management.

The postholder will be formally based in the Institute for Medical Humanities in Durham City but will work mainly remotely; some in-person attendance at steering group meetings or other in-person events may be expected (reasonable travel expenses will be paid).

This position is funded by a Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award (2021-2025).

Key responsibilities

  • Design, deliver and evaluate at least 3 ECR workshops per year.
  • Be an active member of the NNMHR Steering Group, representing the views and perspectives of ECRs
  • Monitor and update the NNMHR webpages as necessary
  • Maintain regular activity on the NNMHR Twitter account
  • Enthusiastically publicise and support NNMHR activities, particularly with a view to encouraging ECR involvement
  • Review, with other members of the NNMHR Steering Group, applications to NNMHR research grant schemes
  • Other duties as required to support the core business of the NNMHR

Person Specification

  • A MA or MSc in a relevant medical humanities subject area
  • Demonstrated commitment to the medical humanities as an interdisciplinary research field
  • The ability to build and maintain relationships with contributors and other stakeholders which enhance the research and reputation of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research
  • Experience of devising and delivering academic events, both online and in-person
  • Excellent organisational, IT and administrative skills
  • The ability to work independently, take initiative and prioritise your own workload without close supervision
  • The ability to work well as part of a team


  • A PhD in a relevant medical humanities subject area
  • Proficiency in using WordPress
  • Proficiency in using social media (especially Twitter) to engage audiences with research events and activities
  • Experience of event evaluation
  • Experience in research funding proposal evaluation  
  • Experience of using the networking platform Wonder

Contact information

For informal queries about this role please contact: Dr Fiona Johnstone, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Visual Medical Humanities, Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham University

Additional information:

Further information about Medical Humanities research at Durham can be found here:

How to apply:

To apply send the items listed below to Jane Abel () by 12 noon Thursday 16 December.

1. A CV
2. A covering letter which describes your suitability for the role against the criteria specified above (max 2 pages).
3. A brief proposal (250 words max) for an event or series of events aimed at ECRs that you would like to run for the Network.

Applicants MUST be based in the UK and eligible to work in the UK.

Interviews will be held via video call (Zoom) in the week commencing 17 January 2022.

Posted on 26 Nov 2021, under News.