3-4 year Fellowship: Science and Civilisation in the Ancient World

Lloyd-Dan David Research Fellowship at the Needham Research Institute and Darwin College Cambridge


The Needham Research Institute,
8 Sylvester Road, Cambridge CB3 9AF


Fixed Term: October 2021 for 3 years with the possibility of an extension for a further year

Salary package, which may include allowances:  £27,200 - £30,000

Closing date: Sunday 31st January 2021

Applications are invited for a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship to work on the Comparative Study of any aspect of Science and Civilization in the Ancient World (defined as down to 1000 AD). The successful applicant will be a member of the Needham Research Institute, a Research Fellow of Darwin College, and will be expected to play a full role in the intellectual life of the Institute and the College.

Applicants should have completed a PhD relevant to the fellowship by the proposed start date of October 2021; should demonstrate the ability to engage in high-level research in an interdisciplinary context, with publications and participation in scholarly activity commensurate with stage of career; and should have the ability and aptitude for organising and participating in collaborative research projects.

Applications should be sent by email to the Administrative Manager of the Needham Research Institute, Susan Bennett (Susan.Bennett@nri.cam.ac.uk), and should arrive no later than midnight on Sunday 31st January 2021.  Applications should contain a clear description, in up to 1,000 words, of the research to be carried out during the tenure of the fellowship. This description should state explicitly what research questions will be addressed by the research proposed, what relevant work has already been carried out by the applicant or by other scholars to date, and what source materials will provide the basis for the research.  Short-listed candidates may be asked to supply a writing sample, up to 5000 words, relevant to their proposal. 

Applicants should also submit a detailed curriculum vitae with full publications list and the names and addresses of two academic referees, who should be asked to write directly to Susan Bennett (Susan.Bennett@nri.cam.ac.uk), by the closing datePlease ensure that the subject line of ALL email messages in connection with applications is as follows: Lloyd Dan David Fellowship [name of applicant].   

Please make sure that a signed Data Protection Statement is sent with your application, since we require this in order to process your application.  All applications will be acknowledged.


 The Needham Research Institute was founded by Joseph Needham (1900-95), the most eminent sinologist and historian of science produced by Britain in the 20th century.  It houses a unique library, developed on the foundation of Joseph Needham's personal collection, covering the history of science technology and medicine in East Asia, with the main focus on China.  The Institute is visited for long and short periods by scholars from all over the world who appreciate its spacious and tranquil environment, situated close to the full range of academic facilities of the University of Cambridge. In addition to the academic activities that take place in the Institute, there are regular weekly seminars in term time in other departments of the University likely to be relevant to the fellowship holder.

The Institute values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The Institute has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.