Job Offer: Postdoctoral Researcher at Nuffield College

Postdoctoral Researcher: International NGOs in the Long Humanitarian Century: Legacy, Legitimacy and Leading into the Future

Application deadline: Monday, 21 December 2020.

£34,804 per annum.

Nuffield College intends to appoint a Postdoctoral Researcher to support the work of the International NGOs in the Long Humanitarian Century: Legacy, Legitimacy and Leading into the Future research programme. Directed by Andrew Thompson (Professor of Imperial and Global History, Nuffield College) and Sir Mike Aaronson (Honorary Fellow, Nuffield College), the programme explores contemporary challenges facing the aid and the International aid sector, with a focus in the domains of geopolitical change; international relations; institutional leadership, development and ambition; political economy and market factors; and state behaviors and relationships to the state. We seek a researcher whose interests and experience fit into these broad domains.

The Postdoctoral Researcher will conduct independent original research in areas relevant to the overarching research programme, taking the lead in the design, conduct, and interpretation of research; and identifying additional research areas of interest to the programme. She or he will disseminate research results through publications in working papers and academic journals, and presentations at workshops and conferences, as well as producing pieces aimed at non-academic audiences. The postdoctoral researcher will organise workshops, conferences, and other events associated with the research programme. She or he will contribute to a commissioned report on ‘The Future of International NGOs’ targeted at academic, policy and practitioner communities, and will assist with external funding applications. The Postdoctoral Researcher may also undertake ad hoc paid teaching or supervision within the collegiate University in Oxford.

Applicants should hold, or be close to completing, a PhD/DPhil in a relevant social science discipline such as history, political science, sociology, or international relations. They should possess research experience and expertise appropriate for the research programme agenda, including archival research skills, familiarity with archives of non-state actors and NGOs, and experience of fieldwork, including structured interviews and gathering oral history records. Applicants should demonstrate high-quality academic research abilities in their scholarly writing and publications in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with their career stage. The ability to translate and distil complex research results for non-academic readers, to work collaboratively with non-academic partners, and to undertake cross-disciplinary work are essential. Applicants should possess excellent oral and written communication skills, and organisational skills, together with exemplary interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively within a small research team and under their own initiative. Experience of authoring successful funding bids, or of collaborative working with NGOs would be an advantage.

The post is full-time and fixed-term for three years, starting on 1 March 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. Applications from candidates who wish to take up the post on a part-time basis will also be considered. The salary will be £34,804 p.a. (pro-rated as appropriate). The post will be based at Nuffield College.

Further particulars and application instructions are available here:


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the ‘Apply’ link below. This will take you to the Interfolio Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register for an account (if you have not done so previously) and log in before completing an online application.

For the online application you will be asked to complete an application form and a recruitment monitoring form, and to upload the following documents:

  1. A covering letter detailing your motivation for applying for this post, highlighting your background in the research areas relevant to the programme of research and your specific research skills;
  2. A curriculum vitae;
  3. Two samples of written work based on research which you have carried out or contributed to. One sample should be aimed at an academic audience and the other at a policy audience. Unpublished work (for example a chapter from a thesis or dissertation or a short report aimed at a policy audience specifically written for this application) will be acceptable.

You will also be asked to ensure that at least two references are received via the Interfolio platform by the closing date. As part of the online application process, applicants will be asked to provide their referees’ names and email addresses which will generate email reference requests from Interfolio to the referees, who will be invited to upload their confidential references directly to the Interfolio platform.


If you have any technical difficulties submitting your online application, please contact Interfolio at For other queries, please contact the College Registrar at

If, for your convenience, you wish to submit a hard-copy application, please contact the Nuffield College Registrar at Interfolio is a US-based service which processes data on servers based outside the EEA. The Interfolio privacy policy can be viewed here: Information submitted via hard-copy is not processed through Interfolio.

The closing date for applications is Monday 21 December 2020.

Nuffield College exists to promote excellence in education and research, and is an equal opportunities employer committed to equality and valuing diversity. Applications are particularly welcome from women, from disabled people, and from black and minority ethnic candidates, who are currently under-represented in posts in the College.