Caird Senior Research Fellowship

£20,000 per annum

The Caird Senior Research Fellowship is offered annually by the Trustees of the Museum to support high-quality research on the Museum’s collections or in any field of British naval and maritime history. The Museum’s collections of oil paintings, prints and drawings, manuscripts, charts and maps, ship models and antiquities have an international reputation and are particularly rich in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Applicants unfamiliar with the wealth and diversity of the collections may wish to look at the Collections Online website or see the Museum's library and manuscripts catalogue.

The Museum’s new Caird Library and Archive is now open and Fellows will be able to take advantage of an efficient and speedy delivery system to consult the Library’s large and important collection of rare books and archival material. Fellows will also be given dedicated space within the library for their research.

Recent fellowships have been awarded for research on the Museum’s collections relating to medicine at sea, naval administration, hydrography and empire, Pacific exploration, the architecture of naval buildings and women’s travel narratives.

The Museum is keen to encourage proposals both from maritime historians and from scholars from other disciplines who are interested in broader cultural, social and political aspects of maritime history. We are particularly keen to receive proposals that will add to the work of the Museum's three research centres: imperial and maritime studies, the art and travel and history of maritime science and technology. The Museum is also keen to receive applications for fellowships that will contribute to the development of our gallery and exhibitions programme. Over the next six or seven years the Museum will be building galleries that focus on the history of the Royal Navy, oceanic and polar exploration, and migration.

The fellowship is primarily but not exclusively intended to support study at a post-doctoral level and applications are particularly encouraged from scholars of any nationality who have recently submitted a PhD, or who expect to do so before the commencement of the fellowship.

The conditions for a Caird Senior Resarch Fellowship are:

  • The Fellowship award is £20,000 per annum. The award can be paid direct to the Fellow’s Institution or to the Fellow, in which case UK tax and National Insurance will be deducted at source.
  • The Fellowship is for one year, commencing in the October following appointment.
  • The Museum will receive printed acknowledgement in any and all publications resulting in whole or in part from research carried out during the period of the Fellowship.
  • The Fellow will provide the Museum (through the Research Department) with copies of all publications supported in whole or in part by the Fellowship.
  • The Fellow will provide the Museum with a written report on the completion of their Fellowship.
  • During the tenure of the Fellowship, a Fellow may be asked to attend conferences or symposia on behalf of the Museum and to participate in informal seminars with staff.

Guidelines on how to apply

The deadline for applications is 28 October 2013.

Three documents (ideally typewritten) are required, as follows:

  • A completed application form, which asks for brief personal details, the title of the proposed research project and the names and addresses of two academic referees.
  • A curriculum vitae: this should be kept short and include details of the applicant’s education, employment history and major publications or papers delivered.
  • An outline of the proposed research project, which should not exceed two sides of A4 paper, a timetable for its completion, and proposals for making the results available. The Museum does not undertake to publish or assist with the publication of the results of research work accomplished during the tenure of the Fellowship.

Please note: emailed applications are preferred, although we will also accept applications by post.

Please return your application form, CV and research proposal to:


Research Department Executive
National Maritime Museum
SE10 9NF

Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6716
Fax: +44 (0)20 8312 6592

Reference Letters

Applicants should send a copy of their application to their nominated referees at the time of or in advance of its submission, asking the referees to comment on their professional knowledge of the applicant and the contribution the project would make to scholarship.

The referees should be asked to send their letters direct to the Museum at the above email or address by 28 October 2013.

Please note: Emailed reference letters can be accepted.

Outcome of applications

Applicants will be informed if they have been selected for interview by December.

Interviews by the Academic Awards Committee will be held at the Museum in January or February.

For any further information please contact the Research Department Executive.