Sackler-Caird Fellowship 2016-18

£30,000 pa for up to two years

The National Maritime Museum offers a major fellowship generously sponsored by the Sackler Foundation to fund research of significance and originality in any field of the Museum’s subjects and collections. The Fellowship is primarily intended to allow established researchers, already in post at an academic institution, to devote themselves to a sustained period of research lasting for up to two years.

Research at the National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum holds well over two million maritime-related objects in its collections, the vast majority of which are manuscripts. The collections stretch from the Tudor period to the present day. The non-manuscript collections include: oil paintings, prints and drawings, charts, maps and atlases, ship plans and ship models, historic photographs, clocks and chronometers, navigational, astronomical and scientific instruments, weapons, uniforms, flags and artefacts.

The Museum is a Public Repository, holding some 9000 official volumes of Admiralty records in addition to extensive shipping company archives and personal papers connected to members of the Royal Navy and merchant service. The Caird Library and Archive is the largest dedicated maritime library in the world and holds an important collection of rare books and manuscripts, largely in English. More information on the collections, and the catalogue of printed books and manuscripts, can be found in our Collections pages.

The Museum’s collections have long been considered of central importance to the study of naval and maritime history. More recently, the Museum has been active in its support of the growing interdisciplinary approaches to maritime history through its own curatorial research and its fellowship, conference, seminar and publication programmes.

The award in January 2006 of Independent Research Organization status from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, has given the Museum the opportunity to become more actively involved in taking forward this agenda. Its aim is to generate high-quality research on its collections and enable a broad range of outcomes from academic research. More information on the Museum’s strategic aims for research can be found on our research strategy pages.

Proposals for interdisciplinary studies which place research on the collections in a broader context will be particularly welcome.

The Museum is also keen to receive applications for fellowships that will contribute of public-facing programmes, including the development of new galleries and special exhibitions. 

The Museum has a lively intellectual atmosphere with the Sackler-Caird Fellow being one of a number of annually-appointed short-term and senior fellows at Greenwich. Currently 14 AHRC-funded doctoral students are based here. There is a wide range of curatorial expertise at the Museum and we encourage the formal and informal exchange of ideas and expertise between internal and external research staff and fellows. Fellows take part in the Museum’s staff research seminars and have given papers at the annual series of British Maritime History Seminars, held at the Institute of Historical Research. Fellows have also made valuable contributions to the Museum’s exhibition, conference, learning and online programmes, and while there is no expectation for the Sackler-Caird Fellow to do so, opportunities to work with people across the Museum will certainly exist.


Applicants must be of post-doctoral status or equivalent and should be in post at a UK or overseas university. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have the credentials and experience to complete their proposed programme of research.


  • The successful candidate will be expected to spend a substantial amount of his or her time on the project, although there are no formal requirements for residence at the Museum.
  • The award may be paid either direct to the Fellow, or to the employing academic institution as a contribution to replacement teaching costs for the duration of the Fellowship. If paid directly to the Fellow the award will be subject to UK tax and National Insurance deductions.
  • A sum of up to £2000 pa may be available to the Fellow for additional expenses such as conference travel and research at archives distant from the Museum or the Fellow’s home.
  • 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.

The successful candidate will take up the Fellowship at the beginning of the 2016 academic year for two years.

How to apply

Notes for applicants

The application form asks for brief personal details, the title of the proposed research project, and the names and addresses of two academic referees. The application form should be accompanied by the following information as appendices:

  • A curriculum vitae: this should be kept short and include details of the applicant’s education, employment history, and publications or papers delivered, if any.
  • An outline – not exceeding three sides – of the proposed research project, a timetable for its completion, and proposals for making the results available. (The Museum does not undertake to publish or assist with publication of the results of work accomplished during the tenure of the fellowship).

Appendices must be typewritten or word-processed on A4 paper and be suitable for photocopying.

The deadline for applications is 30 October 2015.

Short-listed candidates will be invited to an interview at the National Maritime Museum in January or February 2016.

The fellowship will be available from October 2016.

For more information, contact the Research Department Executive:

Research Department Executive
National Maritime Museum
London SE10 9NF
Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6716