Lecturer in Environmental History
University of Edinburgh, History, Classics and Archaeology
United Kingdom

Lecturer in Environmental History

Vacancy Ref: : 042098

Closing Date : 04-Jan-2018

Contact Person : Dr Thomas Ahnert

Contact Number : 0131 650 3777

Contact Email : thomas.ahnert@ed.ac.uk

We are seeking to appoint a specialist working on any aspect of environmental history, in any historical period, and in any geographical region. The appointee would teach and conduct research on the changing uses of, and attitudes towards natural environments in human societies over time. S/he should be an outstanding academic teacher, have a strong track record of internationally excellent publications, and offer clear evidence of the potential for future development at the highest level. The successful candidate will teach across the full range of History undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. S/he will be expected to make a significant contribution to pre-honours courses, including two or more of the following: The Historian’s Toolkit; Introduction to Historiography; Medieval Worlds; Early Modern History: a Connected World; The Making of the Modern World; Global Connections since 1450; and The Global Economy since 1750. S/he will also offer Honours and postgraduate courses on environmental history and contribute to core courses on historical skills and methods at Honours and postgraduate level, as well as supervising doctoral students. The appointee will conduct research in his or her own field. S/he should demonstrate the potential for developing cross- and inter-disciplinary collaborative projects within the School of History, Classics, and Archaeology, and with other parts of the University (e.g. GeoSciences) and HEIs in the UK and internationally. S/he will be expected to submit high-quality applications to secure external research funding. S/he will also contribute to the administration of the Subject Area and the School and provide pastoral care and guidance to students. All newly appointed academic staff are expected to work towards a qualification in teaching in higher education.


This is a full time (35 hours per week), open ended post.


Salary: £39,992 - £47,722 per annum.


Start Date: 3rd September 2018.


Closing date: 5pm (GMT) on Thursday 4th January 2018.


1. Job Details


Job title: Lecturer in Environmental History


School/Support Department: History, Classics and Archaeology


Unit: History


Line manager: Head of History


2. Job Purpose

To teach on pre-honours courses, including two or more of the following: Historian’s Toolkit; Introduction to Historiography; Medieval Worlds; Early Modern History: a Connected World; The Making of the Modern World; Global Connections since 1450; and the Global Economy since 1750; offer Honours and PG option courses on environmental history; contribute to core courses on historical skills and methods at Honours and PG level; supervise doctoral students; conduct internationally excellent research on any aspect of environmental history, in any period and any geographical region; develop cross- and inter-disciplinary collaborative projects within HCA and with other parts of the University (e.g. GeoSciences) and HEIs in the UK and internationally; submit high-quality applications to secure external research funding; contribute to the administration of the Subject Area and the School; provide pastoral care and guidance to students; work towards a qualification in teaching in higher education.


3. Main Responsibilities

• Develop a portfolio of internationally excellent research outputs (approx. 35 per cent of time).
• Undertake honours teaching and supervision to meet the teaching objectives of HCA (approx. 15 per cent of time)
• Conduct teaching-related administration to contribute to smooth running of teaching programme in HCA (approx. 15 per cent of time)
• Deliver Postgraduate teaching to contribute to the goals of the Graduate School in HCA (approx. 10 per cent of time)
• Deliver pre-honours lectures and tutorials to meet the teaching objectives of HCA (approx. 10 per cent of time)
• Provide pastoral advice and guidance to students (approx. 10 per cent of time).
• Supervise undergraduate dissertations to meet the teaching objectives of HCA (approx. 5 per cent of time)


4. Planning and Organising

• Plan and carry out research on any aspect of environmental history, in any historical period, and in any geographical region; publish internationally excellent research outputs
• Develop collaborative research projects involving other parts of the University (e.g. GeoSciences, Economics) and other HEIs in the UK and abroad
• Deliver honours teaching as directed by Head of History
• Plan supervision meetings of final-year dissertation students as directed by Head of History
• Plan and deliver pre-honours teaching as directed by course organisers and Head of History
• Deliver postgraduate teaching as directed by Postgraduate Director
• Supervise doctoral research students
• Plan and carry out administrative tasks as required
• Provide guidance to students through the Personal Tutor system


5. Problem Solving

• Work with senior colleagues and the Student Support Office to assist students who encounter difficulties in their studies
• Work with course organisers to assist students new to studying History
• Work with support staff to deal with administrative issues


6. Decision Making

• Decide on programmes of work for undergraduate and postgraduate students, including doctoral students.
• Make decisions about the assessment of the work of undergraduate and postgraduate students.
• Participate in classification decisions.


7. Key Contacts/Relationships

• Work with Head of History, Course Organisers, Student Support Officers and officers of the Graduate School to assist in the planning, delivery, assessment and administration of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.
• Work with Director of Research to contribute to research output of the School


8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job





• A PhD or equivalent qualification in environmental history or an equivalent field.
• Evidence of expertise in environmental history.





• Teaching experience at undergraduate level.
• Experience of undergraduate assessment.
• Portfolio of internationally excellent research.



• Experience of online and postgraduate teaching, including doctoral supervision.
• Relevant IT skills including online learning.
• Relevant administrative experience


Knowledge, Skills and Competencies



• Knowledge of environmental history.
• Ability to produce internationally excellent research.
• Awareness of best practice in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.
• Awareness of issues in assessment..



• Knowledge of online teaching practices
• Awareness of teaching-related administrative practices.
• Knowledge of means of delivering pastoral care of students.


Personal Attributes



• Excellent presentation and communication skills.
• Commitment to quality in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.
• Commitment to producing internationally excellent research.
• Versatility in approach to teaching.
• Excellent interpersonal skills.
• Ability to work as part of a team.
• Capacity to enthuse and motivate.



• Capacity for innovation in development of teaching.
• Capacity for delivering on-line teaching.


9. Dimensions

• Teach and assess on undergraduate and postgraduate History programmes, including doctoral supervision
• Supervise undergraduate dissertations.
• Deliver pre-honours teaching and assessment at the direction of course organisers.
• Contribute to administration of Subject Area and School.
• Provide pastoral care and guidance for students.


10. Job Context and any other relevant information


Work within the History subject area and the HCA Graduate School to deliver teaching that will contribute to internal and external assessments of the quality of teaching in HCA, such as the National Student Survey.


Application Procedure


All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page and submitting an up to date CV. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.


We anticipate interviews will be held in the week commencing 29th January 2018. You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.


The closing date is 5pm (GMT) on Thursday 4th January 2017.


Eligibility to Work


In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).


To do so, the University of Edinburgh requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.


For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work website


If you are not currently eligible to work in the UK, the University has the authority to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa) in accordance with current UK Visas and Immigration rules.


For applicants interested in sponsorship information is available on our Working in the UK website


However, if you have previously been sponsored by an employer within the UK but your leave has expired or lapsed and you are no longer in the UK, according to Home Office Visa Immigration rules you cannot apply for sponsorship under any category of Tier 2 for a period of 12 months after the date your visa expired and/or you left the UK.


If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts and come from outside the EEA, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa.


The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route offers a greater flexibility in your employment compared to other UK immigration routes, meaning you can, for example, move organisation, location and/or job role. By contrast with, a Tier 2 visa where you are ‘tied to a UK sponsor’. Tier 1 provides greater flexibility in undertaking additional engagements, such as collaborations and is intended as a route to settlement. Allowed absences from the UK are up to 180 days per year without losing the eligibility to qualify for settlement, with no restriction on the reason for absence (unlike Tier 2, where any absences from the UK must be for a purpose consistent with the person’s employment or economic activity, including paid annual leave, or for serious or compelling personal reasons).


You would initially need to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK).


Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)


Once successfully endorsed, you are able to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. More information on this entry route is available at UKVI Website.


Conditions of Employment


Pension Scheme


This role is grade UE08 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.


For further information please visit our Pensions website.




The role is grade UE08 and attracts an annual salary of ££39,992 to £47,722 for 35 hours, each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.


The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.



As one of the highest-ranked and largest centres for historical research in the UK, History research and teaching at Edinburgh is characterised by chronological length, geographical breadth, diversity of approach and world-leading quality. The number of History staff at Edinburgh ranked world-leading or internationally excellent in REF 2014 was the highest of any university in Scotland and the third highest in the UK, an achievement exceeded only by Oxford and Cambridge. Plans are in place to maintain and enhance achievement at this level in future REF cycles. History at Edinburgh is a world-leading centre for the study of the history of Scotland, and also continues its traditional strengths in American, African and Asian history. It has one of the largest concentrations of economic and social historians in the UK. Historians at Edinburgh also enjoy close links with museums and archives, government departments and international agencies.

The School of History, Classics and Archaeology

From its foundation in 1583, the University of Edinburgh has maintained a distinguished tradition of higher learning and academic excellence. Today the University is one of Britain's leading research institutions with an international reputation for scholarship and achievement; and access to research libraries of world importance. The School of History, Classics and Archaeology is located within the College of the Humanities and Social Science, founded in August 2002. It is co-located in a completely refurbished 'A' listed building designed by the distinguished Scottish architect, Sir Robert Rowand Anderson in the nineteenth century, with state of the art facilities for staff and students.


The School combines the expertise of the subject areas of History, Classics and Archaeology along with the Centre for the Study of Modern Conflict the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies and the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Though each subject area has its own areas of special concern, there are many activities and interests in common and important synergies between areas. There is a full programme of seminars and conferences, and close links are also maintained with subject areas in other Schools.


We are one of the largest, most distinguished and most highly ranked centres for the study of the human past in Europe, with over 120 teaching, research and administrative staff. Teaching is provided to around 1500 undergraduate and over 250 postgraduate students drawn from some 40 countries. Around 600 of our students are from outside the UK, reflecting the School's high international reputation.


The range of choice in our programmes is remarkably diverse while at the same time the structure allows for study in depth of particular areas, themes and periods. The subject areas have an outstanding international reputation for research and enjoy a very lively research culture.

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (http://www.ed.ac.uk/arts-humanities-soc-sci)

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is a large and diverse part of the University. Led by Vice-Principal Professor Dorothy Miell, it has 12,600 undergraduates, 4,500 taught postgraduates, 2,000 research students and more than 3,100 academic and professional services staff. The College incorporates 11 Schools (Business; Divinity; Economics; Edinburgh College of Art; Education; Health in Social Sciences; History, Classics and Archaeology; Law; Literatures, Languages and Cultures; Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences; and Social and Political Science), the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and the Centre for Open Learning. The College is located on multiple sites across Edinburgh, with the majority of Schools and College Offices based close to the central George Square area. The College, which is recognised as one of the world's leading centres for the arts, humanities and social sciences in research and teaching, has been growing and investing strongly in recent years.


Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014)


The College operates at the highest levels of international quality across a very wide range of disciplines in the arts, humanities and social sciences and submitted the work of more than 750 staff to 23 Units of Assessment in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. The College achieved a superb result, combining a large-scale, broad and diverse submission with very high quality outcomes: 86% of its research impact and 76% of the overall quality profile were assessed as world-leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*). Using the widely used Research Power index (which combines the submission's overall score for 3* and 4* work with the volume of staff submitted), 12 of the College’s Units were ranked within the top five in the UK, and 18 were ranked first in Scotland. With an assessment of more than 95% at 3* and 4*, we're particularly proud of the outstanding research environment we create for staff and research students.

The University of Edinburgh

For more than four centuries, our people and their achievements have rewritten history time and again. They’ve explored space, revolutionised surgery, published era-defining books, paved the way for life-saving medical breakthroughs and introduced to the world many inventions, discoveries and ideas from penicillin to Dolly the sheep. We have believed that anything is possible, we still do.

The latest Research Excellence Framework highlighted our place at the forefront of international research. This adds to our international reputation for the quality of our teaching and our student experience excellence. The University is proud of its success with online teaching initiatives, with 2550 students currently studying its online distance learning postgraduate programmes, and a total to date of more than 2 million enrolments for Edinburgh MOOCs.


As a member of staff, you will be part of one of the world's leading universities, with 20 Schools spread over 3 Colleges that offer more than 1600 undergraduate and 600 postgraduate programmes to over 35,000 students each year. Professional services are critical to this success as well as our world-class teaching, research and student facilities. In fact, we are one of the top employers in Edinburgh, with over 13,000 people spread across a wide range of academic and supporting roles.


As a world-changing, world-leading university, we offer an exciting, positive, creative, challenging and rewarding place to work. We give you support, nurture your talent, develop and reward success and integrate academic, professional and personal career goals, as well as give your career the benefit of a great and distinguished reputation. In addition, our employees benefit from a competitive reward package and a wide range of staff benefits, which include generous holiday entitlement, a defined benefits pension scheme, staff discounts and much more. Access our staff benefits page for further information and use our reward calculator to find out the total value of pay and benefits provided.


The University of Edinburgh holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. We are members of the Race Equality Charter and we are also Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champions, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment, including flexible working and childcare vouchers. See our University Initiatives website for further information.


University Family Friendly Initiatives

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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