Teaching Fellow in Modern American History

Durham University


Teaching Fellow in Modern American History (
Job Number:
 23000997)
Department of History
Grade 7:  £36,333 – £43,155 per annum
Fixed Term  Full Time
Contract Duration: 12 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Working Arrangements: tba
Closing Date
: 24-Jul-2023, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

The University

At Durham University we are proud of our people.  A globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other. We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things professionally and personally.  

Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationally.  We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University. Further information about the University can be found here  

The Department

The Department of History seeks to appoint a talented individual to the fixed-term role of Teaching Fellow in Modern American History (1.0 FTE). 

The Department of History is widely recognized as a leading centre of historical research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top history departments in the UK and internationally (3rd in the UK according to the Complete Universities Guide for 2023, 35th in the world according to the QS World University Rankings for 2022.) Further information about the Department is available at History – Durham University

The Role

Applications are invited for the post of 12-month Teaching Fellow (1.0 FTE) in Modern American History. The successful candidate will be responsible (subject to their expertise and to discussion and agreement with the Department) for teaching a selection from the following modules: New Histories of Prisons (Level 2: lectures and seminars), The Progressive Era (Level 2: seminar-based teaching), Histories of American Capitalism (Level 3), and other US history as required. They will also be asked to supervise undergraduate dissertations and to carry out other teaching duties as specified by the Head of Department.

Teaching Fellowships offer the opportunity of valuable experience to those early in their academic careers and the University is keen to maximise the benefit to as many people as possible.  The post of Teaching Fellow will involve a significant teaching load, which may extend into the summer period, and there may be related scholarship and the opportunity for administrative duties which relate to education and pedagogy.

The post is for a fixed term only, and it is not anticipated that the post will be extended beyond this fixed term.

Successful applicants will, ideally be in post by 4th September 2023.

The University provides a working and teaching environment that is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate these key principles as part of the assessment process.

Key Responsibilities

  • Teach modules in appropriate learning environments at undergraduate/postgraduate levels, demonstrating an increasing awareness of different approaches to and methods of teaching and supporting student learning;
  • Demonstrate the ability to manage own teaching and designing, planning and writing teaching materials;
  • Lead modules and contribute to modules led by others by collaborating with colleagues on course development;
  • Develop and deliver an inclusive curriculum and make an active contribution to an inclusive community in which diversity is embraced and celebrated;
  • Seek and take on board feedback on teaching and engage with others in CPD;
  • Supervise undergraduate student(s), and where appropriate act as part of a PhD supervisory team;
  • Contribute to educational skill of colleagues, e.g. giving a seminar to colleagues or engaging in constructive discussion about a seminar;
  • Build internal contacts and participate in networks to exchange information;
  • Start to engage in scholarship (the creation, development and maintenance of the intellectual infrastructure of subjects and disciplines) e.g. develop online teaching resources;
  • In addition to Board of Studies, membership of some departmental committees and professional body memberships;
  • Student support, assessment of academic performance and provision of feedback;
  • Undertake effectively and efficiently any administrative role allocated by your Head of Department.
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • To engage in wider citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
  • To engage in continuing professional development by attending relevant training and development courses.    

Working at Durham 

A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits: 

•    30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.  
•    The University closes between Christmas and New Year
•    We offer a generous pension scheme, As a new member of staff you will be automatically enrolled into the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).
•    No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.
•    There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally.  There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University.  All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities. 
•    Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.
•    On site nursery is available and children’s clubs in the summer holidays.
•    Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).
•    The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community
•    Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions. 
•    A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits. 
•    If you are moving to Durham, we can help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools.  If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas.

Durham University is committed to equality diversity, inclusion and values

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  As a University equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  We also live by our values and our Staff Code of Conduct.  At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.  If you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your application.  If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

Contact Information 

Department contact for academic-related enquiries 

For informal enquiries, please contact Professor Len Scales, Head of Department: [email protected] . All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application 

If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email.  Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to [email protected]  

University contact for general queries about the recruitment process 

Michele Groark, HR Administrator (Recruitment), [email protected]

How to Apply  

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification below. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.  

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.  

Submitting your application 

We prefer to receive applications online.   We will update you about your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to make sure you have not missed any of our updates.

What to Submit 

All applicants are asked to submit: 

  • a CV and covering letter which details your experience, skills and achievements in meeting (or the potential to meet) the criteria set out below.
  • a statement as to your aspirations as a Teaching Fellow in terms of what motivates you, what you would like to achieve and what your broad approaches to teaching excellence and innovation are (maximum 2 pages).

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system.  Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails. 

Referees 

You should provide the names of 3 academic referees.

References will be requested for candidates who have been shortlisted and will be made available to the panel during the interview process. 

As part of your application, you will be asked whether you give your consent to your academic references being sought should you be invited to attend an interview. We will only request references where permission has been granted.  

Next Steps 

Short-listed candidates will be invited to the University, either virtually or in-person and will have the opportunity to meet key members of the Department.  The assessment for the post will normally include a teaching assessment exercise and an interview.  We anticipate that the assessments and interviews will take place on or around 23-24 August 2023.

In the event that you are unable to attend in person on the date offered, it may not be possible to offer you an interview on an alternative date. 

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.durham.ac.uk/about-us/governance/information-governance/privacy-notices/privacy-notices/job-applicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.   

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.


Person Specification

Candidates applying for a grade 7 post will have recently completed or be concluding their PhD and, while they may have limited direct experience of the requirements for the post, they must outline their experience, skills and achievements to date which demonstrate that they meet or that they have the potential to achieve the below criteria

Essential Criteria:

  • A good first degree in History or a related subject.
  • A PhD (or be close to submission) in modern American history or a related subject, or equivalent demonstrable practitioner experience which may include appropriate certification and/or membership of a relevant professional body.
  • Expertise in modern American history, relevant to the Department’s module-teaching requirements.
  • Experience of teaching and examining at University level with positive student feedback gained.
  • Experience of contributing to the development and delivery of high-quality teaching and/or assessment of learning, including the design and creation of successful learning environments and curricula.
  • Demonstrable ability to participate in the collegial/administrative activities of an academic department and/or discipline.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to engage with a range of students and colleagues across a variety of forums.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Experience of successfully developing innovative teaching methods for the design/delivery of high quality teaching.
  • Experience of providing high quality one-to-one student supervision.
  • Evidence of work undertaken (or which would be undertaken) in preparation for teaching and keeping up to date with developments in the subject area, such as:
  • active membership and engagement with a professional body;
  • demonstrable innovation in educational practice;
  • publication in a scholarly journal or relevant professional publication;
  • Attending and presenting internal and/or external seminars or at a regional conference; and/or
  • Materials/curriculum development for wider use in a department.
  • Candidates may have, or should have, the ability to attain the rank of Fellow of HEA.

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