Postdoctoral Researcher: History of Slavery in the City of London

Application deadline: Monday, 22 February 2021.

£34,804 per annum.

Nuffield College seeks a Postdoctoral Researcher to research the role of the City of London and its commercial institutions in the eco-system of the transatlantic slave trade and ownership. Co-funded by the global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, and under the supervision of Professor Andrew Thompson (Professor of Imperial and Global History, Nuffield College), the researcher will contribute to the growing body of scholarly literature on British imperialism and its intersection with transatlantic slavery, exploring the past and bringing it into close dialogue with the present.

We seek a researcher whose interests and experience align with the broad domains of: British economics and the role of commercial entities in the City of London in the context of Transatlantic slavery; international slave ownership in Britain from early 1700s to mid-1800s, and contemporary British politics with reference to electoral reform, the abolition of slavery, abolitionism and pro-slavery groups, and the slavery compensation scheme.

The researcher will conduct independent original research in areas relevant to the overarching research programme, leading the design, conduct, and interpretation of research, and identifying further areas of relevant research. The researcher will publish research results, authoring or co-authoring working papers and academic journal articles, and pieces aimed at non-academic audiences. The researcher will present research results at seminars, workshops, and conferences, including relevant Freshfields events, and Black History Month and City of London events. The researcher will develop working relationships with individuals; financial, legal and commercial institutions; and archival centres. The 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 discipline such as history, political science, or economics including economic and social history. They should have extensive archival research skills, familiarity with private-sector organisations’ archives, and experience of independent fieldwork. The ability to conduct high-quality academic research evidenced in scholarly writing and publications in peer-reviewed journals commensurate with the applicant’s career stage is essential. Applicants should have the ability to distil complex research results for non-academic readers, an aptitude for cross-disciplinary working, and the ability to work collaboratively with non-academic partners, particularly in financial and legal contexts. Applicants should possess excellent oral and written communication skills, organisational skills, and exemplary interpersonal skills with the ability to work within a small research team and under their own initiative. Experience of legal history, of authoring successful funding bids, or of collaborative working with private sector companies or commercial institutions is desirable. Applications are particularly welcome from candidates of Black African or Black African-Caribbean heritage (including mixed heritage) who are currently underrepresented in research posts in the College.

The post is full-time and fixed-term for three years, starting on 1 May 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. Applications from candidates who wish to hold 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 on the College website at

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is Monday 22 February 2021.

This role is part-funded by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. 


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 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 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.

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