Back Magdalen College Fellowship by Examination 2021

This competition is intended for early career researchers and is a three year stipendiary academic research post. The College proposes to elect up to four Fellows by Examination (elsewhere known as Junior Research Fellows) in 2021. The Fellowships are tenable for three years. A successful candidate would normally be expected to take up their Fellowship on or before 1 October 2021.

This competition closed at UK Time 12.00 noon on Thursday 15 October 2020. If you have a user account registered with this competition, please go to the My Account page to view your data.

Competition Details

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applications are encouraged from candidates from all countries and all universities. Applications are particularly encouraged from under-represented groups within their respective disciplines.
  • Candidates should have completed, or be near to completing, a doctorate or other post-graduate research. The successful candidate will already have demonstrated outstanding promise in their research. Applications are invited from those who are near to completion of their doctoral research or who submitted their doctorate on or after 1 July 2019. Those who formally submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination before 1 July 2019 are not eligible unless they have since had a career break (e.g. a period of parental leave, family commitments, illness or other exceptional circumstances) or there are other exceptional circumstances.
  • Applications within the subjects of Earth Sciences, English, Chemistry, History, Law, Neuroscience, Oriental Studies and Philosophy will not be accepted for this year's competition. One of the four Fellowships available, the George Grosvenor Freeman Fellowship by Examination in Sciences, is reserved for science subjects.
  • No applicant who has been appointed to a permanent academic post in an institution of higher education at any time in their career will be eligible.
  • Please view the Eligibility Requirements for further details. The Fellowship Administrator is unable to answer queries relating to your eligibility; please follow the instructions.

Further Details

  • A research proposal of maximum 2,000 words must be submitted as part of your application. It should outline the research you have completed and are now working on, and state why this research is original and important, and describe the research you propose to undertake if elected to a Fellowship.
  • Candidates must provide details for two referees who have agreed to submit a reference through the website by UK Time 12.00 noon on Tuesday 20 October 2020. The referees should be familiar with your recent research work and should submit their references directly through the online system.
  • The application must be submitted online by UK Time 12.00 noon on Thursday 15 October 2020. Applications not submitted by the deadline will not be accepted.
  • The appointment will be subject to proof of the candidate's highest qualification achieved evidenced by the original degree certificate.
  • The appointment will be subject to satisfactory completion of a medical questionnaire and the provision of proof of the right to work in the UK. Candidates who would need a work visa if appointed to the post are asked to note that under the UK's points-based migration system they will need to demonstrate that they have sufficient points, and in particular that (i) they have sufficient English language skills (evidenced by (a) passing an approved English Language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, or (b) having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree, master's degree, or PhD, or (c) being a national of a majority English-speaking country) and (ii) that they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves and any dependents until they receive their first salary payment. Further information is available on the Government Website.
  • All data supplied by applicants will be used only for the purposes of determining their suitability for the post, and will be held in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the College's Data Protection Policy, which can be found at
  • If the person appointed to the post is a migrant sponsored under the UK's new points-based migration system, we are required to retain the applications for all shortlisted candidates until six months after we have ceased sponsoring the migrant.
  • Candidates invited for interview from the UK who come from outside Oxford will be accommodated overnight, if necessary. Candidates currently resident abroad may be interviewed by Skype.

Written Work

  • A sample or samples of your original research must be submitted as part of your application. Such samples must be submitted in electronic format (Word document or pdf).
  • Submitted work should be a maximum of 25,000 words in total, including all footnotes and bibliography. It may consist of any or all of the following: published papers, the whole or part of a thesis or dissertation for a higher degree, or material especially prepared for the application. Candidates should submit what they judge to be their best and most significant original research to date. It is preferable but not essential that submitted written work be related to the research the candidate proposes to do if elected. Where a submitted paper is joint-authored, you must append a statement making clear the extent of your contribution to the research. Submitted work should be written in English. Where the submitted work is originally published in another language, both the original and a translation should be submitted.
  • Candidates in science subjects who require laboratory facilities must ensure that these would be available to them in Oxford during the period of the tenure of the fellowship. They must have the written approval of the Head of Department for the University laboratory in which they need to work before the closing date for applications. Any candidate who may require substantial access to the central University computing services will also require the approval of the Director of Computing Services.

Fellowship Details

  • The job title is Fellow by Examination (JRF).
  • Main duties and responsibilities: Independent research in an academic subject. The basic obligation of a Fellow by Examination (JRF) is to engage full-time in research and its dissemination. The successful candidate will be expected to propose, plan and manage a high quality programme of original research; publicise the outcomes of that research through presentation of papers and publications; and engage in the life and activities of the College. The Fellow may, with the leave of the Governing Body, engage in teaching up to a maximum of 20 hours weekly and, if teaching, would normally be expected to give priority to the College's own teaching needs.
  • Skills and experience required: Research experience in an academic subject. Candidates should be able to manage their own independent research and should have excellent communication skills.
  • Each Fellowship is tenable for three years at a stipend currently starting at £25,600 per annum, subject to an annual cost of living award. This stipend is subject to deduction if a scholarship or similar funding from another source is held concurrently by the Fellow by Examination. The Fellow is a member of the Governing Body of the College for the first two years of appointment, and for all three years of appointment is entitled to: free lunches and dinners in College; a research allowance to cover reimbursement of expenses (of up to £1,750 per annum); and partnered accommodation in College free of charge (tax liabilities may apply) or, alternatively, a taxable housing allowance currently set at £15,000 per annum. Successful candidates who decide to live out of College may have use of shared office space in College.
  • A Fellow by Examination is entitled to join the University's Superannuation Scheme.
  • A successful candidate would normally be expected to take up their Fellowship on or before 1 October 2021. It should be understood that the provision of rooms in College cannot be guaranteed before 1 October 2021. At any time after election a Fellow by Examination may apply for leave of absence without stipend. Such leave of absence is not normally granted for more than two years in total.
  • Please note that all elements of the employment are subject to the right to work in the UK.
  • Fellows by Examination are expected to have their main residence in the Oxford area, and their research base must be in Oxford.
  • The Fellow may, with the leave of the Governing Body, engage in teaching up to a maximum of 20 hours weekly, and would normally be expected to give priority to the College's own teaching needs.
  • The Fellow will be required to prepare and submit an annual research report to the Fellowship Committee, which will be reported to the Governing Body. The report should include any publications and conference presentations for the academic year.
  • It is hoped that the Fellow by Examination will participate in the rich academic, cultural and social life of the College.
  • Fellows by Examination can benefit from flexible working conditions.
  • All employees of the College are entitled to the College's enhanced benefits for Maternity, Adoption, Shared Parental and Paternity Leave from day one of employment with no qualifying period. The College provides for maternity leave on a basis that exceeds the statutory provisions: women are eligible for 26 weeks' maternity leave on full pay, followed by 13 weeks of leave on Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and 13 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. Similar arrangements are available for Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave. Paternity Leave is also available. Magdalen College has a priority claim on four places in the University nurseries.
  • These particulars assume that all COVID-19 restrictions will have been lifted by the time the Fellowships are taken up. At the time of advertising, the College is, for instance, unable to offer meals; and many academic and social events have been cancelled.

Application Timetable

  • The application process begins on Monday 7 September 2020.
  • The application must be submitted through the website by UK Time 12.00 noon on Thursday 15 October 2020. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • Two references must be submitted through the website by UK Time 12.00 noon on Tuesday 20 October 2020.
  • Interviews are held on 3 February 2021.
  • Elections to Fellowships will be made shortly after interviews during February 2021.
  • A successful candidate would normally be expected to take up their Fellowship on or before 1 October 2021.

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