Employment: Post-Doctoral Researcher, School of English, UCC

Closing date 23rd November

Post-Doctoral Researcher,
School of English,

Job Posted: 02 Nov 2015
Closing Date for Applications: 23 Nov 2015
School: School of English
College: College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
Contract Type: Fixed Term Whole-Time
Job Type: Research
Salary: €31,275

Position Summary

Information on the School

One of the of the largest schools in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, English at Cork is committed to providing excellent, research‐led teaching to our undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as to enriching cultural and intellectual life, nationally and locally, through our research, publications and public engagement. The School of English is ranked among the top 150 Universities for English in the QS World University Rankings 2012.

Our staff includes 19 research‐active academic staff (18 full‐time and one part‐time), 4 externally funded post‐doctoral research fellows, a School manager and 3 administrative staff, as well as 40 PhD students and over 20 MA students annually. Some of our particular strengths include: Old English literature and culture; Medieval and Renaissance writing in Britain and Ireland; Irish literature throughout the colonial period and into the twenty‐first century; American literature, 19th to 21st centuries; Modernisms (Irish, American and British); contemporary poetry, especially avant‐garde and women’s work; new and emerging research methods (Digital Arts Humanities, e‐textualities, the new book history); and Film: Irish, American and European.

Research Position

The successful candidate will be working on the World-Tree Project, a community-collection initiative in the field of Old Norse-Icelandic and Viking Studies funded by an Irish Research Council ‘New Horizons’ Grant. The Project aims to establish an interactive multimedia archive for the study and teaching of the Vikings in a European context by gathering together resources relating to Norse and Viking cultures from Ireland, the UK, Denmark and Iceland. It aims to meet the challenge of mapping and interpreting shared cultural heritage in the European Research Area by exploiting the potential of crowdsourcing at an international level.

The specific project objectives are to:

  • Collect digital resources relating to Norse and Viking cultures, with submissions solicited from both the general public and from targeted individuals and institutions
  • Collate, describe and contextualise these submissions for scholarly and public use
  • Create an open-access digital archive of material relating to the teaching and study of Old Norse and Viking cultures in a European context
  • Present the archive as an interpretative exhibit and map responses to heritage across the four regions
  • Interpret the archive via the web-publishing platform and traditional peer-reviewed publications
  • Launch the archive with an international conference on community engagement with the Vikings

The central research questions the project aims to address are:

  • How can we overcome barriers of language, culture and access to create interdisciplinary resources that reflect the diversity of responses to the Viking Age in a European context?
  • What are the most effective ways to collect, translate and exhibit resources for different end-users?
  • In what ways can digital technologies and crowdsourcing facilitate knowledge exchange, and revolutionise our study of and engagement with the Viking past?
  • How do different communities respond to a shared Norse and Viking heritage, and what are the historical and cultural factors that influence this engagement?
  • What role do virtual archives have as teaching resources both inside and outside the academy?

Salary: €31,275

Post Duration: 12 months

Project The World-Tree: An Interactive Digital Archive for the Teaching and Study of the Vikings

Key Duties and Responsibilities

This title will apply to newly qualified Post-Doctoral Researchers and will be considered as a period of training as the researcher will have dual goals in terms of the research project and their own career development. The researcher will be mentored by a Principal Investigator (PI). It is expected that a researcher would spend not more than 3 years at the Post Doctoral level, subject to the term of the project and would then be eligible to compete for a Senior Post Doctoral post advertise by the University.

The primary focus of the Postdoctoral Researcher will be research; however a particular emphasis during this stage should include;

  • To conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator/Project Leader.
  • To engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by the Principal Investigator, School or College in order to develop research skills and competencies.
  • To engage in the dissemination of the results of the research in which they are engaged, as directed by, with the support of and under the supervision of a Principal Investigator. This will include international conferencing, publication in peer-reviewed journals and the co-editing of conference proceedings.
  • To become familiar with the publication process.
  • To assist with the design of the Project website, database and publicity materials.
  • To publicise the Project locally and internationally.
  • To liaise with potential contributors to the archive (both individuals and institutions), with particular responsibility for contributors in Denmark and Iceland.
  • To collate and describe individual submissions to the archive, including adding metadata and tags.
  • To contribute to the development of narrative exhibits that present pathways through the collection.
  • To assist with the organisation and running of an international conference at UCC.
  • To acquire generic and transferable skills (including project management, business skills and postgraduate mentoring/supervision).
  • To engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of the research group, School or College.
  • To interact closely with postgraduate research students who are studying for a Masters or a PhD and possibly have an agreed role in supporting these students in their day to day research in conjunction with an academic supervisor.
  • To carry out administrative work to support the programme of research.
  • To carry out additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.
  • To gain experience in grant writing.
  • To contribute to costing research grant proposals and assist in the financial management of the research project.



  • A PhD in the field of Old Norse-Viking Studies.
  • Appropriate post-doctoral research experience and publications.
  • Appropriate technical competence and accomplishment, including evidence of digital competencies.
  • Competency in one or more modern Scandinavian languages.
  • A capability of working within a project team to achieve results.
  • Good communication, organisation and interpersonal skills.
  • A commitment to gaining practical experience working on a research project.
  • Ability to work well within a team.
  • Experience of research and collaboration at an international level.


  • Familiarity with Omeka or a similar content management platform.
  • Experience in web design and/or skills in HTML, CSS, and PHP.
  • Fluency in one or more modern Scandinavian languages.
  • Experience working on a large-scale digital and/or public engagement project.
  • A commitment to research-led teaching and the development of digital teaching aids.

For Informal Enquiries on the post candidates should contact:

Name: Dr Tom Birkett

Title: Lecturer in Old English

Email Address: t.birkett@ucc.ie

Telephone: +353-21-490-2668

To Apply:

Please submit a short cover letter and C.V. to Ms Anne Fitzgerald, School Manager, afitzgerald@english.ucc.ie, +353 (0) 21 4902241, on or before the closing date of 23 November 2015.

Supplementary Information on the Department/Research Centre and the post is available at the following URL:http://www.ucc.ie/en/english/welcome/


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