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Beyond PhD: Post-Doctoral Fellowships and Career Development in the Arts and Humanities

I just had to comment on the conference that I attended at the University of Leicester’s College Court centre in the Clarendon Park area of the city on the 19 of May. The centre used to be a halls of residence but has been wonderfully converted into a series of meeting rooms with an airy dining hall and a bar on the ground floor. Fortunately the weather was good so we could all enjoy the courtyard outside after a very appetising lunch. It was a great pleasure to meet a wide range of people from universities located largely in the Midlands.

There were a range of speakers in the morning session that explored the possibilities for post-doctoral study including para-academic careers. The latter was particularly interesting for me as I have combined my time as a research associate and an independent archival researcher. Perhaps the most salient point for those about to graduate was that it is unlikely that all will be able to enter lecturing owing to the fact that they are more in number than posts available. Nonetheless, it was highlighted that a number of universities were adopting partnerships with corporations that were yielding a greater number of opportunities for collaboration. The afternoon session split to discuss a range of more practical problems in gaining a foothold in the post-doctoral world.

From the organisational point of view there are no complaints here. Perhaps the only problem during the day were a number talking as the main speakers undertook their duties. As one would expect with a new centre, all of the visual aids were high quality. It was equally good because as the conference was in Leicester and I could walk home in the spring sunshine.

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