Making Climate History: Three RA and TA positions in the Departments of Geography and History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge

Job Type: Fixed-Term

Application Deadline: March 9, 2020


Making Climate History A new Leverhulme-funded project in the Departments of History and Philosophy of Science and Geography, University of Cambridge

Two centuries after the emergence of steam technologies and 170 years after initial suggestions that the atmosphere keeps Earth warm, scientists proved human disturbance of the Earth’s carbon budget changes the world’s climate. The work and timescales of making and knowing are decisively interrelated, yet still too little is understood about critical links between how imperial and global energy infrastructures have re-made climate and how scientists have known climate.

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust from 2019 to 2024, Making Climate History will map largely unexamined connexions between histories of places, personnel, materials and power during the period that made and recognised both a global physics and a global climate. Led by Dr Sarah Dry, Prof. Mike Hulme, Prof. Simon Schaffer and Dr Richard Staley (PI), the project will engage three research and teaching associates to work collaboratively with project leaders in the Departments of Geography and History and Philosophy of Science (HPS). For a full description of our aims, rationale and work streams, see the Making Climate History website. We solicit applications for:

  • One research and teaching associate in the Department of Geography (2020–24) – closing date 9 March 2020
  • One research associate in the Department of HPS (2020–23) – closing date 21 February 2020
  • One teaching associate in HPS (2020–21) – closing date 21 February 2020

Note diverse closing dates!

Research and Teaching Associate 1: Cartographies of climate and Participant histories 
Applications are invited for a Research and Teaching Associate position for a fixed-term of 42 months from 1 September 2020. The applicant will pursue two primary objectives: 1) through archival work, and in association with the project team, to source and critically analyse selected historical maps of global climate with respect to their design, salience and utility; and 2) to conduct a series of in-depth interviews with retired climate scientists and science administrators around the world and to liaise with oral history repositories for the curation of the acquired participant histories. The successful candidate will be based in the Department of Geography and will join the research group of Professor Mike Hulme. They will also teach either one undergraduate or one graduate course – lectures and supervisions – for two periods of one term in the second and final years of the position.

  • Closing date for receipt of applications: 9 March 2020
  • Interview date: 24 March 2020
  • Anticipated start date: September 2020
  • For further details and method of application, visit here.

Research Associate 2: Defining climatic eras and Physics as environmental science
Applications are invited for a Research Associate position for a fixed-term of 36 months from 1 September 2020. The applicant will contribute to historical research on the changing bases for definitions of climatic eras and periodicities (working with Dr Staley), and on physics as environmental science (with Professor Schaffer), including developing a biographical dictionary of survey scientists and scientists concerned with periodisation and climate timescales. The successful candidate will be based in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. This position may be combined with Teaching Associate 3.

  • Closing date for receipt of applications: 21 February 2020
  • Interview date: 24 March 2020
  • Anticipated start date: September 2020
  • For further details and method of application, visit here.

Teaching Associate 3: History of the climate sciences
Applications are invited for a Teaching Associate for a fixed term of 12 months from 1 September 2020. We seek someone who can contribute to department teaching and research project themes while Staley and Schaffer are on research leave. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to the lecturing, supervising, examination and administration of courses for both undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. The candidate should be prepared to deliver lectures and supervise written work on a broad range of topics in the history of science and technology, and in particular to teach a Third Year undergraduate course on Climate change and a Masters lecture and seminar on some aspect of the history of the climate sciences. The position will include an initial 3-month probation period. This position may be combined with Research Associate 2.

  • Closing date for receipt of applications: 21 February 2020
  • Interview date: 24 March 2020
  • Anticipated start date: September 2020
  • For further details and method of application, visit here.

Candidates who wish to be considered for both Research Associate 2 and Teaching Associate 3 positions should apply for both; if successful in both, the Teaching Associate position will be held in 2020-21 followed by the Research Associate position from September 2021 for a period of three years.

For further information, please contact Richard Staley or Mike Hulme via email.

Posted: February 12, 2020