Opportunities for ECRs to join iHuman

Are you interested in building your research career in one of the UK’s leading social science research faculties?


Do you have a research focus that overlaps with the iHuman research themes (Science and Technology Studies, sociology of health and illness, critical disability studies, or co-production)?

We are committed to supporting early career scholars interested in developing their research careers at the iHuman Institute at Sheffield. We have a track record of successfully supporting applicants to highly sought-after funding streams with prestigious funders like ESRC and the Wellcome Trust.

iHuman colleagues are always keen to support Early Career Researchers (ECRs) who want to become independent researchers, and who have experience of working with finalist PhD students and academics in the early stages of their research careers to develop competitive research proposals for a range of funders with ECR funding streams.

We can offer

  • Support in developing your application, including locating suitable mentors within iHuman, offering feedback on proposals, and helping to prepare you for interviews where necessary. 
  • Full access to university resources including working space, for successful applicants, whether you are eventually located within a department or in the faculty hub.
  • Career development opportunities for ECRs who come to do their research with us.
  • Opportunities to share your research within iHuman and in the wider faculty through our regular seminar series.

Here are a few examples of ECR colleagues who’ve joined the University and iHuman to undertake their research with iHuman:

Dr Warren Pearce joined the University of Sheffield as an iHuman Research Fellow in 2016. He joined as Principal Investigator on the ESRC-funded Future Research Leaders project ‘Making Climate Social’, focusing on how climate change is represented and discussed on social media and other digital platforms. In 2019, he was promoted to Senior Lecturer, and has gone on to work with international collaborators on a range of funded projects.

Find out more about Dr Pearce's work

Dr Emily Ross’s project ‘Experiences of gestational trophoblastic disease: reconciling cancer, pregnancy and loss’ (2020-2023) is funded by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship in Humanities and Social Science. Her research draws on perspectives from medical sociology, social anthropology and feminist science studies, and uses gestational trophoblastic disease as a lens to confront biomedical and wider societal framings of both pregnancy and cancer. Emily now sits on the iHuman executive committee.

Find out more about Dr Emily Ross' work

Dr Kirsty Liddiard moved to Sheffield from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, to take up a Faculty-funded Postdoctoral Research Associate role (2014). Since then, Kirsty has successfully secured funding with The Wellcome Trust, the AHRC, the Social Sciences and Humanities research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and most recently the ESRC for the Living life to the Fullest project with Dan Goodley and Katherine Runswick-Cole. These funded projects have centred childhood, youth, and family; disability and marginalisation; and arts and culture. They have developed innovative approaches to arts informed and co-production methodologies which push the boundaries of traditional social scientific thinking and enable multiple ways of thinking and knowing. She is now a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Education and iHuman and tweets at @kirstyliddiard1.

Find out more about Dr Kirsty Liddiard's work

Potential funding opportunities for ECRs at iHuman include:

Different funders may be more appropriate for different research foci, methodologies and theoretical perspectives, and may have specific eligibility rules (e.g., around nationality or distance of time from PhD). We can discuss with ECRs which options might be more appropriate for them to explore. It takes at least 6-8 months to develop a strong application, so do consider this when looking at different funding schemes and their application deadlines.

'I worked with iHuman to win funding for my research on race in stem cell donation'

Dr Ros Williams was working in the Department of Sociological Studies as a Research Associate but she wanted to undertake her own research project exploring how race (and 'mixedness' in particular) is understood in the context of stem cell donation. 

Working closely with iHuman staff, Dr Kate Weiner and Professor Paul Martin, Ros developed a proposal for her project, Mix & Match. She was supported to navigate local complexities like costing, and had supervision over her proposal as it was developed. The iHuman team helped Ros to organise mock interviews with potential funder, the Wellcome Trust, to prepare her for the real thing. 

Ros is now a full-time Wellcome Trust Research Fellow and has benefited from a number of development opportunities in iHuman, including presenting her work, being mentored by senior colleagues, and developing leadership skills through mentoring those who are thinking about taking their first step in independent research.

Find out more about Dr Ros Williams' work

If you are interested in undertaking a postdoc at iHuman, please initially get in touch with Professors Paul Martin and Dan Goodley with your area of research, project ideas and initial thoughts on potential routes for funding.

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