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Department of Sociological Studies Visiting International Fellowship Scheme

The Department of Sociological Studies welcomes applications for its Visiting International Fellowship Scheme. The scheme is open to experienced, senior academics worldwide who are able to demonstrate how their research track record will contribute to fostering the development of international sociological research relations in the Department.

The fellowship will be offered for visits between 4 and 6 weeks per year and applicants may request funding for up to £2,500 to support their travel and subsistence expenses for the duration of the visit.

Background and scope

The Department of Sociological Studies (SCS) is committed to understanding society and social change, and to research and teaching that is relevant people's lives. It is proud to be one of the top social science research departments in the UK, with a long history of high profile contributions to theory, policy and practice. It has a major international reputation for excellence in research and teaching across Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work and is quickly developing a similar reputation in the field of Digital Society.

In the field of Sociology, the Department is internationally recognised for its contributions to theory, empirical investigation and innovative methods. The Department’s research is shaped by four core interdisciplinary themes:

  • Everyday Life and Critical Diversities – micro social life and social diversity seem banal and commonplace yet they are the social we all inhabit and most regularly experience and it is this that makes them important – everyday relations and intimacy, belonging, experiences of exclusion and hierarchies of difference and social connection in online environments and in localities are some of the priorities for Department members working in this theme.
  • Social Inequalities and Social Order – the nature and extent of class, age, place, gender, ethnic, generation based inequalities and the ways in which these are managed through formal and informal processes of social ordering is integral to the Department’s research focus and can be seen in the work on social differentiation, migration and mobility, social exclusion, crime and surveillance, social change and conflict, responsibilisation and governance.
  • Well-being across the Lifecourse - this theme focuses on the ways in which people move through life stages and the social and cultural processes and policy encounters shaping these. In this context work in the Department examines childhood, young people, ageing, families and family relations. These lifecourse processes are socially, economically and culturally situated. Reflecting on this theme questions the nature of social differentiation, policy formations and social inclusion strategies such as social care and pension provision.
  • Science, Technology and Medicine in Society - this theme raises questions around the meanings, personal and public experiences and outcomes of health, medical interventions, technologies, digital life, science and the governance of these fields. It has a proven track record of securing external research funding as well as providing high quality undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programmes.

As a Visiting Fellow, you will be expected to make a contribution to the current research themes within the Department, exploring the possibilities for future collaboration and internationalisation of the department’s current research themes. For an overview of our research themes in practice, take a look at our research webpages.

Aim of the scheme

The scheme aims to:

  • Develop the department’s international profile and reputation;
  • Build the department’s international networks and collaborative partnerships;
  • Create potential for reciprocal visiting schemes;
  • Deliver collaborative expertise to the wider department;
  • Increase the visibility of international collaborations within the department, and encourage future collaborations with academic staff and post graduate research students.

Call details and expectations of the Fellow

The Department holds one annual call for Visiting International Fellowships. Calls are announced in spring/summer each year with a summer deadline (this is an re-advertisement and previous applicants will be automatically considered). The successful Visiting International Fellow will be expected to commence their visit the following academic year and they must have completed it by the end of the academic year in question.

In addition to the proposed programme of work, Fellows will be expected to contribute to the research environment of the Department by giving one or two seminar presentations. They will also be asked to deliver a research methods masterclass with post graduate students and to work with members of the Department to develop funded collaborative proposals or research development/exchange activities. Fellows will also be asked to document their work and achievements via a report, blog activity or by other means deemed appropriate.

Reporting requirements/working arrangements

The Fellow would be provided with desk space within the Department of Sociological Studies and will be assigned a lead contact for any enquiries or questions throughout the duration of the visit. This will usually be the Department’s Director of Research and any other member(s) of staff identified as the main collaborative contacts for the visit.

Funding available

Fellows can request funds of up to £2,500 – this is mainly envisaged to support travel costs but also to make a contribution to accommodation costs for their visit. All requests for funding must be fully costed and justified in the application form. Please note that costs need to be justified.

Please note that although the scheme offers up to £2,500, it does not offer a payment of £2,500 for a fellowship. All anticipated costs for the fellowship need to be fully justified and should be based on realistic travel and accommodation costs. Fellows will be reimbursed for their expenses upon submission of their receipts. Further details on how to claim expenses will be sent to the successful applicant.

NB: The Department maintains the right to withhold payment of expenses should the Fellow fail to fulfil their proposed programme of work.

As a guide, we recommend applicants take note of the current University per diem rates for subsistence and accommodation. These are as follows:

Subsistence: £15.40 per diem

Accommodation: Current availability and rates for University accommodation are available here.

Assessment criteria

  • The academic profile and track record of the scholar
  • Fit with the current areas of research expertise within the Department
  • The proposed programme of work
  • Value for money

How to apply

Applicants will need to submit a C.V, along with their completed Visiting International Fellowship application form. The C.V should include academic and professional posts held since graduation, a list of recent publications and details of any current or previous funded research. The C.V. should not exceed two pages.

The C.V. and application form should be submitted to Professor Sarah Neal s.neal@sheffield.ac.uk no later than Tuesday 2nd July 2019.

A ViF selection panel will be convened to review the applications and make a decision on the most appropriate candidate for the role.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by the end of July 2019.

Please note, the successful candidate will be expected to undertake their visit the following academic year, commencing October 2019 and to have completed it by the end of June 2020.