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Brotherton Fellowship

Scheme overview

Leeds Arts & Humanities Research Institute, in collaboration with the University of Leeds Special Collections, is pleased to announce a short-term postdoctoral fellowship for 2023.

The Brotherton Fellowships are designed exclusively for early-career researchers to make use of the Special Collections held within the Brotherton Library.

Applicants may work with any of the Special Collections held within the Brotherton Library. Subject themes covered by Special Collections include business, English literature, politics and social history, music, science and medicine, and Yorkshire. Scholars working in any discipline are eligible to apply.

Successful applicants will spend two months (Full time equivalent) in Leeds to carry out research activities aimed at developing the Fellow’s ability to submit competitive applications to externally-funded postdoctoral positions which must then be held at the University of Leeds. These might include proposals for the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, Marie Skłodowska-Curie, Wellcome Trust Early Career Award, NERC Research Fellowship.

Research must be completed by the end of August 2023. On completion of their research, the Fellow will write a short report on their experience which will be submitted to the funding body, the Brotherton Committee, and write a blog post to promote the collection and their research, which will be used on the Special Collections and LAHRI websites. Other social media activity is encouraged during the Fellowship.

Support for developing suitable external funding bids will be provided by LAHRI and the AHC Faculty pre-award team.

The Fellowship has a total value of £5,000.

Blog posts from our previous Brotherton Fellows, Ruth Burton and Leonardo Costantini, outline the work that this scheme supported in 2018. In 2019 we supported Pushpa Kumbhat, and Natalya Din-Kariuki. In 2021 Charlotte Armstrong got to work with the Opera North Archive, and Richard Bellis traced the history of the ‘circulation of bodies and body parts’ by looking at the University’s Medical School Archive. In 2022 Anna Reeve explored the Irene Manton papers, and Elizabeth West based her research on the Norah Smallwood Archive.

Award value

Fellows are awarded £4,500 living expenses (paid in two instalments of £2250), and a further £500 to cover travel expenses.


The Deadline for this 2023 scheme has now passed


Candidates who have completed their PhD at any university are eligible. Researchers who have completed their doctorate at Leeds are eligible to apply. However, given that the selection of candidates will be based on the candidates’ ability to make use of the Fellowship to enhance applications for externally funded post-doctoral fellowships, it will be important to explain how additional time at Leeds will strengthen candidates’ profiles.

All Candidates must have passed their PhD viva by the application deadline, but not earlier than April 2018. Exceptions to this rule may be allowed in certain circumstances, subject to prior agreement, to cover career breaks.

Download the application form and extended Scheme Guidance now


Further information

For any further information on these fellowships not covered in the extended guidance, please contact the LAHRI Administrator.