Opportunities for research experience and career development, thanks to the generosity of donors to the IHR. 

We are delighted to announce three paid internships for early-career historians, to be held between July and September 2023.

Are you an early-career historian? Please consider applying! The deadline for applications is 12 noon, UK time, Monday 26 June, 2023. For details of eligibility and how to apply, please see the bottom of this post. 

Available Internships

Bibliography of British and Irish History Decolonisation Help Pack

This internship will help to create a new online help pack to increase awareness of how students, academics and researchers can use BBIH to explore ‘decolonisation’ in their research and teaching practice. Responsibilities of the intern would include: 

  • Creating tutorial video(s) on using BBIH to ‘decolonise’ research and practice.  
  • Review of subject specific BBIH classification terms, recommending suggested changes and additions.   
  • BBIH editorial work focusing on ‘decolonisation’ within British, Irish, Imperial and Commonwealth histories.   
  • Blog post for On History.
  • BBIH social media planning for the IHR’s twitter.  

BBIH is an essential tool for the study, research, and teaching of British and Irish history. It is the largest and most comprehensive guide available to what has been written about British and Irish history, from the early 1900s to the present. The Bibliography covers the history of the British Isles, the former empire and Commonwealth, the British world, and Britons’ activities on the global stage.   

It is an essential resource for study, research, and teaching, providing up-to-date information (and links) on over 640,000 history books, articles, chapters, edited collections, and theses. New records are added in three annual updates, with c.10,000 new publications added each year. These records are searchable by a wide range of facets including title, author, chronology, date and form of publication, historical topic, and geographical region.   

The Bibliography is a research project of the UK’s Institute of Historical Research (IHR) and the Royal Historical Society (RHS), and is published by Brepols.   

This is an exciting opportunity to get involved with an internationally recognised resource for historical scholarship, learn new skills, and stay informed of the latest academic developments in your research and/or teaching field. This bursary could mostly be held remotely, though we would encourage some in-person visits to the IHR. 

Oral Histories of the Unfolding of the Windrush Scandal

This internship project engages with additional opportunities opened by the important AHRC-funded project, based in the IHR, The Windrush Scandal in a Transnational and Commonwealth Context. This three-year research project seeks, for the first time, to produce a scholarly examination of the so-called ‘Windrush Scandal’ within a fully transnational framework, one that properly considers the agency of a wide variety of official and non-official actors from both sides of the Atlantic and the role of the post-colonial and Commonwealth contexts of international relations.  Those people from Commonwealth Caribbean states who arrived in the UK, before the 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act came into force, generally had the right to enter and remain in Britain by virtue of being Citizens of the UK and Colonies (CUKC). 

The project’s key objective is to develop a unique digital research resource of extended interviews on the national and diplomatic activism around the Windrush scandal, supported by digitized government documents from the British archives and Caribbean government records.  Oral and archival research methodologies will be combined to explore the links between the apparently distinct spheres of international diplomacy and community activism, providing insights into, on the one hand, unconventional methods of public diplomacy by Commonwealth representatives, and on the other, the ways in which this international support enhanced and amplified the community-based campaigning and investigative reporting. Exploring these links will provide the central, overarching focus of this project. 

The intern will collaborate with the Windrush project team, particularly Dr Juanita Cox and Dr Eve Hayes de Kalaf, to listen to and transcribe audio recordings of the oral history interviews conducted for the project. To date, these comprise over 45 interviews (out of a goal of 60 in total) with survivors of the scandal and campaigners, Caribbean community groups, church leaders, senior diplomats, High Commissioners, government officials, legal specialists, politicians and immigration officials from across the Caribbean and the UK.  

Internship activities would include: 

  • Listening to and transcribing interviews 
  • Rigorous editing and correction of AI-generated transcriptions 
  • Identifying keywords and thematic areas of interest to the project 
  • Developing skills in digital research methods 
  • Selecting short audio clips within the interviews (2-3 minutes max.) that can be used for the project website 
  • Selecting audio clips within the interviews (5 mins max) to be used for podcasts. 
  • Choosing key quotes from participants that best highlight the project objectives 
  • Thinking of ways to integrate/utilise the final recordings for the website and other educational materials  
  • The documentation of GDPR, data protection, and special category data issues. 
  • Learning more about the collation of oral history methodologies from the project research team 

This internship is an opportunity to learn about how a large externally-funded research project works. It also, in particular, offers the opportunity to develop practical skills in oral history, interview techniques, digital archives and impact. This bursary could mostly be held remotely, though we would encourage some in-person visits to the IHR. 

Place-based Public History in the Highlands and Islands

This internship is offered as part of a collaboration between the IHR’s Centre for the History of People, Place and Community and the Centre for History (CfH) at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), which share a strong mission in creative place-based public history and community engagement and co-production. It aims to identify best practice and transferable insights in community history, through a case study focused on the distinctive activities of CfH, Scotland’s leading centre for the study of Public History, and wider community history activities across the UHI region of the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire. Additionally, it will scope out possibilities for future collaboration between the UHI Centre for History and the IHR. 

Jointly supervised by academics at UHI and the IHR, the intern will help to gather data on a sample of place-based public and community history initiatives in the region. They will build a set of evidence which will help inform wider understanding of place-based community histories, and the role of universities in these local history eco-systems, across the UK. Research questions might include:  

  • What kinds of place-based public history projects and activities are taking place in Highlands and Islands communities?  
  • How do place-based community history projects contribute to local skills development and training?  
  • In what ways has the expertise of Centre for History UHI academics helped to develop these projects and how could any existing barriers to collaboration be removed?  
  • Are there transferable insights and models of best practice from projects in the Highlands and Islands which could be applied to other local history projects, such as the Victoria County History of England? 
  • What opportunities can be identified for collaboration, partnership and exchange between local history groups in different nations and regions of the UK? 

The intern will work closely with colleagues at UHI CfH, with additional supervision from the IHR. They will design and conduct interviews (following UHI ethics frameworks) and gather evidence from key CfH staff members as well as sample stakeholders. They will produce an online report on place-based public history in the Highlands and Islands, for publication on the IHR and UHI Centre for History websites, and a small presentation for display at the Centre for History in September 2023 (to coincide with the Royal Historical Society Presidential Visit). This is a great opportunity to learn more about public history practice across a variety of local contexts, and to gain skills in putting together a presentation. 

The intern should have a strong interest in the interface between local history groups and institutes and the academic practice of public history. Experience of designing and conducting interviews is desirable. The project can be conducted remotely, but it is expected that the intern will be able to visit the Centre for History in Dornoch for the RHS visit on 18 September. 

Bursary and Timing

Each internship will be supported with a total bursary award of £1500 (paid as £500 at the start of the project, £500 at a midway review point and £500 on completion and approval of the project). Objectives and milestones (including the midway review) will be agreed with the project supervisor at the start. Limited research (e.g. travel) expenses are also available for each internship. 

Internships should ideally be held during the period from July 2023 to the end of September 2023. The internship will not require full-time commitment over the summer period, and there is flexibility around how each intern would like to organise the time they spend on their project (for example, alongside part-time work or studying commitments). This should be agreed with the project supervisor at the start. 


We encourage any early-career historian to apply. We define ‘historian’ broadly and are keen to receive applications from those based in a range of different disciplines and professional contexts, if you consider your main area of work to be ‘history’. We aim to be as inclusive as possible and are using no strict definition of ‘early career’: we simply ask that you declare in your application that you identify as an early-career researcher / professional. 

How to Apply

Please submit your application to IHR.Training@sas.ac.uk by 12 noon, UK time, on Monday 26 June, 2023. Please mark the email subject line ‘IHR Internship Application’. You should include as a single attachment: 

  • Statement of up to 500 words identifying the internship you wish to apply for, and explaining how this opportunity will support your career development, and the skills and experience you would bring to the role. 
  • A statement confirming that you identify as an early-career researcher / professional, and also confirming your availability to hold an internship during the period July to late September 2023. 
  • A CV of up to 2 A4 pages, including your current job or student status. 

You may apply for more than one internship, and should submit a separate email application for each, however, we strongly encourage you to consider which internship is the best ‘fit’ for your skills, experience, and future career development aspirations. 

Applications will be reviewed by a panel or IHR academic staff (plus a representative of the UHI in the case of the UHI / IHR partnership project). Applicants will be notified of the outcome by Friday 7 July, 2023. 

If you have any questions about the internships or the application process, please contact the IHR Director of Studies, Dr Simon Trafford