Chevening - British Library Fellowship 2022/2023

Deadline
November 02, 2021

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Scholarships

Fellowship & Research

Location (s):

  • United Kingdom
London

Overview

The Chevening British Library Fellowship is a collaboration between the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office and the British Library, offering international experts a year-long professional project-based placement. Fellows will have the privilege of working with the extensive library’s collections and benefit from the broad range of professional expertise of library staff.

Details

The British Library is the national library of the UK and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. The British Library’s collection encompasses all fields of knowledge in hundreds of languages, covering 3,500 years from some of the earliest written records to the digital collections of the present day, and range over all formats. As a public-facing, culturally-active research institute, Chevening is pleased to partner with the British Library to bring international experts to the UK to pursue a one-of-a-kind opportunity.

The fellowship is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.

Course/programme structure

Fellows will undertake a period of professional project-based activity at the British Library, receiving support and supervision from library staff. Please note that this fellowship is not suitable for those wanting to pursue their own research.

Please read through the detailed theme profiles below for more information about this years themes.

As a public-facing, culturally-active, research institute, the Library is able to provide a broad range of professional development opportunities for fellows. Fellows will have a unique project-based placement involving research, consultation, and strategy development, coupled with stakeholder engagement and outreach opportunities.

This fellowship programme will commence in September 2022 and is for a 12-month period of project-based activity at the British Library.

Themes

For the 2022/2023 academic year, two placements are on offer and will provide fellows with experience in strategic and policy work relevant to a national library. There is one placement per theme.

Automating the recognition of historical Chinese handwritten texts

This fellowship sits within the British Library’s Digital Research Team. It will engage with new digital tools and techniques in order to explore possible solutions to automate the transcription of historical Chinese handwritten texts. The fellowship will focus on material from Dunhuang (China), part of the Stein collection, which is being conserved and digitised through the Lotus Sutra Manuscripts Digitisation Project as part of the digitisation activities conducted by the British Library to make the collections under its custodianship accessible to all. The digitised content will be accessible through the International Dunhuang Project(IDP) platform. 

This fellowship offers a unique professional development opportunity which would be particularly suited to candidates at the early or middle stages of their careers and with interests in and knowledge of both cultural heritage and digital humanities. The British Library is keen to explore opportunities for long-term partnership with the successful applicant’s home institution and will be happy to actively enable and encourage opportunities for dialogue with digital humanities networks in the UK. See below for full candidate requirements and eligibility criteria.

Manuscript Textiles in the Southeast Asian Collections

This fellowship will be hosted by the Asian and African Collections department. The British Library holds about 3000 manuscripts from Southeast Asia, forming the largest and most significant collection of Southeast Asian manuscripts in the UK. Highlights include illustrated paper folding books from Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand, rare palm leaf manuscripts from Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Thailand going back to the seventeenth century, royal letters in Malay from the courts of the archipelago, some of the earliest known Batak divination manuals from Sumatra, as well as rare royal letters and edicts from Vietnam and Thailand.

This Chevening Fellowship project provides an opportunity to survey, assess and research these under-researched and often fragile Southeast Asian manuscript textiles, in order to provide comprehensive catalogue records and to help plan and inform future conservation work and public engagement.

Opportunity is About:


Eligibility

Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

To be eligible for a Chevening British Library Fellowship, you must:

  • Demonstrate the potential to rise to positions of leadership and influence
  • Demonstrate that you possess the personal, intellectual, and interpersonal attributes reflecting this potential.
  • Be a citizen of the above-listed countries.
  • Return to your country of citizenship at the end of the period of the fellowship.
  • Have a postgraduate level qualification (or equivalent professional training or experience in a relevant area) at the time of application.
  • Have significant professional and/or academic research experience (at least five years).
  • Be currently employed or a currently enrolled PhD candidate (PhD must not be with a UK/EU or USA university).
  • Provide evidence of meeting at least the minimum English language abilities for Chevening Awards.
  • Not hold British or dual British citizenship.
  • Are an employee, a former employee, or relative* of an employee of Her Majesty’s Government, or have been within the last two years from the opening of Chevening applications (including British embassies/high commissions; the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy; Department for International Trade; the Ministry of Defence; and the Home Office), or a staff member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Note: Immediate relatives are defined as parents or step-parents, siblings or step-siblings, children or step-children, spouse, civil partner or unmarried (where the couple have been in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least two years).

Please note that applicants who have previously received financial benefit from a HMG-funded scholarship or fellowship are eligible to apply after a period of five years following the completion of their first HMG funded award. In these cases, applicants will be required to demonstrate their career progression from that point.


Dates:

Deadline: November 02, 2021


Cost/funding for participants:

Fellows will benefit from embedded working and hands-on training within a specific team, as well as having access to a range of organisational training and development opportunities, such as the British Library’s Digital Scholarship programme. The library’s postgraduate research manager will provide additional pastoral support and work with supervisors to monitor the progress and professional development. Each fellow will also be allocated up to £1,000 for approved project-related expenses.

This fellowship programme will commence in September 2022 and is for a 12-month period of project-based activity at the British Library.

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