Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Not for the woke shy – your university jobs guide


WITH the Left’s total capture of academia, exciting new vacancies are booming in UK universities (see here). Humanities and social science departments, those twin founts of ‘progressiveness’, lead the way. But the ‘climate crisis’, in particular, has encouraged others to follow. The intellectual heft of the posts advertised isn’t always apparent, but at least there’s no Oxbridge monopoly.

Teesside University, self-described as a ‘high-performing global university anchored in the Tees Valley’ (it’s an ex-polytechnic in Middlesbrough), has a vacancy for a ‘Research Fellow in Forest-Based Climate Change Mitigation & Adaption’. The EU’s influence endures: the post contributes to a European Commission-funded project on ‘biodiversity conservation’. Any queries? Enjoy an informal chat with that flourishing new sinecure holder, the ‘Professor of Climate Change and Sustainable Economic Development’.

Doubtless with Sadiq Khan’s blessing, the Foundation of International Education in South Kensington requires an instructor in ‘Sustainable Cities: London in the Era of Climate Change’. Birmingham City University is offering a PhD studentship in ‘Systemic Digital Transformation Towards Developing Smart Net-Zero Cities’. It’s unclear whether the research methodology will include canvassing the views of working-class Brummie drivers.  

Prefer a spot of woke lab-work? There’s a Low Carbon Concrete Research Engineer vacancy at the University of Dundee. Bath University needs a Research Associate in Cement Decarbonisation, funded by the modestly named Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre. In case of any lingering fears, Bath, like all the advertisers, wants you to know it’s ‘an inclusive university’ which has ‘made a positive commitment towards gender equality and intersectionality’.

In the People’s Republic of Sturgeonia, the University of Glasgow is seeking to appoint professors in such burgeoning subjects as ‘addressing health inequalities’, ‘championing social justice’, ‘supporting policy coordination for Net-Zero 2050’ and ‘building capacity for the management of extreme climate-change events’. Generously, Glasgow currently avoids the term ‘white privilege’, cloaking it in the cultured euphemism of ‘recognising & responding to our legacies in how we work & study’.

Less graciously, and seemingly unironically, the ‘anti-racists’ in some HR departments are putting up ‘No Whites’ signs. Loughborough University offers a Black and Minority Ethnic studentship in its School of Social Sciences and Humanities, as does the University of Portsmouth. However, the melanin-deficient may (for now) apply for the plum position of ‘Critical Race Theory Professor of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies (Critical Race/Feminist Studies)’ at Goldsmiths, University of London, salary £70k to £102k. 

Happily, Diane Abbott and David Lammy will soon find themselves receiving the scholarly attention they deserve. The Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership, based in Leicester, is advertising a PhD studentship in ‘Minority Ethnic MPs in the UK Parliament Since 1987’. Egregiously, ‘in the 2019 general election 65 MPs from minority ethnic backgrounds were elected to the UK Parliament, but this diversity is not yet reflected in the . . . scholarly literature on MP’s lives and careers’ (their misplaced apostrophe). 

Naturally, gender and sexuality feature heavily in the ads. The University of Roehampton has a research position for a project on ‘Gender Empowerment through Politics in Classrooms’, designed to ‘increase girls’ confidence in their political voice’. (A solution for a problem which doesn’t exist, cynics might argue.) Of course, sport must be fully harnessed and politicised: at the University of Hull, you can take up a studentship in ‘Team LGBTQ: investigating the impact of publicly out Olympic athletes on attitudes towards sports among LGBTQ+ youth’.

Marxism in its original bourgeoisie-smashing guise has been skilfully repackaged for the modern age. University College London is advertising for a ‘Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Environmental History of Socialism’. The University of East Anglia offers a PhD studentship in ‘Doris Lessing’s Archives: Communism, Decolonisation, and Literary Practice’.

Finally, if you fancy a PhD studentship in ‘vibrant and inclusive communities’, choose Loughborough. Your research will seek answers to the ‘critical questions today for anti-discriminatory communities and institutions’. ‘How are new models of equity being taken up in practice and what might be the alternatives? What digital technology innovations or regulations do we need for safe societies? How are social movements responding to the climate crisis?’

The above is by no means an exhaustive survey of the enlightened new posts on offer. So, for anyone needing reassurance, the outlook is bright. In lockstep with Davos Man and Woman, and on behalf of countless victims of Western ‘oppression’, UK higher education marches triumphantly, and lucratively, towards the Promised Land.

Submit your application forms on time, won’t you?

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Stuart Major
Stuart Major
Stuart Major is an independent scholar based in Sussex.

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