Research position available at University of Sussex

Research Fellow in Economic History (Fixed Term, part time) Ref: 900

School of History, Art History & Philosophy

Part time, fixed term for 9 months
Salary range:  starting at £31,342 rising to £37,394 per annum pro rata.  It is normal to appoint at the first point of the salary scale.
Closing date for applications:  26 November 2014
Interview date: to be held week commencing 15 December 2014
Expected start date: 12 January 2015, or as soon as possible thereafter


We are seeking to appoint a Research Fellow to contribute to the £306,961 ESRC funded research project entitled ‘Children’s Growth during a Long-run Health Transition: Britain in International Perspective, 1850-1995’ run by Dr Eric Schneider from the department of History at the University of Sussex. It is expected that the successful candidate will already have completed (or recently submitted) a Ph.D. in Economic History, Economics or a related discipline.  Good communication skills, numeracy and an ability to work productively as part of a research team are essential for this position. The post is based in Brighton but will involve commuting to London to transcribe restricted records in the London Metropolitan Archives three to four days a week for the first couple of months.

This position is associated with the £306,961 ESRC funded research project entitled ‘Children’s Growth during a Long-run Health Transition: Britain in International Perspective, 1850-1995’ run by Dr Eric Schneider from the department of History at the University of Sussex. The objective of the project is to explore how improvements in nutrition, sanitation, and medical knowledge during Britain’s long-run health transition from 1850 onwards influenced children’s growth pattern in terms of height, weight and BMI. Studying children’s growth pattern (velocity of growth and shape of the growth curve) rather than their height at a specific age is a significant methodological innovation. Adaptive theories of human development and growth stress how exposure to poor nutrition or disease, especially in utero, does not merely affect the child’s current height but also the timing of the pubertal growth spurt, their velocity of growth and the length of the growing period: in other words, their growth pattern. This project will extend existing knowledge of children’s growth in Britain in three ways: first, by reconstructing boys’ longitudinal growth measurements from training ship records spanning the century and a half from 1865 onwards; second, by producing and analysing new growth profiles for boys and girls aged 3 to 19 from historical sources; and third, by placing the change in Britain’s growth pattern in international context using growth profiles collected from 1850 to the present from around the world.

The data produced will supply a longer-run perspective on the immediate and intergenerational factors influencing children’s growth patterns in Britain and internationally and indicate how the shift from an unhealthy to healthy growth pattern took place. The data will also assemble new evidence on historical BMI growth curves and child obesity rates, providing historical context for the current child obesity crisis. The project’s findings are particularly relevant to the current discussion about a post-2015 development framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals and to understanding the childhood obesity crisis and will inform health interventions and development policy goals for improving the health of children in both the developing and developed worlds.

For more information or an informal discussion about the post, please contact Dr Eric Schneider or 01273 877945..

Ref 900 Further particulars including person specification [PDF 178.69KB]

Essential information

Terms and conditions

Research Faculty Terms and Conditions SUMMARY [DOC 36.00KB]


Application form – academic post [DOC 301.50KB]

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Applications should be received by midnight on the closing date.