Career Development Fellow in Philosophy

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Career Development Fellow in Philosophy (
Job Number:
Department of Philosophy
Grade 7: - £37,099 - £44,263 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 24 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Working Arrangements: To be agreed with line manager
Closing Date
: 25-Jun-2024, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

Working at Durham University  

A globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a warm and friendly place to work, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.

As one of the UK’s leading universities, Durham is an incredible place to define your career. The University is located within a beautiful historic city, home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and surrounded by stunning countryside. Our talented scholars and researchers from around the world are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.  

We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things in the world. Being a part of Durham is about more than just the success of the University, it’s also about contributing to the success of the city, county and community.

Our University Strategy is built on three pillars of research, education and wider student experience, but also on our keen sense of community and of inspiring others to achieve their potential. 

Our Purpose and Values

We want our University to be a place where people can be free to be themselves, no matter what their identity or background. Together, we celebrate difference, value one another and are each responsible for creating an inclusive community that is respectful and fair for all.

Find out more about the benefits of working at the University and what it is like to live and work in the Durham area on our Why Durham? information page.  

Career Development Fellowships

The University is committed to enabling all our colleagues to achieve their full potential. Durham University’s Career Development Fellowships are fixed term positions, which include structured development support for early career academics to deliver outstanding education, innovative research/scholarship, and to engage in citizenship activities. The post-holder will be a full academic member of the Department, working alongside world-class colleagues, with the support of a designated mentor. 

Career Development Fellows will benefit from tailored support to strengthen their skills, will be provided with a range of academic opportunities, and will benefit from protected time to foster different aspects of their career. The Career Development Fellowships will enable early career academics to acquire a strong and well-rounded foundation to support future applications for substantive academic roles at Durham or elsewhere (no guarantee can be given that a permanent role at Durham will be available for the CDF to apply for at the end of the Fellowship).

The Department 

The Department of Philosophy at Durham University seeks to appoint a talented early-career philosopher to a fixed-term Career Development Fellowship. We particularly welcome applicants with research and teaching interests in the broad field of ethics (including applied ethics, especially business ethics) and political philosophy. Since the Department’s teaching needs may change during the fellowship, we seek applicants who are flexible and have a broad range of teaching interests.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a growing department that pursues research that is world-leading and world-changing. The Philosophy Department at Durham University has concentrations of research expertise across four research clusters: Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics; History of Philosophy; Mind, Language and Metaphysics and Science, Medicine, and Society. It is home to the Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS) and has strong links with other interdisciplinary research centres and institutes at Durham.

At postgraduate and undergraduate levels, our students can choose from a wide range of teaching, spanning the whole discipline of philosophy and the history and philosophy of science and medicine. The Department’s undergraduate programmes are to be found among the top 10 in national rankings for philosophy (The Guardian, The Complete University Guide and The Times). The Department has one of the largest PhD programmes in the UK, and many of our students go on to pursue highly successful academic careers.

Benefitting from strong student recruitment, the Department has expanded significantly in recent years, investing in key research areas including philosophy of health and medicine, environmental philosophy and philosophy of AI and information. We are using this opportunity to create a scholarly community that is open, representative, and diverse: our commitment to this is expressed through the work of the Department’s Diversity and Inclusion Group, and our recent Athena Swan Bronze award. We have strengthened our research culture by consolidating and deepening current areas of strength with new appointments; further developing our collaborations with researchers, policymakers, and practitioners from other disciplines and beyond academia; and using external funding and University research centres and institutes to support innovative research and the environment it needs to flourish.

This post offers an exciting opportunity to develop your research and teaching while benefiting from unrivalled, tailored support for your career progression at an exciting and progressive institution. For more information, please visit our Department pages at Department of Philosophy - Durham University

Given the developmental nature of this role it is not anticipated that the post will be extended beyond the initial fixed term. Following the end of the term, the role-holder will be in a strong position to apply for relevant permanent academic roles, should they arise, at Durham or elsewhere.

Successful applicants are normally expected to be within 8 years of completing their PhD, although career breaks for parental leave and/or health reasons will be considered. This is because the roles are aimed at early career academics who would benefit from a structured development programme and provision of both formal and ‘on the job’ training. The posts are also open to those who are returning to academia after a career in another sector.

Successful applicants will, ideally be in post by 2nd September 2024

The University provides a working and teaching environment that is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate these key principles as part of the assessment process.

Key responsibilities:

It should be noted that the precise content of each Career Development Fellowship will vary dependent on the experience of the role-holder, their career aspirations, and the business need of the Department. 

At the outset of the Fellowship a personal development plan will be produced in discussion with the Head of Department, which will outline any training needs, or other experience the post-holder wishes to gain to develop their academic career.

The development plan is a tool to assist the post-holder's academic career progression and will be reviewed regularly during the Fellowship to ensure that development needs are being met.

During the course of the Career Development Fellowship the successful candidate will gain valuable experience in a wide spectrum of academic activities. Examples include:


  • Membership of Departmental committees and appropriate professional body.
  • Contribute to a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • Engage in citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
  • Engage in continuing professional development by attending relevant training and development courses, as detailed in the personal development plan. Opportunities could include: 

o   Research Project Leadership
o   Supported progression towards Higher Education Academy (HEA) membership
o   Leadership in Learning and Teaching course


  • Teach modules at undergraduate/postgraduate levels, developing an awareness of different approaches to and methods of teaching and supporting student learning.
  • Develop the ability to manage own teaching and designing, planning and writing of engaging and innovative teaching materials.
  • Develop and deliver an inclusive curriculum and make an active contribution to an inclusive community in which diversity is embraced and celebrated.
  • Co-supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students, and where appropriate act as part of a PhD supervisory team.
  • Provide student support, assessment of academic performance and provision of feedback, dealing with student disciplinary matters and complaints.


  • Demonstrate progress towards independent development of internationally excellent research/scholarship.
  • Develop clear plans for the pursuit of national and international funding opportunities to support research/scholarship and end-user engagement.
  • Develop a personal research/scholarship plan which supports and enhances the department’s research and/or pedagogic strategy.
  • Contribute to enhancing the quality of the research environment.

Working at Durham 

  • A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits:
  • 30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.  
  • As a new member of staff you will be automatically enrolled into the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).
  • No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered. We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.
  • There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally. There is a comprehensive range of development courses, and all staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities.
  • Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.
  • On site nursery is available and children’s clubs in the summer holidays.
  • Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).
  • The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community.
  • Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions.
  • A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits.
  • If you are moving to Durham, you may be eligible for help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools.  If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas.

Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion 

Equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key component of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  We also live by our Purpose and Values  and our Staff Code of Conduct.   At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all colleagues undertake activities that are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI. 

We welcome and encourage applications from those who are currently under-represented in our work force, including people with disabilities and from racially minoritised ethnic groups.

If you have taken a career break or periods of leave that may have impacted on the volume and recency of your research outputs and other activities, such as maternity, adoption or parental leave, you may wish to disclose this in your application. The selection committee will take this into account when evaluating your application.

The University has been awarded the Disability Confident Employer status. If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role. 

Contact Information 

Department contact for academic-related enquiries, Head of Department Professor Robin Hendry [email protected]

Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application 

If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email.  Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to [email protected]  

Alternatively, you may call 0191 334 6801 from the UK, or +44 191 334 6801 from outside the UK. This number operates during the hours of 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday, UK time.  We will normally respond within one working day (Monday to Friday, excluding UK public holidays).  

University contact for general queries about the recruitment process 

Michele Groark, HR Administrator (Recruitment) [email protected]

How to Apply  

We prefer to receive applications online.    

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification below. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence of all criteria.

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.

Please note that in submitting your application, we will be processing your data.  We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement  which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.  

Submitting your application

All applicants are asked to submit: 

  • A CV  
  • A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out below.  
  • A 2 page Personal Research Plan OR Scholarship Plan
  • An EDI & values statement – (of no more than 500 words) which outlines work which you have been involved in which demonstrates your commitment to EDI and our values. I.e. Involvement in equality, diversity, and inclusion activities such as mentoring, volunteering, or attending conferences.

We will update you about your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to make sure you have not missed any of our updates

Next Steps 

Short-listed candidates will be invited to the University, either virtually or in-person and will have the opportunity to meet key members of the Department. The assessment for the post will normally include [a presentation to staff and students in the Department followed by an interview] and we anticipate that the assessments and interviews will take place over two days in or around 16th July 2024.

In the event that you are unable to attend in person on the date offered, it may not be possible to offer you an interview on an alternative date.

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

Person Specification 

Candidates will normally be within eight years of completing their PhD (career breaks due to parental leave or ill health will be accounted for) or be concluding their PhD. While candidates may have limited direct experience of the requirements of the post, they must outline their experience, skills and achievements to date which demonstrate that they meet or that they have the potential to achieve the essential criteria.

Essential Criteria

  • Qualifications - a good first degree in a related subject and normally within eight years of completing a PhD in Philosophy or close to submitting a PhD.
  • The ability to foster a respectful working and learning environment and a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrate the potential to produce high quality outputs that are recognised as internationally excellent or world class or that have the potential to be.
  • Experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate the potential to deliver high quality, effective and engaging teaching and assessments in relevant areas.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to engage with a range of students and colleagues across a variety of forums.
  • Experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate experience of or the potential to participate in the collegial/administrative activities or an academic Department, Faculty or University

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