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Student Vacation Research Assistant: The History of Women in 100 Objects - Open to current University of Worcester students only*

Research Assistantships provide undergraduates and recent graduates with ‘hands on’ experience of working on a research project over the summer vacation, enabling them to gain insight into a research career, as well as enhancing their CV.


The project involves working on a book The History of Women in 100 objects, with the aim of stimulating public interest and debate around women’s history. It has been commissioned by the History Press and due be completed at the end of August.

The History of Women in a 100 Objects is being written with Dr Janis Lomas ( Birmingham University retired) with contributions from 14 Worcester undergraduate and postgraduate students. It explores women’s history across centuries and geographical areas through 100 objects, their development, context and significance. It is hoped that the Vacation Research Student will provide assistance with the final stages of preparing the manuscript.

Aims and objectives of the project

  • Research, source and request permissions for images.
  • Research and co-write one or possibly two of the entries on objects.
  • Undertake literature searches on four or five objects to support supervisors writing.
  • Fact checking some material for some of the completed sections on objects.

The project builds upon the supervisor’s research and publications on women’s history, domesticity and Home Fronts including for example: a special edition of Women’s History Review on Home Fronts,Gender War and Conflict, jointly edited with J. Lomas, 2016 - 10.1080/09612025.2016.1148501, TheAcceptable Face of Feminism: The Women’s Institute Movement 1915-1960 (Lawrence and Wishart newRevised edition 2015) and Women and the Media: Feminism and Femininity in Britain, 1900 to the Present(Routledge 2014) edited with Sallie McNamara.

The History of Women in 100 Objects will be published in Spring 2018 – to take advantage of the focus on women’s history stimulated by the centenary of women’s enfranchisement in Britain in 1918. The book will be launched at the Voices of Women in the Great War and their Legacy conference being organised with and at the Black Country Living Museum on 13-14 April 2018, as part of the supervisor’s work as Co-I on the AHRC funded Voices of War and Peace: the Great War and its Legacy is a First World War Engagement Centre.

Furthermore the book re-enforce University’s Worcestershire reputation for Women’s History having held Women’s History Network (WHN) West Midlands Conference each year for more than 10 years and hosted the WHN National Conference in 2014. The supervisor is on the editorial board of Women’s History Review, served on the WHN National Steering Committee for four years, initiated the WHN Community History Prize and recently joined the judging panel for the WHN book Prize.

* Please note that this post is open only to students completing the penultimate or final year of an undergraduate degree (or equivalent) at the University of Worcester or partner institutions;
Students completing, or who have completed, an undergraduate degree at another university (with 1st or 2:1 predicted/achieved) who are about to commence postgraduate studies at the University of Worcester.

Closing date: Monday 05 Jun 2017

Reference number: STUVRA1715 - 2014

Job details

Job details

£8.44 per hour, plus £1.18 per hour holiday pay
30 hours
5 weeks
Responsible to
Professor Maggie Andrews
Responsible for
Interview date

Institute of Humanities & Creative Arts

Explore the Institute of Humanities & Creative Arts

“We are a lively community of scholars, researchers and creative practitioners”
David Broster & Mehreen Mirza, Acting Heads of Institute



The University of Worcester is funding 20 Vacation Research Assistantships for the summer of 2017. These Research Assistantships will provide undergraduates and recent graduates with ‘hands on’ experience of working on a research project over the summer vacation, enabling them to gain insight into a research career, as well as enhancing their CV. These are prestigious awards, marking out a student as a future researcher and potential academic. In addition, this scheme provides UW staff leading on a research project with invaluable support in taking the project forward and experience of supporting and developing a young researcher.

On completion of the project, the supervisor and student must complete a report providing the following information: 

  • Objectives set
  • Objectives met
  • Methods employed
  • Results
  • Conclusions
  • Outputs
  • Benefits to the student including training undertaken, skills developed, etc.
Main duties

Main duties

The post requires a student with a strong interest in women’s history to provide assistance in the final stages of work on a book entitled The History of Women in 100 objects. The book, which has been commissioned by the History Press is intended to engage the public with debate about women’s history across a diverse range of time periods and countries. The objects include for example: the Bones of Lucy, skeleton of a female of the hominin species Australopithecus afarensis found in Ethiopia., Roman wedding rings, C18 Hair Tongs, the Rajah Quilt, made in 1841 by female convicts to Australia, Marie Curie’s desk, the telephone and a mug to promote the work of Women’s Aid.

The successful candidate will undertake a range of tasks including; researching, literature searches, picture sourcing, obtaining permissions for images, fact checking and writing small sections of the book which will be submitted to the publishers at the end of August and published in April 2018.

*Maintain personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the job; participate in appropriate training activities and encourage and support staff in their development and training.

*Take steps to ensure and enhance personal health, safety and well being and that of other staff and students.

*Carry out these duties in a manner that promotes equality of opportunity and supports diversity and inclusion, and takes into account the University's commitment to environmentally sustainable ways of working.

Person specification

Person specification


1. Be comfortable using computers, able to critically research both via the internet and through online academic journals.

2. Have a demonstrable knowledge or interest in the history of women

3. Be undertaking or have undertaken a joint or single honours degree in History.

4. Be able to keep meticulous records of the sources they have used and make phone calls to museums.


Applications from Non EEA Workers:

Prospective applicants are advised to ensure that they are eligible to work in the UK without restriction.Prospective applicants in points-based system immigration routes should assess their circumstances against the published criteria, which are set out on the GOV.UK website at

Visit for more information on how you can use a qualification from outside the UK to meet the requirements of the immigration rules.

Unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs

The University is strongly committed to the fair treatment of its staff and potential staff, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibility for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

In line with the University's policy on the Recruitment of People with a Criminal Record, shortlisted candidates are required to provide information of any unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs. Applicants are advised to seek independent advice if there is any doubt about the status of a previous conviction, caution or bind-over. Disclosures will only be considered at the point when an offer of employment is made. The existence of a criminal record will not in itself prevent you from gaining employment.This is a description of the job as it is presently constituted.

This job description is intended to enable a flexible approach to be offered working across the University as required. It is subject to review and amendment in the light of changing needs of the University and to provide appropriate development opportunities. Members of staff are expected to participate fully in discussions about changing requirements and it is the University's aim to reach agreement to reasonable change. If agreement is not possible, it reserves the right to require changes to the job description after consultation with the individual concerned.

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