COVID-19 UPDATE: for applicants

Information for applicants

IASH's premises are currently closed, with all activity moving online and Fellows working remotely. We do not have a planned date for re-opening, but will advertise this as soon as information is available.

Should I still apply for a Fellowship for 2020-21?

We are planning to appoint Fellows as standard for the academic year 2020-21. Given the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19 worldwide, we will be as responsive as we can to the needs of Fellows. The deadline of 30 April for Postdoctoral, Junior Anniversary and other early-career Fellowships is unchanged.

Should I apply if I am struggling to get references due to the disruption caused by COVID-19, or if my viva is delayed? Can IASH be flexible this year?

We acknowledge that the entire HE sector is experiencing significant disruption, so we want to support early career researchers as much as possible at this difficult time. We will examine each application on its merits, and can be flexible to an extent. However, at the very least, we need one reference which comments in detail on your proposal – this could be provided by your supervisor. It is not essential (although strongly encouraged) to provide a second reference from someone outside your institution.

If your viva has been delayed, we would like you to include a letter from your supervisor confirming that your thesis has been sent to the examiners by 30 April 2020, that there has been a delay, and details of the expected date for your deferred viva (if known). We may be able to make an offer of a Fellowship before you pass your viva, but you will not be able to take up your Fellowship until after the viva, once all necessary corrections have been approved by the examiners and a final version of the thesis submitted to your university.

Should I plan for a start date in August / September, or will you still be closed?

We are unsure of the extent of the building closure, so cannot provide a firm date for re-opening. However, where it is possible for Fellows to work on their projects remotely, we strongly encourage this – for example, collaborating with colleagues and mentors via Zoom or Skype, working on monographs and papers from home, gathering data via online surveys, etc. This may mean that some or all of your Fellowship period is spent working from home. If Fellows require access to specific collections, archives or other physical objects in Edinburgh / Scotland, we can try to arrange a start date when we expect the Institute to have re-opened, but this cannot currently be guaranteed. In the event of a lengthy closure, we may ask Fellows to revise their project proposals to allow remote working for part / all of their Fellowship, e.g. to work on a paper based on existing research rather than examining new documents.

What will I be able to access if I’m working remotely?

Becoming an IASH Fellow automatically gives you access to a wide variety of digital services from the University of Edinburgh, via our system known as EASE. These include:
•    Remote desktop: This allows access to servers, resources, files and software at the University.
•    VPN: A virtual private network extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.
•    Skype for Business: This allows for video or audio calls with colleagues.
•    Microsoft Teams: This allows for instant communications on multiple platforms including mobile phone and the ability to seamlessly move to audio or video as well as file sharing.
•    Blackboard Collaborate: This allows us to deliver live seminars and group discussions, such as the weekly Work-in-Progress seminars.
•    Library collections: all journal subscriptions and e-books held by the university will be available to Fellows. Other collections, such as those held by the National Library of Scotland, may be available by arrangement with them.
•    Software: if you require specific software (such as Adobe Creative Suite or NVivo) to carry out your work, we can assist with this. The university holds licences for most standard research software packages, and IASH can purchase licences for other packages subject to approval.
•    Training: the university offers a wide variety of training, delivered in-person via Zoom or via our online teaching platform, which is freely accessible to Fellows.
•    Funding: we are currently examining new ways of delivering the grants for symposia and workshops we usually offer for early career researchers. More information about funding will be available later in the year.

Will I receive my full stipend?

Yes, all Fellows will receive their full stipend as normal, whether or not they are in Edinburgh.

If you have any other queries, please contact us at We look forward to receiving your applications by 30 April.