2022 Chevening British Library Fellowship
Deadline: November 2, 2021.
The Chevening British Library Fellowship is a collaboration between the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office and the British Library, offering international experts a year-long professional project-based placement. Fellows will have the privilege of working with the extensive library’s collections and benefit from the broad range of professional expertise of library staff.
The British Library is the national library of the UK and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. The British Library’s collection encompasses all fields of knowledge in hundreds of languages, covering 3,500 years from some of the earliest written records to the digital collections of the present day, and range over all formats. As a public-facing, culturally-active research institute, Chevening is pleased to partner with the British Library to bring international experts to the UK to pursue a one-of-a-kind opportunity.
For the 2022/2023 academic year, two placements are on offer and will provide fellows with experience in strategic and policy work relevant to a national library. There is one placement per theme.
- Automating the recognition of historical Chinese handwritten texts: This fellowship sits within the British Library’s Digital Research Team. It will engage with new digital tools and techniques in order to explore possible solutions to automate the transcription of historical Chinese handwritten texts. The fellowship will focus on material from Dunhuang (China), part of the Stein collection, which is being conserved and digitised through the Lotus Sutra Manuscripts Digitisation Project as part of the digitisation activities conducted by the British Library to make the collections under its custodianship accessible to all. The digitised content will be accessible through the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) platform.
- Manuscript Textiles in the Southeast Asian Collections: This fellowship will be hosted by the Asian and African Collections department. The British Library holds about 3000 manuscripts from Southeast Asia, forming the largest and most significant collection of Southeast Asian manuscripts in the UK. Highlights include illustrated paper folding books from Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand, rare palm leaf manuscripts from Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Thailand going back to the seventeenth century, royal letters in Malay from the courts of the archipelago, some of the earliest known Batak divination manuals from Sumatra, as well as rare royal letters and edicts from Vietnam and Thailand.
This fellowship is available in the following countries:
To be eligible for a Chevening British Library Fellowship, you must:
- Demonstrate the potential to rise to positions of leadership and influence
- Demonstrate that you possess the personal, intellectual, and interpersonal attributes reflecting this potential.
- Be a citizen of the above-listed countries.
- Return to your country of citizenship at the end of the period of the fellowship.
- Have a postgraduate level qualification (or equivalent professional training or experience in a relevant area) at the time of application.
- Have significant professional and/or academic research experience (at least five years).
- Be currently employed or a currently enrolled PhD candidate (PhD must not be with a UK/EU or USA university).
- Provide evidence of meeting at least the minimum English language abilities for Chevening Awards.
- Not hold British or dual British citizenship.
- Not be an employee, a former employee, or relative* of an employee of Her Majesty’s Government, or have been within the last two years from the opening of Chevening applications (including British embassies/high commissions; the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy; Department for International Trade; the Ministry of Defence; and the Home Office), or a staff member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
- 12-month period of project-based activity at the British Library.
- Living expenses for the duration of the fellowship.
- Return economy airfare from your home country to the UK.
- Allowance package for fellowship-related activities.
- Up to £1,000 for approved project-related expenses.
- Access to a programme of cultural events and activities organised by the FCDO and the Chevening Secretariat.