ROG 350 Sackler Research Fellowships



ROG 350 Sackler Research Fellowships


As we approach the 350th anniversary of the Royal Observatory’s foundation in 2025, we are pleased to offer two Research Fellowships to help us look beyond traditional histories of astronomy. We welcome applications from scholars interested in the history of science in its broadest sense who are interested in exploring how their research expertise can provide us with new perspectives on our site’s institutional history, people stories, architecture, scientific instruments and associated collections.


As outlined below, we have identified two core research areas of interest and applicants are welcome to apply for the Fellowship that best matches their expertise and interests.


Sackler Fellowship 1 – £30,000 per year for 2 years


The working history of the ROG (1675-1948)

Looking beyond the well-documented story of the Astronomers Royal, we welcome research that explores the hidden history of the contribution made by the wider team of staff, both astronomical and support staff. We are keen to explore topics such as recruitment, institutional hierarchy, gender, social mobility and responses to new technologies and organisational changes.


Sackler Fellowship 2 - £30,000 per year for 2 years


The twentieth century story of the ROG (1900-1950)

The Observatory’s history during this period is mainly based on specific people, projects or instruments. The purpose of this Fellowship is to create a more holistic narrative that examines the wider social, economic and technological changes within the Observatory’s operations during this period, particularly in relation to the First and Second World Wars.



Eligibility and schedule


  • The fellowship is primarily but not exclusively intended to support study at a post-doctoral level and applications are particularly encouraged from scholars of any nationality who have recently submitted a PhD, or who expect to do so before the commencement of the fellowship.


  • Potential candidates will be invited for interview.


  • The duration of proposed fellowships will be 2 years.


  • The proposed length of the fellowship must be supported by a timeline clearly setting out project milestones.


  • The Fellowship award is £30,000 per year. The award can be paid direct to the Fellow’s Institution or to the Fellow, in which case UK tax and National Insurance will be deducted at source.


  • Fellowships may commence in the October following appointment or earlier by arrangement.


  • Funding will be available to facilitate research visits to Cambridge to access the RGO Archives as required.


Conditions of the Sackler fellowships


  • The Fellowship is funded by the Sackler trust and hence the Fellow will be known as the Sackler Fellow
  • The Museum will receive printed acknowledgement in any and all publications resulting in whole or in part from research carried out during the period of the Fellowship.
  • The Fellow will provide the Museum (through the Research Department) with copies of all publications supported in whole or in part by the Fellowship.
  • The Fellow will provide the Museum with a written report on the completion of their Fellowship which will also be shared with the Sackler Trust as part of the funding agreement.
  • During the tenure of the Fellowship, a Fellow will be asked to attend conferences or symposia on behalf of the Museum and to participate in informal seminars with staff.



Guidelines on how to apply


The deadline for applications is 6 October 2019.


Four documents (ideally typewritten) are required, as follows:


  1. A completed application form, which asks for brief personal details, the title and duration of the proposed research project and the names and addresses of two academic referees.
  2. A curriculum vitae; this should be kept short (maximum 3 pages)and include details of the applicant’s education, employment history and major publications or papers delivered.
  3. An outline of the proposed research project, which should not exceed 2 sides of A4 paper.
  4. A timetable for its completion, and proposals for making the results available*


*The Museum does not undertake to publish or assist with the publication of the results of research work accomplished during the tenure of the Fellowship.


Please note: e-mailed applications are preferred, although we will also accept applications by post.


Please return your application form, CV and research proposal to:






Conference and Fellowships Manager

National Maritime Museum

Greenwich, London SE10 9NF

Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6716



Reference letters


Applicants should send a copy of their application to their nominated referees at the time of or in advance of its submission, asking the referees to comment on their professional knowledge of the applicant and the contribution the project would make to scholarship.


The referees should be asked to send their letters direct to the Museum at the above e-mail or address by 6 October 2019.


Please note: e-mailed reference letters are preferred.



Outcome of applications


Applicants will be informed in December 2019 if they have been selected for interview.


Interviews by the Academic Awards Committee will be held at the Museum in January or February 2020.


For any further information please contact the Conference and Fellowships Manager.