• Titolo:
    Research Fellow - VOICES Project (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Tipologia incarico:
    Borsa post dottorato
  • Durata incarico:
    > 36 mesi
  • Paese:
  • Scadenza:
    20-09-2023 - Ore 23:59
  • Descrizione:

    VOICES is a research project funded by a European Research Council Advanced Grant to Professor Jane Ohlmeyer in the School of Histories and Humanities, TCD. It aims to recover the voices and interrogate lived experiences of women in early modern Ireland by drawing on a ‘digital windfall’ of diverse historical data alongside evolving digital methodologies that place these data into productive dialogue. The VOICES project is seeking two postdoctoral researchers with expertise on early modern Ireland/history/women and quantitative historical analysis to be based at TCD to be part of the high performing team.

    THE VOICES PROJECT OVERVIEW Ireland formed part of the British, European, and Atlantic world and women there responded to similar sets of transformative processes as other early modern women - proto- globalisation, state formation, confessionalisation, warfare, commercialisation, environmental change, and so on – which facilitates interrogation that is comparative, connected, and entangled.

    The project’s novel approach derives in large part from the interrogation of previously inaccessible historical data, now available digitally. These include qualitative sources like the ‘1641 Depositions’, legal records, wills, and inquisitions, cartographic ones like the Down Survey Maps, together with more quantitative materials –surveys, censuses, networks of lending and borrowing preserved in Statute Staple Records, and the Books of Survey and Distribution. Some are available as part of the ongoing ‘Virtual Treasury’ project, a landmark initiative which aims to reconstitute Ireland’s national archives destroyed in 1922 and others (‘1641 Depositions’ and Statute Staple records) as part of initiatives led or co-led by the PI. Particularly valuable are the Books of Survey and Distribution, which record landholding in 1641, in c.1670, and in c.1704 and the ‘1641 Depositions’, which comprise over 8,000 witness testimonies in which 959 (mostly Protestant) women told of their experiences following the outbreak of violence in October 1641. This windfall is exceptional, but the resulting data is unstructured. Innovative technologies (e.g., the Knowledge Graph) transform this unstructured data into knowledge that can be interrogated and visualised. VOICES will answer two ambitious research questions tested through five hypotheses.

    Q1: What role did women play in a society undergoing profound economic, political, and cultural transformation? • H1 Women played a central and diverse role in daily life and especially the operation of the economy at all levels, and thanks tokin, marital, and fosterage links, were the social glue that held families and communities together. • H2 Despite legal restrictions and patriarchal norms, the story ofland and property was also a story of women’s lives.

    Q2: What were their experiences of recurring social upheaval, bloody civil war and extreme trauma, especially sexual violence and how have these been politicised? • H3 Women played proactive roles in the wars, adapting to extreme circumstances in order to survive. • H4 Feelings of shame and concerns about privacy prevented women from reporting rape and/or extreme sexual violence. • H5 Women used a period of intense warfare, when all cultural norms were suspended, to advance their role and in some instances to improve their position.

    With a few notable exceptions, historians of early modern Ireland have ignored these issues, focusing instead on a political narrative that privileges the stories of men of power and influence. We will test five hypotheses the overarching one being that women used a period of intense warfare, when all cultural norms were suspended, to advance their role and in some instances to improve their position.

    A key objective of VOICES is to develop a Knowledge Graph. The power of the Knowledge Graph comes from its Semantic Web structure. The Graph can be imagined as an information network, in which historical data is organized into categories, classes and relationships. Unlike a conventional database, all data in the Knowledge Graph has a ‘meaning’ that a machine can interpret. In other words, raw information becomes knowledge—and this knowledge can power research and discovery.

    Other key outputs are scholarly articles in major peer review journals appropriate for the discipline, at least one monograph presenting the pioneering research with a leading academic press, and at least one collection of essays derived from the two workshops and a major international conference. A project website will showcase the transformative knowledge generated by the project and allow users to interrogate the VOICES Knowledge Graph, which will be openly available as a Linked Data endpoint accessible using standard internet technologies. The ontologies on women and violence will be published openly (using the W3C Ontology Web Language format) to allow for interoperability with other research initiatives and for their reuse by others. VOICES will provide the proof of concept for scholars sceptical of these approaches, and a supranational methodological model for others who are hesitant to apply these approaches for lack of guidance on the technical aspects. Given this, we will publish a research protocol that documents the research process of a benchmark and pioneering project.

    Standard Duties and Responsibilities of the Posts The VOICES Project will appoint two postdoctoral researchers who will work on all aspects of the case studies that test its five hypotheses.

    The researcher with historical expertise will be appointed for 4 years to develop ontologies on women and on violence. They will look for any additional relevant primary sources freely available online that might be included in the VOICES Knowledge Graph, along with secondary materials, including datasets and historical scholarship that situates findings in a wider British, European, and global context (e.g., the Civil War Petitions Project). They will also identify interpretive frameworks from other times and places, that might help us to better understand the lived experiences of early modern women.

    The researcher with social sciences expertise in quantitative analysis/economic history will be appointed for 2 years to develop models for the quantitative analysis of data, especially relating to landholding, debt/credit, and to violence. They will focus on quantifying the human and material cost of violence using the methodology to calculate casualties developed by Hilary Simms for County Armagh.

    Candidates for both research roles should have a detailed understanding of the history of women and/or or early modern Ireland/history and the complex and often inconsistent qualitative, quantitative, and cartographic data and records that underpin VOICES. Certain tasks, especially around creating the ontology and data entry, are time consuming and complicated. This requires an ability to think conceptually and organise historical data into categories, classes, and relationships. Close attention to detail, high levels of accuracy, and meaningful collaboration are also essential.

    The VOICES research fellows will be part of a collaborative project team and be required to be in person on the Trinity campus based in the Department of History for at least one day each week, ideally Wednesdays in term. The successful candidates will be able to engage enthusiastically with colleagues in a range of disciplines and from a variety of institutions and be active in presenting their research to public audiences in Britainand Ireland. They will also contribute to developing engagement opportunities related to VOICES.

    The fellows will report to, be directed by and be under the supervision of the VOICES Principal Investigator, Professor Jane Ohlmeyer (or their nominee) for the listed activities unless otherwise stated. They will be based in the Department of History and work closely with the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute which is hosting the project. The work will involve close collaboration with the wider VOICES research team which comprises researchers from a variety of disciplines.

    For informal enquiries on the positions interested candidates should contact: Professor Jane Ohlmeyer,

    Standard Responsibilities for all posts (except where specified)


    • To work closely with the Knowledge Engineer to develop two ontologies (one for women and one for violence) – Historian • To develop models for the quantitative analysis of data, especially relating to landholding, debt/credit, and to mortality – Social Scientist/Economic Historian • To conduct excellent research into all aspects of the lived experiences of women in early modern Ireland and to develop appropriate comparisons • To identify and analyse the complex and often inconsistent qualitative, quantitative, and cartographic data and records that underpin VOICES • To work on the case studies that test the hypotheses that inform VOICES • To carefully manage the metadata-processing pathway, from digital datato platformed product on the VOICES’ website • In collaboration with a wider research team of Computer Scientists, to curate relevant Linked Open Data datasets, and integrate the qualitative, quantitative, and cartographic data with the VOICES Knowledge Graph • To coordinate and perform independent and team-led activities involved in the collection, analysis, documentation, and interpretation of information/results • To participate in training and other periodic meetings in Dublin • To present information on research progress and outcomes • To act as a source of information and guidance, as required, to any support staff and/or researchers assisting with the research programme • To contribute to grant development proposals relevant to the growth or extension of this area of research

    COMMUNICATION, DISSEMINATION & IMPACT • To publish research outputs in peer-reviewed journals, relevant to VOICES and the wider research programme, in his/her area of specialist expertise, and to contribute to co-authored publications • To confer with the PI in the development of future research plans • To contribute to the public engagement components • To contribute to impact planning and delivery and ongoing communication of the project • To perform other related duties, as required by the PI, incidental tothe work described herein


    • To engage in appropriate professional training and development opportunities to develop own transferable skills, career and reputation • To engage with the community of early career researchers (PhD candidates and other postdoctoral fellows) based in the School of Histories and Humanities and the Trinity Long Room Hub. Successful applicants will be expected to join the Trinity Long Room Hub’s weekly in person coffee mornings

    Funding Information: European Research Council Advanced Grant Person Specification:


    • A completed PhD in history or a cognate field

    Knowledge & Experience (Essential & Desirable)

    • The appointed candidates will have had postdoctoral research experience and publications relevant to their research stage • Demonstrates knowledge of the research field in early modern Irish history and/or the history of women and/or history of the early modern period (essential for historian applicants) • Demonstrates excellent historical research and conceptual skills (essential for all) • Experience in using digital technologies for historical research and advocating for the importance of digital archives (essential for historian applicants) • Demonstrates excellent research, conceptual and quantitativeskills/historical statistics (essential for social scientist/economic historian applicants) • Demonstrates the ability to generate new ideas and link and build upon existing ideas to generate unique concepts and solutions with integrity • Demonstrates knowledge of data curation, analysis, and visualization (essential for social scientist/economic historian applicants) • Demonstrates evidence of research activity and a commitment to ongoing research and publications commensurate with career stage and personal circumstances (essential for all) • Experience of working across disciplines (desirable) • Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the policy, practices and procedures that are relevant to the role. This will include knowledge and understanding of Research Ethics, and may also include broader University, sector, and external sponsor or funder policies (desirable) • Demonstrates an understanding of the operational andmanagement requirements of a successful research project (desirable)

    Skills & Competencies

    • Standards and quality oriented with excellent attention to detail • High level of IT competency • Excellent report writing and presentation skills • Willingness to engage with emerging technologies in the Digital Humanities field • Excellent workflow and information management skills • Evidence of excellent organizational skills • Excellent communications skills and an ability to communicate to a variety of audiences • Demonstrates an ability to manage own research and associated activities to meet multiple, competing deadlines enable a high level of personal effectiveness • Experience of working constructively within a team to achieve a common goal • Capable of taking ownership of problems and following up with multiple stakeholders to address any issues • Demonstrates excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and oral. • Evidence of excellent stakeholder management skills and a willingness to represent the project at meetings, conferences, and other relevant events • Demonstrates a commitment to develop own transferable skills, profile, and reputation to advance own career after the end of the contract period

    Application Procedure

    Applicants should submit the following to: by 11:59pm (Irish Standard Time) Wednesday 20 September 2023.

    • Cover letter (1 A4 page) (all applicants) • Research statement describing their specialist knowledge of early modern women and or/early modern Ireland/history and their ability to think conceptually and organise historical data into categories, classes, and relationships. (3 A4 pages) (HISTORIAN applicants only) • Research statement describing how they would develop quantitative models that could be applied to early modern historical data and their ability to think conceptually and organise historical data into categories, classes, and relationships. (3 A4 pages) (SOCIAL SCIENTIST/ECONOMIC HISTORIAN applicants only) • Full CV (3 A4 pages) including the names of three referees who may be contacted if shortlisted. Please Note: • Applicants who do not address the application requirements above in their cover letter will not be considered at the short list stage.

    It is expected that interviews will be held online in early October 2023.