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TaPRA and the Society for Theatre Research are joint sponsors of the 2018-19 fellowship scheme designed to provide a funded research opportunity for a post doctoral early career researcher (ECR) who has not yet secured a long-term contract or permanent employment.

This year’s scheme will offer £5,000 to fund a period of research (equating to a period typically of twelve weeks) undertaken in the Society for Theatre Research Archive held by the Victoria and Albert Museum at the Museum’s Collection Store and Reading Room, Blythe House, Kensington (Olympia).

The Society for Theatre Research was founded in 1948 and this year celebrates its 70th anniversary. The Society runs events, publishes books and journal Theatre Notebook, offers grants and prizes, organises The Poel Workshops and supports new research. The STR was established to educate the public in the knowledge and appreciation of British theatre, and to conduct and encourage research into its history, techniques, practices and participants.Today the Society is interested in British-related theatre and performance: from the past to the present, and from theory to practice. Instrumental in the founding of the Theatre Museum, Theatres Trust and International Federation for Theatre Research, the STR also played an important role in the abolition of stage censorship with the Theatres Act (1968). Past members, supporters and beneficiaries include Terence Rattigan, Donald Sinden, Margaret Rutherford, John Gielgud, Sybil Thorndike, Edith Evans, Sian Phillips, Judi Dench, Henry Goodman, Alan Rickman, David Bamber, Ray Fearon and Anthony Hopkins.

During the funded research period the fellow will be expected to:

  1. Enhance the following areas in the catalogue for Society for Theatre Research Archive:
    1. Creation of an index and cross-referencing for Correspondence
    2. Creation of a timeline outlining key individuals and areas of the Society’s activities
  1. Write a Finding Guide for STR journal Theatre Notebook
  2. Conduct research for a lecture as part of the STR Annual Lecture Series

The TaPRA Fellow will also be supported to produce a journal article (c7000 words) for publication in an agreed peer reviewed journal, on a theme central to the material, at the end of the fellowship.

The fellowship can be taken up during any agreed period between June and December 2018.


The Fellow will determine the direction of the research according to their own specific field of interest but will seek broad agreement from the 2018-19 fellowship supervising team.


The Fellow will be supported during the Fellowship by two mentors from TaPRA ( Elena Marchevska and Lucie Sunderland ) and a mentor from STR (Professor Christopher Baugh) who will be available to advise on potential directions for the research, issues arising from the research, and the process toward securing successful journal publication. It is expected that most of the research will be undertaken in the V&A Theatre and Performance Collection when the fellow will be under the direct supervision of Senior Curator Simon Sladen who will instruct, assist and support necessary training for requirements related to research.


The Fellow will be representing TaPRA and as such should ensure that they meet the codes of conduct as laid out by the partners.

This document outlines the main objectives of the research fellowship and the expected outcomes. It is not intended to be an inclusive list and the Fellow’s participation in outward-facing events connected to the project may vary but will not change the general character of the fellowship or the level of responsibility entailed.


Application Closing Date: 21 May 2018

For further enquiries email: Dr Elena Marchevska e.marchevska@lsbu.ac.uk

Person Specification – TaPRA Fellowship


Essential: PhD in relevant field (awarded within the last 8 years).
Desirable: Training in using catalogue systems, library and online archival materials.


Essential: Knowledge and/or experience of archival research

Desirable: Knowledge and Experience of research on one or more of the following:

  • Perfoming Arts Collections
  • Performing Arts Institutions, Organisational Bodies and Groups
  • Theatre History and Historiography


Essential: Should be conscientious, thorough and self-motivated. Able to work proactively. Receive instruction. Work to deadlines. Mature interpersonal skills.

Desirable: Good presentation skills.


Desirable: An understanding of Museums and Performing Arts Collections, and a willingness to work within the codes of conduct it requires from its visting researchers.


Application Procedures:


Interested applicants should send a full c.v. with a covering letter highlighting the following:


  • Your area of research and how it might relate to the STR archive
  • The date that you would ideally take up the fellowship (anticipated as 12 week/one term period starting no earlier than June 2018 and ending no later than December 2018)
  • Your current employment status
  • Details for a reference


Applications to be made via email to:Elena Marchevska e.marchevska@lsbu.ac.uk and Simon Sladen s.sladen@vam.ac.uk


Interviews will take place in London in the week beginning 28 May 2018.

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