Research Associate post, University of Bristol ('Towards a Sensory History of the Modern Hospital')

Can sensory history provide new insights into spaces of physical illness and recovery? How have cultural, individual and medical concerns historically shaped experiences of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch in hospital environments? This project will explore these questions, focusing on modern British hospitals. It will examine how emerging research on the senses fed into healthcare design and hospital life, and how patients/staff/visitors experienced and gave meaning to these design decisions. In 2017-18 the Principal Investigator (Dr Victoria Bates) will conduct research on the theory, practice and lived experience of sensory ‘design for health’ in hospitals since 1945. During this time the PI, with the support of the person appointed as Research Associate, will also explore future directions for the project with particular attention to methodological innovation, geographical scope and/or time frame, and public engagement opportunities. Overall, the project will establish the ways in which a sensory approach can shed light on historical relationships between health and environment, as a basis both for discrete outputs and further funding applications. The successful candidate will need to have secured a PhD degree, even if the formal award of the degree has not yet been made, by the date of appointment (1 August 2017). They will be expected to support the whole project, rendering assistance to Dr Victoria Bates in finding sources, discussing ideas, reviewing relevant literature, organizing workshops, supporting social media, and writing grant applications. They may be expected to conduct a literature review and contribute to a jointly authored publication with workshop participants.

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Timescale of appointment:

Short-listed candidates will be notified on or about Friday 9 June 2017 and invited to interview.

Interview date: Monday, 19 June 2017
Anticipated start date: 1 August 2017
Closing date for applications is Monday 29 May 2017