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Research Associate: Covid-19 in Asia


University of Oxford, Oxford, UK


  • Posted on: 20th Aug 2021
  • Salary: £32,817 - £34,804 per annum
  • REF: 152886
  • Closes: 03rd September 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job Details

Research Associate: Covid-19 in Asia

The Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, Oxford

£32,817 – £34,804 per annum

The Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities (WEH) seeks two post-doctoral researchers to investigate the historical background to the response to Covid-19 in Asia, with special emphasis on why some governments were able to respond quickly, effectively and with the support of the majority of their populations, while others were not. We are particularly interested in projects which would examine one of the following two issues:

1) The collective responsibility for the management of infectious diseases, and the presence or absence of such feelings in different contexts.

The purpose of the first post is to examine the historical basis of collective societal action against disease in Asian contexts and tensions arising from this. As the WEH is an interdisciplinary centre, we expect the person appointed to engage with ethicists and others to consider some of the dilemmas (e.g. about personal freedom versus collective responsibility), which this project examines historically.

2) Cross-border movement and the management of infectious disease

The aim of the second post is to understand, from an historical perspective, some of the current difficulties involved in international sanitary arrangements, including enforcement, inter-government relations and global governance. Examples of suitable research topics include maritime navigation, air-traffic, quarantines, smuggling, and international sanitary agreements. A specialist in the history of Korea or Japan would be particularly welcome but any part of the Pacific Northeast or Southeast Asia would potentially be of interest. The post-holder would be expected to engage with scholars in other disciplines at the WEH to consider ethical and other issues arising from the subjects examined.

The successful candidate will hold a doctorate and have expertise in the histories of medicine and/or Asia. You will also have the ability to support the academic research and associated activities of the PI and have previous experience of contributing to publications/presentations. Knowledge of the history of infectious disease, and socio-governmental approaches to disease, in Asia, and/or the history of medicine in global context.

The post-holder will benefit from mentoring, a rich, collaborative and inter-disciplinary research environment, and access to the broader resources of the University of Oxford (the Bodleian Libraries, etc.).

These posts are offered on a full-time basis and will be tenable from 1 October 2021 (or as close to that date as possible) until 30 March 2024. They will be located within the Faculty of History and associated with the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology, in addition to the WEH, which is located in the University’s Big Data Institute on the Old Road Campus.

Applicants are welcome to apply for both posts, but should indicate this in their covering letter.

Applications should include a research proposal (one page maximum) detailing how their research will contribute to the project along with a CV, including a publications list, and covering letter (see ‘How to apply’ below for more details).

For an informal discussion about this role, please contact Professor Mark Harrison using the email address below.

Applications for this post must be made online. The deadline for applications is 12.00 noon on Friday 3 September 2021.

Contact Person :

HR Officer

Vacancy ID :


Contact Phone :

01865 615000

Closing Date & Time :

03-Sep-2021 12:00

Contact Email :


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152886 – Job Description – Research Associate


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