Exciting Opportunity to Increase Public Awareness of Anthropology

The Royal Anthropological Institute, supported by the Esperanza Trust, is seeking to appoint a colleague or colleagues to a Leach/RAI Fellowship in Public Anthropology. The Fellowship is named after Sir Edmund Leach, who was particularly talented in communicating with a wide range of publics. Applicants are invited to propose a programme of public engagement activities, such as writing articles for the print and online press, contributing to social media, blogs and podcasts, giving public talks, including for the internet, radio and television, and/or other innovative activities. The period of the Fellowship is for one year and offers a grant of £18,000.  The grant can be used as basic employment, or to contribute to replacement teaching costs, but generally to support the delivery of the proposal and cover other associated expenses.

The purpose of the Fellowship is to improve the profile of anthropology in public debates. Despite our potential to make vital contributions, politicians and the press are much more likely to consult economists, psychologists and a variety of other specialists than to turn to anthropologists. We would like to see anthropologists regularly contributing to socially and culturally live issues such as reproductive rights, migration, globalization, public health, social media, climate change, and politically divisive issues such as sectarianism, more-than-human rights, populism, debates on gender and sexuality, humanitarian aid, and myriad other issues. Anthropological knowledge can provide a range of alternative and additional voices to the ones that are usually drawn upon, such as the views of economists, historians, political scientists and psychologists. The RAI believes it is important to provide such anthropological perspectives more widely.

The Fellowship is open to applicants holding an advanced qualification in anthropology, at any stage of their career including emeritus academics, who are eligible to reside and work in the UK. Collaborative applications are also welcome. Applicants should send an application comprising a project proposal (maximum three pages) including a timeline and intended outputs, accompanied by a CV and contact details of two referees. Providing evidence of a track record in public engagement activities and publication in the popular press, broadcast media and/or digital media is encouraged. Please be as specific as possible with regard to proposed outputs and activities for the Fellowship. The deadline is 1 March 2022. Applications should be sent electronically to admin@therai.org.uk. The Fellowship will start on 1 June 2022, or earlier by mutual agreement.


Past Fellows