2015 was meant to be all about publications, but it turned into Deep Impact. The Welsh Bacc project is going well, and the Expression of Interest for the ESRC funding is due in on 2nd Oct. Even if we don’t get the funding, I still have a pretty good Curriculum Support project to go on my CV, so I hope that will count as a *3 in terms of REF points at least. Bring on 2020. Sounds daft, but if we’re meant to have a five year plan, then 2020 has to feature in it. I know I said in my head (and in my blog) Screw the Five Year Plan, I just want A Job in five years so I’m making my CV as well rounded as possible – but that necessarily includes publications and clear research outputs. I do actually have an article published in Thirteenth Century England XV this year. You can buy a copy for a mere £75 from Boydell and Brewer…

I also have two articles near to submission, which I’m planning on building into my long term research plan. The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship grants are out, and the deadline is 7th Oct. I was forwarded the link the other week, and a little spark ignited in the fevered crucible of my brain. 

So, here we go! I am trying to avoid comparing my fledgling post-doctoral situation with the image of the bus dangling over the cliff, but… you know. I suppose the Mafia gold inside could be, er, golden bars of knowledge needing to be rescued. Obviously I am Michael Caine. No idea who Noel Coward is. If this has left you totally lost, you really need to watch The Italian Job. [By the way, totally spoiled the iconic ending for you. Not my fault, it’s been around since 1968. You’ve had plenty of time.]

After taking on board some really helpful advice from Dr Jenny Benham, I definitely don’t want to put my research plan on hold until January.

I do have a research plan. I brainstormed a lot and put a whole Word document together, complete with sweary footnotes and annotations to myself. It needed some going over, and I decided to focus on the question of communities – mixed communities in the Welsh March, c.1100-c.1284. So I’m planning the postdoc application and getting several people in my department to look it over.

I had a sudden community-based brainwave while working on the Archenfield article, and thought that was also the perfect theme to fit in recent research from the Medieval Immigration project, whose hashtag I avidly followed and RT’d during their conference, but looking at the centuries immediately prior to the project’s remit (so, 12-13th). 

That’s the great idea, anyway.

It’s going to involve material culture, narratives of community (not necessarily only textual) as well as secular and ecclesiastical networks. It follows on from my PhD thesis, and expands on my MA dissertation topic, Archenfield. 

This again is where looking at examples of successful applications would come in handy. If anyone is up for joining our discussion on this, see my previous blog on project management and funding bids.

Wish me luck! Good luck also to all other applicants. May you have many great ideas.