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17 October 2019  


Dr Carrie Griffin

Dr Carrie Griffin, 2007 recipient of the NUI Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities

Dr Carrie Griffin, 2007 recipient of the NUI Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities.

 

A graduate of University College Cork, Dr Carrie Griffin was an NUI Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities recipient in 2007, which she held at the School of English, UCC.


In your experience, what have been the benefits of holding an NUI award?

The award is really the gift of time, time to expand and develop the work that begins with a doctorate, and to think about what one’s particular contribution to scholarship might be. I think most researchers feel, coming to the end of a PhD, that they have just scratched the surface. My NUI fellowship really gave me that chance to think about the potential importance of my work for the discipline, to work out the best way to publish it and, further, what other research might be emerging from the footnotes or found in margins of what’s already been written. In particular I spent a lot of time as a NUI Scholar in archives in the UK and USA, and I definitely sowed the seeds of some very fruitful research during that time, building my skills and confidence in terms of working with medieval and early modern books. I also made time to work on communicating my findings, attending and speaking at lots of conferences; and I completed the quite tedious work that led to the publication of a scholarly edition emerging from my doctoral work. It is a very different kind of ‘first book’ to have done, but what better way to contribute to scholarship than by giving it a new text?! I still enjoy getting emails from students, teachers and scholars who have used it.


"The award is really the gift of time, time to
expand and develop the work that begins with a doctorate, and to think about what one’s particular contribution to scholarship might be."

What advice would you give to prospective applicants to the NUI Postdoctoral Fellowship?

I would advise applicants to think about how they might build on the expertise and skills they have developed as doctoral students and to not stray too far from this when developing their post-doctoral project. It can be easier for some to see a path out of their PhD work into postdoctoral research, but focusing on what has been discovered and achieved and on how this can contribute to one’s discipline – and to knowledge and consciousness more generally – is key. Lastly, ask colleagues and critical friends to read your application and proposal.

What would you consider to be your major achievements to date?

I am incredibly lucky to have held two prestigious postdoctoral awards, and I believe that having been an NUI post-doctoral scholar really paved the way for my IRC/Marie Curie fellowship in 2010 which took me to the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London, to work with Professor Julia Boffey for two years. While there I focused on building up a good body of work based on archival research, and I had the kind of access that I needed libraries in London, Oxford, Cambridge and elsewhere. This immersion in the archives has led me in various new (sometimes unexpected!) directions in terms of research and publication, and this experience has definitely informed my teaching approaches and still feeds into the work I am doing now. Since then I also worked for a time at the University of Bristol, and I now teach at the University of Limerick, where a lot of my focus when working with both undergraduates and graduate students is on the relationship of literature and the material text.

 

In 2018, one NUI Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities will be offered to NUI graduates in all branches of the Humanities. The value of the Fellowship will be €80,000 (€40,000 a year for two years) and the competition closing date is Friday 20 April 2018.