Global Histories Ambassador and Research Fellow

23 November 2022

23 November 2022

Join a team of innovative experts and cross the boundaries of the normal museum in this exciting role. Play a key part in the development of the Trust through historical research and engage with modern audiences.

Job Title: Global Histories Ambassador and Research Fellow

Contract: Contract term to be negotiated

Hours: 36.25 hours per week

Salary range:  £26,000 – £35,000 per annum

Reporting to: Deputy Director: Research

The Role:

    1. The Global Histories Ambassador and Research Fellow will become part of the Brunel Institute team of innovative experts, each of whom holds particular skillset that crosses the boundaries of the normal museum, academic and heritage roles, and will actively collaborate to engage with people locally, regionally and internationally.

      1. The postholder will play a key role in the development of the Trust by researching and making relevant for modern audiences the global histories and interconnections pioneered in particular by the revolutionary ships Great Western and Great Britain. The candidate will enjoy researching with historical materials and have the ability to link people and stories together, while working to unlock the barriers that diverse audiences can face when visiting and engaging with heritage sites. The most tangible outcome of this work will be the ‘Global Messdeck’ a multi-use story space and flexible gallery situated in the proposed new Albion dockyard site, and through which the Trust will engage visitors from all backgrounds and places to welcome, introduce, explore, publish and curate stories and histories of mobility, communication and globalization as they relate to Brunel’s historic vessels and to all our lives and communities today.

        1. Inspired by and supporting the development of the Trust’s Albion Dock and Brunel Country project the postholder will play a key role in supporting primary research, interpretation, and education work, and in sharing learning across the sector. The expanded Brunel Institute team will be part of the programme to increase access to, and understanding of, the SS Great Britain, PS Great Western, science, engineering and conservation, maritime migration and the legacy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s life and work. The post is part-funded initially by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and will contribute directly to the development of the Round 2 major project funding submission due in 2023/4.


          1. Working with the Head of Research, collaborators and partners, collections and interpretation teams to develop research on historical themes and interpretive ideas, in particular trans-ocean connectivity with all the ports of call of ss Great Western and ss Great Britain, which can provide creative routes to contemporary relevance and collaboration.
          2. Help grow the diversity, relevance, welcome and accessibility of the Trust visitor experiences in order to increase the number of visitors from diverse backgrounds and places to the site.
          3. In conjunction with colleagues, reach and inspire new audiences to engage with history and the SS Great Britain collections and experiences, identifying and developing new ways to collaborate and to bring to life the many global stories that can resonate or be relevant to visitors of all kinds.
          4. To work closely with colleagues and community partners in Bristol, the UK or beyond, and to engage them in dialogue.
          5. Work with the Trust’s collections, interpretation, learning, community engagement and curatorial teams to build expertise and further develop and refine these stories and historical themes into the content delivery phase of the Albion Dockyard project, based on primary research and communities understanding and engagement.
          6. To work closely with colleagues’ to connect with young people to engage and enhance understanding of younger perspectives within the Trust.
          7. Build links and relationships with museum and archive collections with collections relevant to the stories of migration, communications, imperial and maritime history.
          8. Collaborate closely with colleagues and museums from the International Congress of Maritime Museums (ICMM) to further promote the development of Global Histories (themes and stories) on an international stage and to share learning.
          9. Working with Brunel Institute team, publish content generated from historical research in print and across various online platforms.
          10. Act as an advocate for the Trust and represent it at conferences, seminars and other public or online events maintaining the museum’s reputation with stakeholders, network members, collectors, partners and heritage organisations.

Essential Requirements:

          1. An enthusiasm both for research, and for public engagement and public history.
          2. An enthusiasm for maritime and Brunel histories
          3. Demonstrable ability to communicate powerfully with a broad range of audiences.
          4. Flexible but effective approach to diary and time management.
          5. Experience with archival documents and records, either through study or publication or equivalent.
          6. Demonstrable ability to establish and maintain community partnerships and positive relationships and commitment to inclusive practice or equivalent.

Desired (Not Essential)

          1. An honours degree in History, or equivalent.
          2. Postgraduate study in historical research.
          3. Experience in the museums or cultural sector more broadly.
          4. Experience working with multiple teams in a professional environment.
          5. Some experience with physical interpretive/design techniques.

How to Apply:

Please download and complete the SS Great Britain Trust’s job application form. Completed application forms to

Closing date for applications: 9am Monday 19 December 2022

Interview date: January 2023

SS Great Britain is committed to diversifying our audiences and workforce. We actively encourage applications from candidates from groups under-represented in our organisation including; Black, Asian and minority ethnic, Disabled people.

All full time posts can be considered for job share.