Appel à candidatures : The Soon-Young Kim Award in the History of East Asian Science and Technology

The Soon-Young Kim Award in the History of East Asian Science and Technology


The Needham Research Institute invite applications from suitably qualified candidates for a Soon-Young Kim Award in the History of East Asian Science and Technology. The Award will be tenable from October 2021.

The Award may be held in either of two modes:

(a) A one-year research fellowship.

(b) The first year of a studentship to support research for the degree of PhD in the University of Cambridge, with the potential for renewal year by year thereafter. Applicants should note that the maximum amount available for the grant in this category is £20,000 per annum.

Applicants must specify clearly under which mode they wish to hold the Award when making their application.  Applications should be made by email, using the application form and should also complete the Data Protection Statement.


Closing date is March 31st 2021. 

Priority in making awards will be given to applicants who propose to carry out research in the following areas, which are given in order of priority:

(1) The history of science and technology in modern Korea;

(2) The history of science and technology in modern Japan;

(3) The history of science and technology in modern China, or the history of modern medicine in any of the above three countries.

The word ‘modern’ here designates the period after 1850, and ‘science’ is taken to include mathematics, whether pure or applied. Strong preference will be given to projects centering on the 20th century or later.

Research fellowship mode:

If the Award is to be held under this mode, the applicant must hold the degree of PhD in a relevant area of research.  The award will consist of a stipend of £20,000 to meet the expenses of living in Cambridge, where the Award holder will be expected to reside during tenure of the award.  The Award holder will be given office space in the Needham Research Institute, and will be expected to participate fully in the academic life of the Institute.

Candidates should send the completed application form with a full curriculum vitae, a detailed research proposal, and the name of two academic referees who are prepared to report in confidence on the candidate’s work, along with the signed Data Protection Statement.

PhD studentship mode:

The purpose of the Studentship is to support students who have been admitted to work for a PhD degree in the University of Cambridge in the areas of study specified above. In the case of a student admitted directly to work for the PhD degree, the award shall be for three years at maximum. In appropriate cases, where the student is initially admitted to work for an MPhil preparatory to beginning work for a PhD, the Institute may be prepared to consider making the award for up to four years at maximum.  In all cases the continuation of the award from year to year will be conditional on the student making satisfactory progress in the view of the Institute.  The successful candidate will be given working space in the Needham Research Institute, which has unparalleled research facilities in the fields of the history of science, technology and medicine in East Asia.

The amount of the Studentship will consist of payment, up to a maximum of £20,000 per annum, to support university fees, college dues and living expenses for the candidate. Where appropriate, fees will be paid at the rate for non-UK students.

It is expected that candidates will apply for admission to a department of the University that can provide the specialist supervision and disciplinary training appropriate to the particular topic chosen. Suitable departments might include the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, or the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.  Candidates are encouraged to make informal enquiries of the relevant department at an early stage before making a formal application, in order to see whether their choice is appropriate.  Candidates thinking of applying to a department other than the two named here should first contact the Needham Research Institute to discuss their plans.

Any holder of a Studentship who wishes to make a substantive change in the topic of his or her research after taking up the Studentship must first obtain the agreement of the Institute, failing which the Studentship may be withdrawn.

Applications for this award will be treated separately from applications for admission to the University of Cambridge. Candidates should therefore:

(a) Apply as soon as possible for admission to the University of Cambridge in the normal way.  For guidance, see the University website at

Please address all queries about the University admission process to the appropriate part of the University, not to the Needham Research Institute. Candidates may however mention in their application that they are applying for this Studentship.

(b) Apply simultaneously to the Needham Research Institute for the Studentship.  Candidates should send the completed application form with a full curriculum vitae, a detailed research proposal, and the name of two academic referees who are prepared to report in confidence on the candidate’s work.  Candidates should ensure that they produce evidence that they possess the language skills required for the purpose of their research.

(c) The University offers other financial support for PhD applicants: candidates must also apply for any such schemes for which they are eligible at the same time as applying for this Studentship, and inform the Institute of these applications and of their result.

All applications will be carefully considered.  No announcement or notification of award of the Studentship will be made before University admission procedures have been completed and candidates have been told whether they have been given a place at Cambridge.  The Institute reserve the right to make no award if in their opinion no suitable candidate of sufficient merit applies.

All enquiries and applications should be addressed to:

The Administrative Manager

The Needham Research Institute

8 Sylvester Road

Cambridge CB3 9AF



Applicants should put “SYK Fellowship Application” in the subject line of their email.

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