The Royal Historical Society and History Lab Plus have written a draft Code of Good Practice for History programmes Employing Temporary Teaching Staff in History. We welcome any comments (please send to Jane Gerson, RHS Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org). You are also free to contact any member of HistoryUK.
This short document arose from discussions between History Lab Plus, the network for Postdocs based at the Institute of Historical Research in London, and the Royal Historical Society. It is based on the results of a survey of over 200 postdocs and research students carried out by History Lab Plus in late 2012, asking about their experiences as early career historians. The results indicated that for those on short-term teaching contracts a few simple things, such as being included on email lists and invited to seminars, could make a big difference to their experience of a department. We are aware that formal conditions of employment are often beyond the control of Heads of Department; we are also aware that many departments are exemplary in their treatment of temporary teachers. We hope that this Code of Good Practice will serve as a helpful reminder of policies that can help temporary teachers, many of whom will become permanent academics and all of whom are crucial to the vitality and high standards of the profession.