Junior Research Fellows

Junior Research Fellowships (JRFs) are designed for people who are beginning their research career, having just finished their PhD.  Appointments are fixed at three years.   The College generally appoints two JRFs a year starting from the 1st of October. Please see the vacancies page for more information about applying.

Current Queens' Junior Research Fellows are:

Photo Name Primary discipline Research interests
Dr Krisztina Ilko History of Art

My research project, ‘The Pawns of History: A New Approach Towards the Global Middle Ages,’ uses the game of chess and surviving chess pieces to find a tangible approach towards the global medieval past. In contrast to previous histories which have focused on the development of gameplay, my project employs chess to study cross-cultural communication in the Afro-Eurasian world between 800 and 1400. Scholars have often approached the multicultural Middle Ages either through its connectivity or as a period of barrier making and cultural difference. Chess, however, opens up the possibility to trace interconnectivity between different geographies, cultures, and social strata, but also show how the same connections could be used to create separation and distinctiveness. The primary goal is therefore a critical rethinking of wider processes, practices, and products of cross-cultural interaction. Ultimately, my project addresses how the ‘global’ was experienced in the medieval era, and contributes to broader discussions about how the Middle Ages overlaps but also differs from the modern global world.

My scholarship has been generously supported by, amongst others, the Royal Historical Society (RHS), the British Academy, the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA), the Italian Art Society (IAS), AHRC, the Francis Haskell Memorial Fund of The Burlington Magazine Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Delaware Valley Medieval Association, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, the University of Toronto, the University of Oxford, Trinity College, Oxford, Pembroke College, Cambridge, Kettle's Yard, and the History of Art Department at Cambridge.

Dr Eamonn O Keeffe History

I completed a DPhil thesis on British military music during the Napoleonic Wars at the University of Oxford in 2022. The resulting research, which I am working on publishing as a book, has been awarded the André Corvisier Prize by the International Commission of Military History and the Pollard Prize by the Institute for Historical Research. An Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, I have worked as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire and am a Trustee of the Society for Army Historical Research. I have also published several peer-reviewed articles and discussed my work widely in the media, appearing twice on the BBC’s hit family history show 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

Besides pursuing my research, I convene the Cambridge military history working group and collaborate with the National Army Museum to promote greater public understanding of their collections.

Dr Hamish Symington

I am a postdoctoral scientist looking at pollination and the relevance of floral traits (what bees like about flowers), trying to find out what might make our crops better at being pollinated. My PhD was in Professor Beverley Glover’s lab in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge, looking at pollination and plant-pollinator interactions and investigating these using the garden strawberry as a model system. This involved characterising the floral variation between cultivars of strawberry and testing bumblebee responses to extremes of that variation to determine their preferences and inform future plant breeding strategies.

Dr Jonathan Tsay Medicine