PhD Studentship: “Yours Obediently, Sincerely and Humbly”? The Social Agency of Petitioning, c. 1789-1860 at The National Archives, the National Maritime Museum and Durham University


PhD Studentship: “Yours Obediently, Sincerely and Humbly”? The Social Agency of Petitioning, c. 1789-1860 at Durham University

The National Archives, the National Maritime Museum, and Durham University are pleased to invite applications for a three-year (or part-time equivalent) AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD Studentship. This is available for a student to begin research from October 2018 and tenable at Durham University in close collaboration with The National Archives and the National Maritime Museum (which is part of Royal Museums Greenwich). This doctoral award is funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under its Collaborative Doctoral Partnership programme. The project will be supervised by Dr Richard Huzzey and Prof Andy Wood, at Durham, and by Dr Paul Carter and Katie Fox, at The National Archives, and by Dr Robert Blyth, at the National Maritime Museum.

The Studentship

The student will explore three extensive collections of personal petitions from the Hanoverian and early Victorian periods. These documents capture the appeals, tactics, and language of poorer Britons as they interacted with different state authorities. Using a comparative framework for the first time, the student will link the nascent historiographies on personal petitions from (i) the poor, (ii) convicted criminals, their relatives, and the victims of crime, and (iii) sailors, naval employees, and their families.

The resultant doctorate will reveal the negotiation of power relations between Britain’s governors and the governed. However, the collaborative nature of this studentship will require the successful applicant to share their research with (i) archivists and curators within the two collaborative institutions, (ii) members of the public using or visiting The National Archives and National Maritime Museum. Additional funding for up to six months is available to cover further collaborative activities.

The student will be based in Durham’s Department of History, where they will join a vibrant community of PhD students including a number holding collaborative awards. They will have the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary initiatives in Durham, such as the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies. They will also form part of a cohort of doctoral students working as part of the active research communities at The National Archives and National Maritime Museum. The student will be integrated into and supported by the research community at The National Archives, and will be able to participate in The National Archives’ Postgraduate Archival Skills Training (PAST) workshops, which provide archival research skills for historians based on The National Archives’ wide range of records.

Subject to a candidate meeting the AHRC eligibility criteria, the scholarship covers tuition fees and a grant (stipend) towards living expenses. The national minimum doctoral stipend for 2018/19 has been set by Research Councils UK at £14,777, plus an additional stipend payment of £550 for Collaborative Doctoral Students (TBC). The studentship includes an additional six months of funding from the AHRC’s Student Development Fund, which can (subject to agreement) be used to support appropriate training or a placement based on the student’s individual training needs. The National Archives will also provide up to £1,000 per year for three years to support the student’s research-related expenses (subject to agreement) such as travel costs.

How to apply

Further information about this collaborative research project (including academic and eligibility criteria), and full details on how to apply can be found in the further particulars on Durham University’s website: https://www.dur.ac.uk/history/postgraduate/cdp/nationalarchives/

Deadline 10th May 2018 



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