Category Archives: Available studentships

Studentships available with closing dates are listed on this page

Available studentships

The CDP institutions and their partner Higher Education institutions usually announce available studentships in the first quarter of each year, though some may be announced later. The advertised studentships are listed below.


Paving a way for Deaf Heritage

Applications are invited for a full-time fully funded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award studentship in Deaf Heritage at the University of Bristol.

Historic England and Bristol University are working together to supervise an exciting new PhD opportunity, that will advance our understanding of Deaf heritage by exploring the relationship between Deaf history and culture and the buildings around us, and by developing policies and processes to protect and manage Deaf heritage sites both now, and into the future. The student will conduct their research under the supervision of Dr Claire Shaw and Dr Mike Gulliver at the University of Bristol, and Ms Rosie Sherrington at Historic England.  Note: because Dr Shaw is based in the School of Modern Languages, although the applicant will need to apply through ‘Russian and Czech’, this is a formality and no Russian/Czech knowledge is required.

The successful student will work with experts in Deaf history and heritage management to identify and assess sites in England, describe and understand their significance and devise and test negotiated plans for their future sustainable management. To be successful, they will need to develop knowledge and understanding of UK Deaf history, the relationship between history and heritage, design and architecture. They will have the ability to work with a wide range of professional and community partners, strong English and BSL, knowledge of heritage policy and processes, and a commitment to communication and community engagement.

The successful candidate will have a relevant background in: historical/heritage studies, historical geography, Deaf/disability studies, architecture or conservation, and will need to fulfil MPhil/PhD entry requirements for the University of Bristol

Applicants should be willing to learn British Sign Language if they are not already able to sign.

For further information on this studentship please visit:

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Mike Gulliver (

Deadline for applications: 11th June 2015
Interviews will take place on 22nd June 2015



The Dounreay Nuclear Establishment and its Impact on the Northern Highlands of Scotland

Focusing on Thurso, the northernmost town on the Scottish mainland, the project will analyse the role of Dounreay in the physical and infrastructural development of the surrounding region. The nuclear research and development establishment at Dounreay stands as one of Scotland’s most innovative and high profile technological and scientific developments. It is unique both in the UK and internationally as it represents a short phase of nuclear fast breeder technological development which did not achieve widespread adoption. The iconic Dounreay Sphere has entered the public consciousness on a par with the castles that define another inherited memory and legacy of Scotland’s past. British experiments with the fast breeder nuclear reactor are now at an end (since 1994) and Dounreay, comprising some 300 facilities and structures, is being decommissioned, with preparation already underway for demolition and clearance by 2029.

This original project will offer the opportunity to combine urban character studies, industrial, architectural, technological, economic and cultural history disciplines. It offers scope for the student to mould the topic: utilising architects’ papers, specialising in oral histories or exploring international parallels such as the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), New Mexico, USA and its impact on the local infrastructure in a remote area.

In addition to working closely with RCAHMS, this project will allow the student opportunities to develop skills and experience in working with local and national heritage bodies and to engage the public in their research.

For further information please follow the link:

Closing date: Monday 15 June 2015


Drawings by Joseph Beuys in the Collection of ARTIST ROOMS: Cataloguing, Analysis and Contextualisation

This project will support the ARTIST ROOMS Research Partnership Strategy through its emphasis on Joseph Beuys’s works on paper that are in the ARTIST ROOMS collection. Acquired by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in 2008, and numbering over 120 works, this is one of the largest collections of drawings by Beuys outside of Germany. To date this collection has lacked the academic attention it seriously warrants. Art historians have tended to focus on later phases in Beuys’s career, especially with respect to his performance art and sculpture, his involvement with the international Fluxus movement, and his pedagogical influence as a professor of art at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1961 onwards. This project will demonstrate how the early works of Beuys relate to the range of stylistic and formal approaches of artists working in the immediate post-war period and around the time of the foundation of two separate German nations in 1949, as well as to prevailing philosophical ideas in this post-1945 period.

The drawings are very rich sources for a study of Beuys’s diverse interests, such as his ideas concerning animals, science (such as geology and botany), shamanism, Christianity, mythology. In the 1950s and 1960s the Rhineland was usually the point of entry into Germany for the latest avant-gardes from America, and the Düsseldorf Akademie where Beuys taught was abuzz with new ideas. It will be important to undertake research on how these ideas affected Beuys’s work.

For further information, please follow the link:
Closing date for applications: Monday 25 May 2015

Interviews are provisionally scheduled for Friday 12 June 2015

Loyal exchange: the material and visual culture of Jacobite exile, 1716-60

The University of Edinburgh, in partnership with National Museums Scotland and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, is seeking to appoint a suitably qualified applicant for a full-time collaborative PhD studentship undertaking a study of the Stuart Papers in the Royal Archives in relation to the material and visual culture of Jacobite exile.

The studentship will commence in autumn 2015. Scottish collections reflect the significance of material and visual culture in articulating, promoting and prolonging the Jacobite cause in exile. By analysing contemporary documentary evidence contained in the Stuart Papers in the Royal Archives, the student’s research will track the movement of objects and images between the exiled Stuart court and their supporters in Scotland.

By 1760, an intertwined material and visual language of Jacobite sympathy had emerged which endured thereafter in the romantic popular culture of the post-1760 Jacobite ‘lost cause’. This project will examine how that language was originally developed through networks of personal and symbolic exchange.

For further information please follow the link:

Closing date for applications: Monday 25 May 2015

Interviews are provisionally scheduled for Friday 12 June 2015

Livestock and Landscape: changing husbandry, livestock improvement and landscape enclosure in late and post-medieval England

Applications are invited from prospective PhD students who are interested in doing a Collaborative Doctoral Award in relation to the theme of ‘Livestock and Landscape: changing husbandry, livestock improvement and landscape enclosure in late and post-medieval England’. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and will be co-supervised by Umberto Albarella (University of Sheffield) and Andrew Lowerre/Polydora Baker (Historic England).

Livestock improvement in England has been documented archaeologically since the 13th century AD and continues through to today. The dynamics behind livestock improvement are, however, still only partially understood. Historians have suggested that the enclosure of open fields was part of a set of changes associated with the Agricultural Revolution, and that increase in animal size was part of this general phenomenon. This project aims to test this hypothesis archaeologically by comparing evidence of change in livestock management with data for the timing and nature of field enclosure. The PhD research will adopt various zooarchaeological methods as well as examine historical records and take a landscape archaeology approach.

The award includes full fees (at UK/EU level) and a maintenance scholarship (£14,106 per annum) for a three year duration. An additional allowance of £2000 per annum is provided by Historic England to cover research expenses, including project-specific travel and subsistence.

Candidates are expected to hold a good Masters degree (either completed or in progress) which involved a strong zooarchaeology component, or equivalent experience; familiarity with either archaeological applications of GIS or landscape archaeology/landscape history sources and methods; a demonstrable interest in community engagement and the ability to work inter-disciplinarily and as part of a team.

For further information please follow the link:

Deadline for applications: Tuesday 9th June 2015
Interviews are expected to take place on 26th June 2015

Aspects of manufacture, trade and history of the blue pigment smalt and the relationship between its use in painting and other branches of the arts

The University of Glasgow and the National Gallery,  London invite applications for a fully funded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD studentship:  Aspects of manufacture, trade and history of the blue pigment smalt and the relationship between its use in painting and other branches of the arts.

Smalt is a blue pigment composed of cobalt-containing glass ground into a powder. It was most common as an artists’ pigment between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries and was widely used in all types of painting, including in oil, watercolour, wall paintings and polychrome sculpture. Its instability and the mechanisms and factors influencing the extent of deterioration have been well studied by various research groups. Some aspects of its trade and manufacture have also been investigated.  However, more recent research at the National Gallery, studying the elemental composition of smalt in paintings in the collection through quantitative analysis, has raised new research questions. Some interesting differences in cobalt content that show trends over time were observed, as well as variations in the elements associated with it, both of which may perhaps relate to aspects of the history of its manufacture, such as preparation of the ore, or different recipes. Other variations in composition that seem to correlate with differences in its stability between different batches of smalt on the same paintings have been noted on paintings. Cobalt was used as a colorant more widely, including in glass, ceramics and enamels, and smalt was used not only in painting but also for the decorative arts and even as a laundry blue. There are many connections to be made, therefore, with other branches of the arts and other industries that shed light on the history and manufacture of smalt as a pigment, giving interesting opportunities not only for research outcomes but also for dissemination activities that draw attention to these relationships.

Further research would help us better understand the history of this pigment, and ultimately the implications for interpretation of results from examination of smalt in paintings. This concerns dating, but also artists’ intentions, by being able to define more effectively the choices that were made, such as the use of different grades of the pigment either for aesthetic or economic reasons. New research on archival sources is needed, informed by the new observations from quantitative analysis. This historical research will be enhanced by practical experiments reconstructing historical recipes in order to help interpret and understand how they influence the properties and characteristics of the pigment. The project aims to establish developments in these manufacturing processes, and the artists’ choices and use of smalt, through a combined study of historical sources from a variety of disciplines, as well as technical evidence from the paintings themselves.

For further information please follow the link:

Closing date: Monday 15 June 2015

The Imagined Made Real: the interaction between sculpture and painting in the work of Carlo Crivelli

Oxford Brookes University and the National Gallery, London invite applications for a full-time 3-year Collaborative Doctoral Partnership award, funded by the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme, to conduct research on the theme: ‘The Imagined Made Real:  the interaction between sculpture and painting in the work of Carlo Crivelli’.

The PhD will make a focused study of one relatively unstudied fifteenth-century painter whose work was profoundly influenced by sculpture and three-dimensionality:  the Venetian Carlo Crivelli (1430/5 – c. 1494). The National Gallery holds one of the two richest collections of his work (the other is the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan), and it is arguably the most varied and representative group of paintings by Crivelli in existence. This project will allow for a re-appraisal of the interaction, both physical and ideological, between painting and sculpture in fifteenth-century Italy.  This research project would build on the shifting paradigms of our understanding of the relationships between the ‘real’ space of sculpted relief and the imagined space of a painted scene, concentrating on one painter. Crivelli not only depicted sculpture in his paintings, but also used many 3D elements as part of them. This makes his work an ideal candidate for this study.

For further information please follow the link:

Closing date:  Friday 15 May 2015



Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and constructions of identity in the Anglo-Indian novel

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Award with the University of Exeter and The British Library to research and study the archive of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (1927-2013), a writer whose oeuvre ranges across novels, short stories, poetry and screenplays. In her work, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has thematised dislocation, the experience of exile, the complexities of what it means to ‘belong’ to a culture, and the relationship between East and West. Jhabvala’s archive has recently been acquired by the British Library and the award holder will be the first scholar to gain access to this new, rich resource, which comprises drafts of all of her prose works, along with other working material, notebooks, diaries, and a small amount of publishing correspondence relating to her prose writing and plays. It also includes some digital material.

As well as exploiting the archive in academic terms, the award holder will create a working catalogue of it and be its champion for the duration of the project. It is envisaged that the award holder will engage with the novels, short stories and manuscripts of the Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Archive to examine her engagement with female and diasporic identities in her fiction, focussing on notions of dislocation and new identity formations and how Jhabvala explores these in different settings and historical contexts. Work on her personal archive will be supplemented by an engagement with the India Office Collections also held at the British Library. By drawing on much hitherto unavailable archival material, it is expected that the thesis will add substantially to knowledge of this neglected writer, as well as to the study of literary representations of the British Raj, new formulations of diasporic studies, cultural inheritance and exile, as well as form the basis for a comparative analysis of these questions of dislocation in the work of other writers of Indian heritage.

For more information please follow the link:


Closing date:  Sunday 31 May 2015

Religious music of South Asia: continuity and change in performance and meaning

Applications are invited for one AHRC doctoral studentship tenable at SOAS for 3 years (full time) or 5 years (part time) starting on 1 October 2015. This scholarship is offered in collaboration with the British Library, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

This project offers an exciting opportunity for an outstanding graduate to study the relationship of music and religion with reference to South Asia, to contribute to inter-cultural understanding and cultural repatriation through music, and to learn music research, archiving and language skills.

Dr Arnold A. Bake [1899-1963] conducted fieldwork in South Asia from the mid-1920s to 1950s. The defining theme of his research was performance and religion, and many of his recordings, films and writings concern devotional songs, music and dance, ritual performance, performances at religious festivals, and the performers themselves. This project will take the Bake Collection, held at the British Library, together with other related collections, as a focus, to explore the extent to which songs, ceremonies and their meanings have changed over time. It will also seek to engage relevant communities today (in South Asia and in the UK) to discover their interest in what used to be sung, how religion used to be expressed in performance and what importance they place on this historic knowledge. The project thus has a two-fold purpose: on the one hand it aims to investigate questions of change, continuity and meaning in performance; on the other it attempts to unlock the potential meanings that historic archival material carries, for the society of origin and the diaspora, and thus illuminate the significance and methodologies of “cultural repatriation”.

Please follow the link for further information:
Closing date: Friday 1 May 2015 

Mapping the Historical Growth and Cultural Context of the British Fixed Line Network

An AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Award with King’s College London, British Telecommunications plc. (BT) and the Science Museum Group.

Applications are invited for a doctoral student to investigate, digitise, and map the growth in the UK’s telephone landline network and its impact on British society and culture(s).

The rise of the Internet and social media has stimulated enormous interest in the growth and evolution of networks and their wider sociocultural impacts. However, with the notable exception of the telegraph, the deeper history of electrical communications remains under-researched. Consequently, the comprehensive archive managed by BT represents a unique resource for researchers, enabling us to ground our analysis of ‘impact’ in an understanding of the network as an object materialised through a range of artefacts: from physical cables and switches, to abstract statistics on usage by homes and businesses.

Please follow the link for more information:

The closing date for applications is Sunday, May 31, 2015.