CDP Studentship: Unlike a version: the lives of digitised artworks with National Galleries of Scotland and Uni of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh and National Galleries of Scotland are seeking a doctoral student for an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership award, ‘Unlike a Version: the lives of digitised artworks’.

Cultural heritage organisations, focused primarily on material objects in their care and experiences of visitors to physical sites, can neglect the significance and potential of their digital objects. This project starts from the position that digitised objects are not merely versions of the ‘real thing’ – they have meaning and value in their own right, and significance for sharing, interpretation, connection and inspiration. The research will explore the meanings and movements of digitised artworks in the context of the National Galleries of Scotland’s collections. It will develop a rich picture of digital objects and how they contribute to the shifting boundaries of the institution, to curatorial practice, and to the National Galleries of Scotland’s ambitions to open more of its collection to digital re-use.

The project will be supervised by Dr Jen Ross (Digital Education, University of Edinburgh), Christopher Ganley (Content & Design Manager, National Galleries of Scotland), Màiri Lafferty (Daskalopoulos Curator of Engagement, National Galleries of Scotland), and Professor Melissa Terras (Centre for Data, Culture and Society, University of Edinburgh). The student will be based in the Moray House School of Education, at the Holyrood campus, but will also spend considerable time at the National Galleries of Scotland and at the George Square campus of the University of Edinburgh.

The student stipend is £15,009 per annum plus tuition fees for 3.5 years. The award will include a number of training opportunities and additional funding to participate in these.


We encourage applications from candidates with a background in education, museum studies, curatorial practice, art history, digital humanities, information studies, and/or digital engagement. This is an extraordinary opportunity for a strong PhD student to explore their own research interests while working closely with a major cultural heritage organisation and a world-leading university. The studentship will commence on 1 October 2019, with a launch event for all new Collaborative Doctoral Partnership students taking place in London on 12 September 2019 (financial support for travel to this event is available).

At the University of Edinburgh, to study at postgraduate level you must normally hold a degree in an appropriate subject, with an excellent or very good classification (equivalent to first or upper second class honours in the UK), plus meet the entry requirements for the specific PhD programme.

To be eligible to apply for the studentship you must meet the residency criteria set out by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

See the UKRI Training Grant Guide document (p17) for further details

The AHRC also expects that applicants to PhD programmes will hold, or be studying towards, a Masters qualification in a relevant discipline; or have relevant professional experience to provide evidence of your ability to undertake independent research. Please ensure you provide details of your academic and professional experience in your application letter.

Prior experience of digital tools and methods, an understanding of digitisation, and the use of qualitative and quantitative research methods will be of benefit to the project.

Application process and project details can be found via the link below


If you have any queries about the application process, please contact

Informal enquiries relating to the Collaborative Doctoral Partnership project can be made to Dr Jen Ross

Application deadline 3 May 2019 (12pm).

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