Leverhulme collections 1

The Leverhulme Trust: "Collections" Scholarships

The Leverhulme Trust: "Collections" Scholarships

Collections: an Enlightenment Pedagogy for the 21st Century

It is well known that in the three hundred years since the Enlightenment, knowledge worldwide has made giant steps – but that at the same time, this knowledge has become compartmentalised. Increasingly narrow specialisms deliver insight and technological advances - at a price. Knowledge reflects depth, but rarely, a breadth of understanding. All too easily, the various disciplines of the modern academy lose touch with each other, when there remains much that they might share. Clinicians, scientists, historians, criminologists, curators and literary scholars, should and could share knowledge, insight and methodology. The need for a holistic vision for the academy is all the more pressing now, as researchers confront an environment where advances in digitization and an accelerating global connectivity has further increased the complexity and sheer number of accessible collections, whether these are artefacts, data or other kinds of ‘collected’ material. In this context, what for example, might a clinician learn from a criminologist or an art historian about the ethics of provenance and questions of consent? Or how best do we use network theory in relation to collections of literary novels? By drawing on the extensive resources of the University of Glasgow, the City of Glasgow and established national and international networks, Collections presents a re-imagining of the Enlightenment ambition. Working in close collaboration with one another, the Collections students will explore historical and contemporary collections using quantitative and qualitative techniques derived from Science, the Arts and Humanities; methodologies emerging from Big Data; and analysis from within medical disciplines.

In session 2016-17 there will be 6 PhD projects, each attracting a doctoral scholarship providing maintenance (c. £14,100 in session 2016-17) and fees (Home/EU rate only) at Research Council rates :

Syphilis: An Enlightenment Controversy analysed through Documents and Anatomical Specimens

This fully funded PhD studentship provides an opportunity to research two diverse collections held at the University of Glasgow: (1) our rich Special Collection at the University Library, which contains a remarkable series of medical tracts, letters, and consilia on venereal disease from incunabula at the end of the fifteenth century to works into the nineteenth century; and (2) the syphilitic specimens left by William Hunter (1713-83) to the University, now preserved at its Hunterian Museum. At the end of the eighteenth century, Scotland was the arena of the central debate on venereal disease: were syphilis and gonorrhoea different clinical manifestations of the same disease or were they two separate diseases? This was more than an academic question. It concerned the treatment of hundreds of patients in Scotland alone. The two chief protagonists were Drs John Hunter (1728-93, brother of William Hunter) and Benjamin Bell (from Dumfriesshire, who practised in Edinburgh, 1746-1806). Hunter upheld the orthodox view that gonorrhoea and syphilis were the same and therefore should be treated alike, with the same dangerous, painful, and disfiguring course of mercury. Bell dissented, and from case histories of patients and anecdotal histories from the South Sea Islands, Canada, the Highlands of Scotland, Dumfriesshire, and Galloway he argued strenuously that the two were separate diseases to be treated separately. Subjecting patients with the symptoms of gonorrhoea to the horrible mercury treatment not only led to unnecessary suffering, it cost lives. In A Treatise on Gonorrhoea Virulenta and Lues Venerea, (Edinburgh, 1793, 2nd ed.,1797), Bell presented his evidence for determining that the two diseases were separate but also a methodology for distinguishing diseases before ‘the laboratory revolution’ of the second half of the nineteenth century. He relied on more than clinical evidence. His principal argument was ethnographical. Unlike large cities such as London and Edinburgh, filled with both diseases and where the same patients could manifest the signs and symptoms of both, in isolated villages, Bell argued, the inhabitants with venereal disease either were afflicted with one or the other and from his historical enquiries the inhabitants had known only gonorrhoea or syphilis. In hindsight, Bell, of course, won the argument. But in his time Hunter’s view prevailed until experiments by Philippe Ricord (1800-89) at Paris in 1836.
Surprisingly, no modern research has been devoted to the Bell-Hunter controversy or to their methods for distinguishing diseases before the laboratory revolution. However, recent breakthroughs in sequencing technologies indicate that studying historic DNA with shotgun metagenomic approaches without target-specific capture or amplification has great potential for elucidation of the emergence, evolution and spread of microbial pathogens. With the sequencing of ancient DNA from eighteenth-century syphilis specimens held at the Hunterian and in other collections at the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, and those of John Hunter’s collection at the Museum of the College of Surgeons, London, the student will be able to interrogate the accuracy of these eighteenth-century disease classifications and to determine (1) to what extent the pathogen may have mutated since the eighteenth century and (2) evaluate the diagnoses of ‘lues venerea’: what diseases may have been included in their broad classifications. Probably Bell also included a variety of diseases under his syphilis umbrella. For instance, for Dumfriesshire and Galloway, commoners and physicians alike considered ‘Sivvens or Sibbens’ a particularly virulent form of syphilis, which Bell argued resembled the ‘Great Pox’ or ‘French Disease’ in Europe during its first twenty years before it became ‘domesticated’. But Bell’s description of the clinical aspects of the disease and argument that it could be ‘communicated by eating and drinking out of the same vessel, or drying with the same cloth’ suggests that this supposed ‘variant’ of syphilis may instead have been a virulent form of smallpox, called ‘Black smallpox’ in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century North America.

The successful candidate should have some experience in biology lab work as well as show interest in medical humanities and history. Most importantly he/she must be enthusiastic about engaging in both subject areas and learning the requisite tools of analysis in both. This PhD in collecting, the Scottish Enlightenment, medical history, molecular biology and gene sequencing promises to deliver a new form of interdisciplinary research, utilizing traditional archival research alongside the laboratory.

This project belongs to the Material thematic cluster. The successful candidate will be supervised by Prof Samuel Cohn (Medieval History), Dr Pavel Herzyk (Polyomics) and Ms Maggie Reilly (Hunterian).

Candidates interested in applying for funded PhD study on this project are encouraged to make informal contact with the Supervisor(s) in the first instance.

Candidates wishing to submit an application should prepare and submit the following documentation:

  • The application form which includes a personal statement in which you should detail the particular attributes and/or achievements which make you a suitable candidate to undertake the proposed project
  • Your CV
  • Your degree transcripts
  • Two references in support of your application

The closing date for receipt of complete applications is Friday, 25 March 2016. Applications should be emailed to Adeline Callander, Graduate School Administrator (Adeline.Callander@glasgow.ac.uk).

Leverhulme Collections Scholarship application form


Lord Kelvin, Geographer

On 15 June 1896 the University of Glasgow celebrated the jubilee of the professorship of Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, who had been elected to the University’s chair of Natural Philosophy in 1846. Delegates attended from universities and scientific institutions around the world. The Royal Geographical Society was represented by Dr John Murray, veteran of the Challenger expedition and a member of the Council of the Society. In a subsequent account of the event in its in-house publication, the Geographical Journal, the Society justified its participation on the grounds that Kelvin had made a number of important contributions to the sciences of geography and earth science.

Taking its prompt from the 1896 article in the Geographical Journal, this PhD project will consider the life and work of Lord Kelvin from the perspective of the history of the earth sciences. In doing so it will consider his role in the development of a range of scientific instruments for use in studies of the earth and its processes. The project will examine Kelvin’s work on submarine telegraphy, deep-sea sounding, magnetic variation and marine navigation. It will also consider his contributions to tidal studies, to theories of glacier movement and to relations between polar ice-caps and sea level. The project will make extensive use of the scientific instrument collections and other historical items held as part of the Hunterian’s Kelvin collection, from compass cards to submarine cable charts. The project will benefit greatly from a new purpose-designed Collections Study Centre in the Kelvin Hall development, in which the Hunterian’s objects and specimens will be accessible.

The project will also utilise the archives held in the University of Glasgow’s Archives and Special Collections, including Kelvin’s correspondence and papers, patents and business papers, the running of his laboratory, correspondence with scientific instrument makers, and lecture notes. This project will improve our understandings of the relations between the geographical and physical sciences in the nineteenth century. It will also contribute to current debates regarding the role of place in the production of scientific knowledge and instrumental practice. Lastly, the project will improve understandings of the Hunterian’s instrument collection and bring them into greater public view.

The project will enable the appointed research student to play an active role in a transdisciplinary research community drawing on the rich heritage of the University and the City, and undertaking research projects inspired by the local context and experience of Glasgow to generate research with global relevance.

This project belongs to the Material thematic cluster. The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Simon Naylor (Geographical and Earth Sciences) and Dr Nicky Reeves (Curator of Scientific and Medical History Collections in the The Hunterian).

Candidates interested in applying for funded PhD study on this project are encouraged to make informal contact with the Supervisor(s) in the first instance.

Candidates wishing to submit an application should prepare and submit the following documentation:

  • The application form which includes a personal statement in which you should detail the particular attributes and/or achievements which make you a suitable candidate to undertake the proposed project
  • Your CV
  • Your degree transcripts
  • Two references in support of your application

The closing date for receipt of complete applications is Friday, 25 March 2016. Applications should be emailed to Adeline Callander, Graduate School Administrator (Adeline.Callander@glasgow.ac.uk).

Leverhulme Collections Scholarship application form


Second Cities of Empire: Glasgow and Kolkata/Calcutta

This project will explore the relationship between colonial Calcutta and Glasgow, both fortuitously known as 'second city of empire'. Glasgow contains a rich repository of books and manuscripts relevant to 18th and 19th century British India. The University's Special Collections include early material from the Hunter collection, and there are later manuscripts and papers from the many Scots who made their careers in India as merchants, soldiers, physicians, linguists, civil servants and naturalists. Against the intellectual and institutional background of the Scottish Enlightenment, which had great salience in early 19th century Bengal, the project will contribute to the understanding of cultural contact in the colonial period. The Leverhulme doctoral student will therefore work on Glasgow's Indian collections. Via established links with Kolkata, the student will spend six months working in India with a base in the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences (CSSS), providing excellent access to library and museum collections in Bengal, in order to complement the study of Scottish Indian archives. Working under a supervisory team with a special interest in Travel Literature (Professor Nigel Leask) and Professor Mary Ellis Gibson (PI on a BA funded network on 'Second Cities of Empire'), the student will have the opportunity to participate in the network and related events.

This project belongs to the Material thematic cluster. The successful candidate will be supervised by Prof Nigel Leask and Prof Mary Ellis Gibson (English Literature).

Candidates interested in applying for funded PhD study on this project are encouraged to make informal contact with the Supervisor(s) in the first instance.

Candidates wishing to submit an application should prepare and submit the following documentation:

  • The application form which includes a personal statement in which you should detail the particular attributes and/or achievements which make you a suitable candidate to undertake the proposed project
  • Your CV
  • Your degree transcripts
  • Two references in support of your application

The closing date for receipt of complete applications is Friday, 25 March 2016. Applications should be emailed to Adeline Callander, Graduate School Administrator (Adeline.Callander@glasgow.ac.uk).

Leverhulme Collections Scholarship application form


Using data to transform public services

This PhD project will examine how, where and by whom existing and newly generated datasets (quantitative and qualitative) are being utilised to develop and inform policy and public service management and to engage users/citizens. It will focus on a limited number of service/policy areas where relationships with users and the curation of data enable us to test out how analytical techniques (e.g. data analytics, modelling and data visualisation) are being applied by policy makers and service managers to assess and measure the effectiveness of current and potential interventions and the potential for their use to increase. As well as focusing on the potential of data to improve decision-making and empower service users, the project will identify barriers to adoption of new methods and ways in which organisations can learn how to use data more effectively. The principal focus of the project will be on Glasgow but the use of data in some other UK 'core cities' will be examined to add a comparative dimension and to explore the possibilities of cross-city learning. The objectives will include identifying other effective uses of data sources by the end of the project, in partnership with users.

The University of Glasgow and our partner organisations, including Glasgow City Council (GCC), are custodians of data collections of unique depth, breadth and profile about Glasgow and the city region, including:

  • the integrated Multimedia City Data (iMCD) set, which combines survey data collected from a representative household survey, covering Glasgow and the 7 contiguous local authorities, sensor data capturing the movements and transport choices of citizens and contemporaneously collected unstructured multimedia data on activity occurring in the city;
  • the Glasgow Open Data Catalogue, an evolving open data resource created through the Future Cities Demonstrator that already offers free access to over 370 datasets from over 60 different organisations;
  • the British Geological Survey GS data holdings, including the UK’s highest resolution urban geological model, geochemical systematic soil survey data, ground stability risk assessment data, and geothermal energy potential data;
  • 10 years of longitudinal data for the 21 Glasgow communities engaged by the GoWell project, (being delivered by the University of Glasgow, the GCC/NHS Glasgow Centre for Population Health, and the MRC/CSO Public Health Unit), which links data from community surveys, outmovers surveys, qualitative research, ecological analyses, economic evaluations and nested studies, to illuminate the health and wellbeing impacts of regeneration activity, and;
  • administrative datasets from GCC, Glasgow Life and voluntary sector organisations such as the Prince’s trust which provide insights into the way in which service users access and benefit from employment, education, leisure, social care and other provision.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in handling data and use of statistical methods but an understanding of relevant policy fields where innovative approaches are being applied is the key pre-requisite. There will be opportunities for the successful candidate to develop expertise in data analysis techniques. The project will benefit from connections with both Policy Scotland and the Urban Big Data Centre.

This project belongs to the Conceptual thematic cluster. The successful candidate will be supervised by Mr Des McNulty (Social & Political Sciences).

Candidates interested in applying for funded PhD study on this project are encouraged to make informal contact with the Supervisor(s) in the first instance.

Candidates wishing to submit an application should prepare and submit the following documentation:

  • The application form which includes a personal statement in which you should detail the particular attributes and/or achievements which make you a suitable candidate to undertake the proposed project
  • Your CV
  • Your degree transcripts
  • Two references in support of your application

The closing date for receipt of complete applications is Friday, 25 March 2016. Applications should be emailed to Adeline Callander, Graduate School Administrator (Adeline.Callander@glasgow.ac.uk).

Leverhulme Collections Scholarship application form


Collecting Worlds, Dissertating Geography:

Disciplinary History and Knowledge Production in the Undergraduate Geography Dissertation

How might we keep telling geography’s “small stories” from the bottom-up? This studentship project presents opportunities to think critically about the modern intellectual history of geography through one traditional element of undergraduate degree studies: the student dissertation.

Generally treated by lecturing staff as a conclusive or defining test of individual ability, the geography dissertation is also reflective of the wider student learning experience, encompassing cultures of fieldwork activity, data gathering, processing and interpreting, and presentational design. Evidently, every geography dissertation has a singular story to tell, and is representative of the student voice in university geography. But each dissertation also speaks to greater questions of disciplinary trends, character, range and change, and the ways in which diverse worlds, peoples and places, have been collected and documented by learning geographical researchers.

Based on an archival-interpretive approach, studentship activities will be centred on a large, single collection of undergraduate geography dissertations held by the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow. The School has retained a near-complete run of hard copy dissertations (regional; physical; human) submitted by final-year undergraduate Geography students, c. 1959-2015. Once chaotic, and only semi-catalogued, the dissertation collection has been recently re-housed and newly organised with a searchable database, making properly accessible a unique archival resource spanning almost sixty years of intellectual and pedagogic change in academic Geography through the praxis of undergraduate students.

Framed by scholarship in historical geography and the history of geography, the project can variously address matters of knowledge production, spaces of learning, scholastic convention, local tradition, trust and credibility, cultural representation, cartographic literacy, and disciplinary integration and fragmentation. Ultimately, the studentship seeks to understand how the exercise of doing a geography dissertation at University Glasgow has, variously over time, reflected or resisted canonical disciplinary narratives.

This project belongs to the Conceptual thematic cluster. The successful candidate will be supervised by Prof Hayden Lorimer and Prof Christopher Philo (Geographical and Earth Sciences).

Candidates interested in applying for funded PhD study on this project are encouraged to make informal contact with the Supervisor(s) in the first instance.

Candidates wishing to submit an application should prepare and submit the following documentation:

  • The application form which includes a personal statement in which you should detail the particular attributes and/or achievements which make you a suitable candidate to undertake the proposed project
  • Your CV
  • Your degree transcripts
  • Two references in support of your application

The closing date for receipt of complete applications is Friday, 25 March 2016. Applications should be emailed to Adeline Callander, Graduate School Administrator (Adeline.Callander@glasgow.ac.uk).

Leverhulme Collections Scholarship application form


Human rights, conflict, and the archive: Iraqi archives in the USA

Within a new programme at Glasgow on looted archives, coordinated by Ben White (History) and Lesley Richmond (Archive Services/HATII), this project investigates two Iraqi archives in the USA. The Iraq Memory Foundation, based on documents captured by Kurdish insurgents after the first Gulf War, was constituted to document human rights abuses. The Saddam Hussein Regime Collection, captured by the US military in 2003, explicitly serves strategic ends. How do these archives’ origins influence the research carried out there? How have they shaped, and been shaped by, US foreign policy? How have they addressed issues of accessibility, particularly for Iraqis? The studentship will support an extended archival stay, and will incorporate a fellowship at the George Washington University working with Iraq specialist, Prof Dina Khoury.

This project belongs to the Ethical thematic cluster. The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Ben White (History) and Ms Lesley Richmond (Archive Services).

Candidates interested in applying for funded PhD study on this project are encouraged to make informal contact with the Supervisor(s) in the first instance.

Candidates wishing to submit an application should prepare and submit the following documentation:

  • The application form which includes a personal statement in which you should detail the particular attributes and/or achievements which make you a suitable candidate to undertake the proposed project
  • Your CV
  • Your degree transcripts
  • Two references in support of your application

The closing date for receipt of complete applications is Friday, 25 March 2016. Applications should be emailed to Adeline Callander, Graduate School Administrator (Adeline.Callander@glasgow.ac.uk).

Leverhulme Collections Scholarship application form