AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards

See below for more information on the current AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards.

Imagining Ancient Egypt in the Age of Empire: Identity and Power in Scottish Museum Displays of Egyptian Objects, 1860 to 1930

Imagining ancient Egypt in the age of empire: Identity and power in Scottish museum displays of Egyptian objects, 1860 to 1930

Deadline for applications: Monday, 7 June, 2021 by 5.00pm GMT

Start date for PhD: 1 October 2021

Funding details: Fully funded AHRC project, covering tuition fees and stipend (at UKRI rate)

Supervisors: 

Dr Michael Given (michael.given@glasgow.ac.uk)

Dr Rosie Spooner (rosemary.spooner@glasgow.ac.uk)

Dr Margaret Maitland (M.Maitland@nms.ac.uk)

Dr John Giblin (J.Giblin@nms.ac.uk)

Project Summary

UK collections of Egyptian and Sudanese material came into being through colonialism during an age of empire. Displays of this material helped create and disseminate a vision of ancient Egypt made in the reflection of the British Empire. Museums continue to be confined by these narratives, and the weight of audiences’ expectations of traditional museum displays. Offered in collaboration with National Museums Scotland, this PhD project will examine the history of displays of ancient Egyptian material in Scottish museums to determine how these were influenced by and served to reinforce imperialist, nationalist, and elitist thought, and challenge the persistence of these narratives in museums today.

This constitutes the first research project to use methodologies from Museum Studies to investigate how existing ideologies in British society and Britain’s involvement in empire shaped displays about Egypt, and the ‘Orient’ more broadly, and the role museums played in educating the public about ancient Egypt as an exemplar of ‘civilisation’. A focus on Scottish museums will offer insights into the impact of imperial ideologies outside of London and the role of Scottish national interests. Furthermore, it will address key gaps regarding how elite narratives were privileged, how displays were intended to educate visitors about taste, social roles, and class structure, and the ways museum displays served to enhance the status of contributing archaeologists and donors. The project will address the following research questions:

  • How did displays of ancient Egyptian material reflect and reinforce concepts of identity, race, nationalism, social hierarchy, imperialism, and colonial thought?
  • How were narratives, supplementary images, replicas, reproductions, and display furniture/architecture used to conjure an idea of ‘ancient Egypt’ amongst audiences?
  • How did the sources of the material (e.g. archaeological expeditions, donors) and the identities of curators (e.g. gender, social background, expertise) influence their arrangements and interpretations?
  • How were displays influenced by other international Egyptological displays or by international exhibitions in Glasgow and London, and were the displays similar/different to displays of other colonially acquired material or Scottish material?
  • How did museums’ presentation of ideas about Egyptian rule, social structure, art and architecture, empire-building, and trade compare with how Britain and its relationship with the world was presented to educate the public?

This project will take advantage of access to historic museum collections and archives. NMS holds almost 6000 ancient Egyptian and Sudanese objects, as well as extensive archives pertaining to past displays and collecting practices. This provides a rich body of primary sources to study how displays were conceived and developed. The research will also draw on archival material identified as part of NMS’ 2019-2020 review of Egyptian collections held by museums across Scotland. The project will reconstruct a sense of these historic displays and how they were promoted to and received by the public. In the student’s third year, they will complete a six-month placement in the World Cultures Department at NMS, gaining hands-on collections, documentation, and provenance research experience. The student will also work with supervisors to organise a workshop/engagement event interrogating colonial and imperial ideologies in ancient Egyptian and Sudanese museum displays.

Over the course of the PhD, the student will benefit from career development activities at NMS, the University of Glasgow and external bodies such as SGSAH. At the University of Glasgow, the student will be a member of the College of Arts Graduate School and, within that, the School of Humanities. The College of Arts has an international reputation for the quality of its research, and values the contributions that its one thousand research students make to this vibrant research culture. The College offers an extensive Postgraduate Skills Development Programme, which is delivered within the national Researcher Development Framework.

The student will normally undertake two weeks of skills development training per year, and would be very welcome to join College of Arts initiatives such as the Decolonise Glasgow and Collections Arts Labs. The School of Humanities comprises six subject areas, including Information Studies and Archaeology where the student’s two academic supervisors are based; the student will belong to both. Information Studies and Archaeology are relatively small subject areas that pride themselves on their friendly and supportive research communities, with regular research seminars, subject-specific training, support from more senior students, and opportunities for small-group teaching experience

Eligibility

The studentship can be undertaken full-time or part-time. From the academic year 2021/22, the AHRC via SGSAH is offering awards to PhD researchers from the world (UK, the EU and International). All funded PhD students, whether UK or International, will be eligible for a full award covering fees at the University of Glasgow’s UK rate and a stipend to support living costs. If an international student is recruited, the College of Arts will waive the difference between the University of Glasgow’s UK and International fee rate. UKRI published further guidance on the changes to EU and International eligibility in October 2020 as follows:

To be classed as a home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.

It is SGSAH policy to award a maximum of 30 percent of awards in total each year to international students (including those from EU nations). You will also need to be accepted onto the relevant PhD programme via University of Glasgow Admissions. Doctoral Candidates must meet excellence criteria as below:

  • Hold at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline, such as museum/heritage studies, information studies, Egyptology, archaeology, history, history of art/design, anthropology, or a related field.
  • Have completed or on course to complete a Masters Degree in a relevant discipline/ and/or demonstrate equivalent, relevant professional experience.
  • Applicants without a Masters qualification should include with their application a one-page statement outlining the relevant skills, experience and knowledge they have gained beyond undergraduate degree level, that could be considered equivalent to Masters study.
  • Be able to demonstrate preparedness for the proposed, specific collaborative doctoral project.
  • They must also have undertaken, with the full supervisory team, an assessment of their existing skills and skills needs.

How to apply

To apply, please submit the following documents directly via email to Michael.Given@glasgow.ac.uk:

  • A cover letter (2 pages max) outlining your reasons for your interest in this opportunity, your preparedness for this doctoral project and what you would bring to it, and initial thoughts on how you would approach the research.
  • A CV (2 pages max) with information on your academic qualifications and any work or other relevant experience.
  • Scans of academic qualification certificates, transcripts and (if applicable) English language certifications (please see English language requirements by University of Glasgow).
  • The name and contact details of an academic referee.

The deadline for applications is 5.00pm (GMT) on Monday 7 June 2021.

As part of the shortlisting process, you may be asked via email to submit an example of recent academic writing (e.g., MA dissertation chapter or essay, or undergraduate dissertation where the applicant does not have an MA qualification) by 5pm on Monday 14 June 2021. Please also ensure your referee can provide (on request, via email) an academic reference by 5pm on Monday 14 June 2021. Interviews will be held on Friday 18 June 2021 via Microsoft Teams. 

Further information

For further information or informal queries, please contact either Michael.Given@glasgow.ac.uk and m.maitland@nms.ac.uk.


Mental Models of the Organisation of Scholarly Information Across the Academy Disciplinary Similarities and Differences

Mental Models of the Organisation of Scholarly Information Across the Academy: Disciplinary Similarities and Differences.

Deadline for applications: 11th June 2021 (midday)

Start date for PhD: 1st October 2021

Funding details: Fully funded AHRC project, covering tuition fees and stipend (at UKRI rate)

Supervisors:

Dr. Paul Gooding (paul.gooding@glasgow.ac.uk)

Prof. Lorna Hughes (lorna.hughes@glasgow.ac.uk)

Dr. Frankie Wilson (frankie.wilson@bodleian.ox.ac.uk)

Project Summary

We are pleased to offer an exciting opportunity for a PhD student to work with the University of Glasgow and the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford on a Collaborative Doctoral Award, funded by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) for a full-time period of 3 ½ years (7 years part-time). The successful student will be based in Information Studies at the University of Glasgow, with a paid internship at the Bodleian Libraries tailored to the student’s interests. The supervisors will be Dr. Paul Gooding (Information Studies), Prof. Lorna Hughes (Information Studies), and Dr. Frankie Wilson (Bodleian Libraries). The studentship includes a £550 p/a mobility allowance, provided by the Bodleian Libraries, to enable time to be spent in Oxford.

To take this fantastic opportunity to work with two leading organisations in the Library and Information sector, you need a postgraduate degree in Library and Information Science, Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction, or similar discipline, or equivalent professional experience. You will be enthused to work on a timely and impactful study that will directly inform the implementation of a cross-collection search and discovery tools at the Bodleian Libraries, and influence thinking about the practical and cultural concerns of library discovery in the digital age. You will develop your own approach to the topic, which may include questions around the decolonisation of library search, gender bias in the use of scholarly resources, and the development of methodological and critical frameworks for future research into library discovery systems.

Aims

This studentship aims to develop understanding of the cultural and organisational differences that inform library resource discovery for academic disciplines. It addresses the following key research questions:

  • How do researchers’ mental models of the organisation of existing knowledge in their field vary across disciplines?
  • How does this impact upon their approach to discovering collection items?
  • How might this knowledge inform the development of library search and discovery interfaces?

Objectives

Objectives In 2004, Google Scholar fundamentally changed how scholarly literature was discovered, providing a search engine that indexed the full text and metadata of academic journals, books, conference papers, theses, pre-prints, technical reports and patents across every discipline. Before this, library users needed to search multiple subject- or typology-based abstracting indexes or full text databases; and libraries devoted resources to helping them navigate complex specialised search interfaces. Now, libraries generally provide a single interface that searches across multiple databases in a simplified and accessible manner. Overall, this development has been welcomed, making things easier for users and no longer necessitating dedicated training sessions to familiarises users with various interfaces.

However, the removal of complexity also removes nuance, risking a mistaken assumption that search and discovery behaviour is universal. This understanding of disciplinary difference is vital to developing more effective library discovery systems. As unique items such as digitised special collections are increasingly made available for cross-searching via standards such as the International Image Interoperability Framework, it is also necessary to consider how users approach discovering diverse typologies of information resources via a single online interface.

This project will therefore address a gap in our understanding of how academic disciplines influence users’ expectations of how a library discovery system should work, by investigating how users’ mental models of library search and organisation are influenced by disciplinary background. It addresses several objectives:

  • To produce case studies of the disciplinary practices pertaining to the organisation of existing disciplinary knowledge by researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Glasgow.
  • To re-establish a holistic view of collection, addressing a stratification in the literature between usage of physical and digital information resources.
  • To deliver an analysis of the search interface preferences of scholarly researchers that focuses upon disciplinary differences in cultural organisation structures of knowledge.
  • To develop a set of good practice recommendations for implementing support for disciplinary practices into library software development.

How to apply

To apply, please email Dr. Paul Gooding (paul.gooding@glasgow.ac.uk) with a CV, covering letter, scans of qualification certificates/transcripts and written references by midday on the 11th June 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be informed on the 21st June and invited to interview on Friday 25th June 2021. We welcome you to get in touch in advance for informal discussions.

Eligibility

This award is open to everyone who meets the eligible qualifications criteria, whether they are classed as a UK/Home or International student. Further information for international students is available.

Eligible Qualifications:

Doctoral candidates must meet the following excellence criteria:

  • Hold at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline;
  • Have completed or be on course to complete a Masters Degree in a relevant discipline and/or demonstrate equivalent, relevant professional experience;
  • Be able to demonstrate preparedness for the proposed, specific collaborative doctoral project.
  • Undertake, with the full supervisory team, an assessment of their existing skills and skill needs.

To be eligible for an award, the successful student will also need to be accepted onto the PhD programme via Admissions. If your first language is not English, you will also need to demonstrate English language proficiency (further information can be found on the Information Studies entry requirements).

If you have any questions, please email the Lead Supervisor, Dr Inge Sørensen: Inge.Sorensen@glasgow.ac.uk


Scots Language Revitalisation in the 21st Century

Scots Language Revitalisation in the 21st Century

Deadline for applications: 11th June 2021 midday

Start date for PhD: 1 October 2021

Funding details: Fully funded AHRC project, covering tuition fees and stipend (at UKRI rate)

Supervisors:

Professor Bernadette O’Rourke bernadette.orourke@glasgow.ac.uk

Professor Jennifer Smith Jennifer.Smith@glasgow.ac.uk

Dr Joanna Kopaczyk Joanna.Kopaczyk@glasgow.ac.uk

Bruce Eunson bruce.eunson@educationscotland.gov.scot

Project Summary

Language revitalisation is crucial to developing sustainable multilingual societies. However, many governmental language plans and policies have failed with interventions criticised as fragmented because of a mismatch between top-down and local grass-roots initiatives. To examine this mismatch, this project will embed a researcher within Education Scotland, to examine the organisation’s (and partner bodies’) Scots language policies. It will investigate how these relate (or not) to the ideologies, motivations and language practices of grass-roots Scots language revitalisation efforts. The researcher will produce an evaluative framework of Scots language policies and programmes to maximise future effectiveness, in line with the broader aims of the Scots language revitalisation movement.

The overarching question behind the research is: Do Scots language policies and planning initiatives align with the motivations and practices of a grass- roots Scots language revitalisation movement?

The project draws on three hypotheses previously tested in minority language research more broadly, but to date not systematically explored in the case of Scots:

  1. Scots language revitalisation can be viewed as a social movement, where individuals mobilise around minority language status and rights of its users, to bring about broader change in Scottish society;
  2. Scots language revitalisation is similar to other minority language revitalisation movements;
  3. Scots language policy and planning can better reflect the motivations, aims and practices of Scots speakers to deliver more effective outcomes.

According to Census data, Scots is used by 1.5 million people in Scotland. Compared with other minority languages including Scottish Gaelic, critical sociolinguistic questions on modern Scots are under-researched and Scots has been largely absent from debates on minority language revitalisation. This lack of research makes joined-up, informed language policy and planning for Scots problematic. Strong, evidence-based foundations for Scots language policy and planning based on systematic research are lacking. This project builds these foundations. It constitutes the first study of Scots language revitalisation to implement a collaborative approach and a dedicated researcher to ‘bridge’ international models of language revitalisation, policies and programmes. This project will provide tools to align ‘top-down’ policies and planning more closely with learnings from other minority languages and the aims of Scots language revitalisation as a grass-roots social movement.

Attitudes towards Scots in Scotland are changing rapidly, influenced by concerns over increased globalisation and cultural homogeneity, combined with political changes and ongoing debate about national identity. This is an opportune moment to investigate Scots language revitalisation as a social movement as these processes are being played out in real time and space. The time is right for Scots to begin to contribute to the substantial academic literature on minority languages and revitalisation, where apart from a small number of studies, Scots has been underexplored.

To generate a rich set of data for analysis, a critical ethnographic approach will be used. The PhD student will act as participant observer within Education Scotland to develop an understanding of the processes by which policy goals are implemented and translated into actions. They will conduct interviews and focus groups, report findings and formulate recommendations that form the basis of a toolkit for future interventions.

Eligibility

The successful applicant will have:

  • a Master’s degree, or equivalent professional experience, in a field relating to one of the following areas: sociolinguistics; linguistic/social anthropology;
  • a broad grasp and awareness of current debates in minority language research
  • a broad grasp and awareness of the sociolinguistics of Scots
  • experience of, or demonstrable aptitude for, undertaking collaborative fieldwork and conducting interviews and focus groups within an anthropological/social scientific perspective
  • experience of working with, or demonstrable ability to work with, a range of partners from different sectors
  • a demonstrable ability to undertake a comprehensive review of relevant literature and of existing cultural outputs and practice
  • excellent analytical and writing skills
  • a demonstrable ability to synthesise and translate technical research into practicable terms
  • an ability to identify training needs - a commitment to addressing linguistic and multilingual sustainability

Desirable criteria include: 

  • experience in organising a high-quality academic event
  • understanding or experience of working with other minority language groups

How to apply

To apply, please submit the following documents directly via email to bernadette.orourke@glasgow.ac.uk by 11th(midday) June 2021

  • A cover letter (2 pages max) outlining reasons for your interest in this opportunity, your preparedness for this doctoral project and what you would bring to it, and initial thoughts on how you would approach the research.
  • A CV (2 pages max) with information on your academic qualifications and any work or other relevant experience.
  • Qualification certificates/transcripts
  • Two academic references 

Shortlisted candidates will be informed shortly after the closing date and invited to interview to be held via Zoom/Microsoft Teams.

As part of the shortlisting process, you may be asked via email to submit an example of recent academic writing (e.g., MA dissertation chapter or essay, or undergraduate dissertation where the applicant does not have an MA qualification). 

We welcome you to get in touch in advance for informal discussions.

Further information

If you have any questions, please email the Lead Supervisor, Prof Bernadette O’Rourke (bernadette.orourke@glasgow.ac.uk)  


Shaping Taste, Building Knowledge: Collecting China in Scotland in the Early 20th Century

AHRC-CDA: Shaping Taste, Building Knowledge: Collecting China in Scotland in the Early 20th Century

Deadline for applications: 5pm Friday 4th June 2021

Start date for PhD: 1 October 2021

Funding details: Fully funded AHRC project, covering tuition fees and stipend (at UKRI rate)

Supervisors:

Professor Nick Pearce, School of Culture & Creative Arts: Nick.Pearce@glasgow.ac.uk

Dr Qin Cao, Department of World Cultures, National Museums Scotland: Q.Cao@nms.ac.uk 

Dr Minna Törmä, School of Culture & Creative Arts: MinnaKatriina.Torma@glasgow.ac.uk 

Dr John Giblin, Department of World Cultures, National Museums Scotland: J.Giblin@nms.ac.uk 

Project Summary

The presence of Chinese material culture in Scotland has grown significantly over the last 200 years, much of it during Britain’s imperial expansion. However, Scottish collecting of Chinese material culture has never been studied through the lenses of critical collecting practices or decolonisation. The proposed PhD project will address this gap by researching Scottish collecting of Chinese objects in the early 20th century, currently held at NMS and selected Scottish museums.

The first decades of the 20th century witnessed the emergence of an international interest in and a market for Chinese material culture in Europe and North America. The interest was fuelled by artefacts already in circulation on the art market, alongside newly discovered archaeological material from tomb sites, and private and imperial collections, which were dispersed in the wake of the 1911 Revolution. This led to the most intensive period of European collecting of Chinese material culture, including through Christian missionaries and military and natural history expeditions.

Through selected case studies, this project will be the first to explore collecting patterns as they manifest in the collections in Scotland, revealing the diverse and complex intellectual, social and political networks and connections that led to collection formation on the part of individuals and institutions. It will investigate the types of material culture collected, collecting practices, and diachronic changes in the early 20th century after the Opium Wars and other conflicts (1840-1900) through a range of perspectives, including material culture studies, post-colonialism and decolonisation.

It will contextualize how China was perceived through these collections, and the role they played in framing Scottish impressions of China at that time and subsequently. The research is particularly relevant to contemporary decolonisation debates in the museum sector through demonstrating how collecting in this era continues to influence perceptions of China and Chinese material culture, as well as informing how these Chinese collections should be presented, interpreted and used in learning programmes.

Provisional research questions are:

  • Are there discernible patterns of collecting in Scotland in comparison to those operating more widely across the UK and Europe? If so, what are the patterns?
  • What were the networks and agents in operation in China and elsewhere and how did they enable the assembling of these collections?
  • Can these objects and collections illuminate how China was perceived in the early 20th century after the Opium Wars and other conflicts? Were there shifts in what was collected and why?
  • Can these collections play a positive role in presenting China in Scotland as well as their relevance to contemporary and future relationships with China and other stakeholders?

This project will take advantage of access to museum collections and archives and draw on Chinese collections and collectors identified in other Scottish museums as part of the 2018-2019 NMS-led East Asian Collections Review across Scotland. NMS holds a collection of about 11,000 Chinese objects, as well as extensive archives, including correspondence, registers and committee minutes. The student will have scope to develop the project by selecting the identified collections and/or identifying other examples to focus on as collectors and networks begin to emerge. Support will be provided to facilitate the student’s access to selected museums in Scotland. The student will examine objects first-hand, checking against existing documentation and building a database of sources and other provenance information. They will visit other museums, such as the V&A where previous research has been done on related material, key archives and libraries, to consult sales catalogues, acquisition records, and correspondence to reveal provenance information and wider connections. Literature on collecting and perceptions of Chinese material culture in the 19th and early 20th century, as well as their current presentations in museums, will feature prominently.

Over the course of the PhD, the student will benefit from the SGSAH DTP Training and Development Framework to develop professionalism in research, leadership skills, inter-disciplinary approaches, and networks with industry partners, as well as career development activities at NMS and UoG. In the student’s third year, they will complete a six-month placement in the Department of World Cultures at NMS, gaining hands-on collections, documentation, and provenance research experience. The student will work with supervisors to develop a symposium at the UoG focusing on historic Chinese collections today, under the auspices of the China Art Research Network (CARN), or the Network of Chinese Collections in Europe (NCCE).

Eligibility

The studentship can be undertaken full-time or part-time.

From the academic year 2021/22, the AHRC via SGSAH is offering awards to PhD researchers from the UK, the EU and Internationally. All funded PhD students, whether UK or International will be eligible for a full award – both a stipend to support living costs, and fees at the HEIs’ UK rate.The College of Arts at the University of Glasgow has agreed to waive the difference between the UK and International fee rate.

Applicants should hold at least a 2:1 (or equivalent) undergraduate qualification and a relevant Masters degree in museum/heritage studies, Chinese studies, art history, archaeology, anthropology, or a related field. They will have some experience of relevant research methods (but note that research training is a key part of the studentship). Applicants without a Masters qualification should include with their application a one-page statement outlining the specifically relevant skills, experience and knowledge they have gained beyond undergraduate degree level that could be considered equivalent to Masters study.

How to apply

Applicants should submit the following documents directly via email jointly to Nick.Pearce@glasgow.ac.uk and q.cao@nms.ac.uk by 5pm on Friday 4th June 2021:

  • A covering letter (2 pages max) outlining your reasons for your interest in this opportunity, your preparedness for this doctoral project and what you would bring to it, and initial thoughts on how you would approach the research.
  • A CV (2 pages max) with information on your academic qualifications and any work or other relevant experience. Please include the names and contact details of two referees.
  • Scans of academic qualification certificates, transcripts and (if applicable) English language certifications (please see English language requirements by University of Glasgow).

If shortlisted, you will be asked to submit an example of recent academic writing (e.g., MA dissertation chapter or essay, or undergraduate dissertation where the applicant does not have an MA qualification) by 12 noon Friday 11th June 2021. Please also ensure your referee can provide (on request, via email) an academic reference.

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 15th June 2021 via Microsoft Teams. The selected candidate will then apply to the PhD programme in History of Art via Admissions.

Further information

For further information or informal queries, please contact Nick.Pearce@glasgow.ac.uk or q.cao@nms.ac.uk