WRoCAH AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Studentships

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Students with Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Awards (CDP) work with an external partner organisation throughout their studies. Funding applications are not made via WRoCAH so please check the closing deadlines and individual project details carefully.

While the bulk of their funding is managed by the individual institutions, CDP holders will be members of the WRoCAH cohort allowing them to work and network with students across the three White Rose Universities.

When they are available, studentships may also be advertised through each institution’s central and School or Department web pages.

Please read advertisements carefully – closing deadlines and methods of application will vary across institutions.


CDP Studentship: Call for Applicants

Museum Collections, Academic Teaching, and the Making of Geology in the Nineteenth-Century University

William Buckland, First Reader of Geology at Oxford Univerisity

Deadline for applications: 5pm on Monday 4 June 2018   NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded Ph.D. studentship based at the University of Leeds, in collaboration with Oxford University Museum of Natural History (OUMNH) and the Ashmolean Museum.

This project will explore the origins of object-led teaching in the nineteenth-century university and connect this to the current resurgence of interest in the use of museum collections as a teaching resource. The project will be rooted in the extensive source materials in the OUMNH relating to the history of geological teaching, including collections of specimens, models and large-scale lecture diagrams as well as lecture notes, correspondence, and institutional records.  Focusing on Oxford’s first Reader in geology, William Buckland, and his successor, John Phillips, it will draw on a wide range of evidence to analyse the ways in which they used these materials to teach and develop the science of geology. The findings will be contextualised through extensive comparative research on coeval developments at other universities and provincial museums.

Through the investigation of the role of both university teaching and of material and visual culture in the development of the disciplinary sciences, with a particular focus on geology, the project will encourage a reappraisal of the approaches used in the teaching of this discipline today. Working with staff at Oxford University Museums, the student will also have the opportunity to put the research findings to practical use by contributing to their public engagement programmes.

The studentship will be jointly supervised by Dr Jonathan Topham (University of Leeds), Ms Eliza Howlett and Ms Kathleen Diston (Oxford University Museum of Natural History) and Dr Jim Harris (Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology). This full-time studentship, which is fully funded for 3 years, with the option of up to 6 months additional funding for related professional development, will begin on 1 October 2018.

For full details of the studentship and how to apply please read the Applicant Information Pack – Geological Education (1)

Applications must be received no later than 5pm on Monday 4 June.

Informal enquiries relating to the project can be directed to Dr Jon Topham at j.r.topham@leeds.ac.uk

For any other information please contact Dr Harriet Warburton, Oxford University Museums Research Facilitator at harriet.warburton@ashmus.ox.ac.uk


CDP Studentship: Call for Applicants

A Great Commerce in Curious Paintings: the role and practices of art dealers and agents in the reception and re-evaluation of pre-1500 European paintings in Britain 1800-1860

The Bowes Museum, County Durham

Deadline for applications: 5pm on Wednesday 11 April 2018

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Studentship in collaboration with The Bowes Museum, The National Gallery, London and the University of Leeds.

The School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds, The Bowes Museum and the National Gallery are pleased to announce a funded studentship for doctoral research, awarded under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme.

The acquisition of pre-1500 paintings of the Italian, German and Netherlandish Schools was of limited interest to collectors in Britain during the first decades of the nineteenth century. Such art, often categorized as ‘curiosities’ and known at the time as ‘Primitives’ or ‘Ancient Masters’, was collected by a few pioneering individuals but during the second quarter of the 19th century tastes had begun to shift and by the 1860s such paintings were also appearing with increasing frequency in public art collections in Britain. Such a shift in taste is illustrated by the collecting activities of John Bowes (1811-1885), one of the founders of the Bowes Museum, who in 1840 acquired of a number of ‘Ancient Master’ paintings from the auction sale of the Duke of Lucca’s collection. In the same period the acquisition policy at the National Gallery was paying increasing attention to ‘Ancient Masters’. This places both The Bowes Museum and the National Gallery at the nexus of these significant shifts.

To date the histories of art collections have concentrated on the role of collectors and institutional histories in the expanding taste for art collecting in the early 19th century and consequently comparatively little is known about the art dealers and agents who facilitated the increasing desire for ‘Ancient Masters’. This studentship offers the potential to investigate the collecting activities of John Bowes and the developments at the National Gallery as two interconnected case studies, set against the the developing art market for ‘Primitives’, in the period. The research aims to shed new light on the mechanisms by which collectors and institutions built up their collections of early art. The focus on the Bowes Museum and the National Gallery could be further contextualised through comparative studies of other collections in the period which also amassed early art through art dealers and agents. The research will contribute significantly towards the understanding of and potential interpretation of the extensive collections of early paintings at both the Bowes and National Gallery.

The project is flexible enough to allow a student to develop their own ideas with this broad framework, but some key research questions could be:

  • What were the criteria for the inclusion of ‘Ancient Master’ paintings in collections in the opening decades of the 19th century?
  • How did these criteria shift by the 1860s?
  • What role did the structures, rhythms and dynamics of the art market play in the increasing interest in ‘Ancient Master’ paintings?
  • How were collections of ‘Ancient Master’ paintings introduced and circulated in the art market?
  • How did art dealers and agents respond to or stimulate demand
  • Who were the key art dealers in ‘Ancient Masters’ in the period? What constituted their expertise?
  • What was the relationship between evolving notions of connoisseurship and art market structures?
  • What were the relationships between the collecting activities of John Bowes and the developments of the collections at the National Gallery?
  • How influential were art dealers in the assembly of the collections of John Bowes and at the National Gallery?

It is envisaged that the research will underpin new museum interpretations on the history of the collections and individual paintings.

For full details of the studentship and how to apply please read the Applicant Information Pack

Applications must be received no later than 5pm Wednesday 11th April 2018.

Informal enquires can be made, or further details about the research project’s scope
discussed, by contacting Dr Mark Westgarth (m.w.westgarth@leeds.ac.uk), Dr
Howard Coutts (howard.coutts@thebowesmuseum.org) or Dr Susanna Avery-Quash
(susanna.avery.quash@national-gallery.org).