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Two AHRC PhD Studentships

Two AHRC PhD Studentships

  • Date30 November 2023

Two AHRC PhD Studentships


Applications are invited for two fully-funded Collaborative Doctoral Awards supported by the Techne AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership and supervised within the Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew), and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).

The two studentships are on the following topics:

  1. Economies of Natural History: Publishing Science in Victorian and Edwardian Britain (co-supervised by Professor Felix Driver and Dr Caroline Cornish at RBG Kew). This studentship will involve PhD research in the archives of a leading publisher of natural history periodicals and books in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  1. The Geographical Museum: Making Knowledge through Objects (co-supervised by Professor Felix Driver and Dr Sarah Evans at the RGS). This studentship will support a PhD project on the artefact collection of the RGS, its past role and potential uses in the context of object-centred humanities research and engagement in museum settings.

Successful applicants to these studentships will have the opportunity to adapt the project outlines according to their own interests and to work across academic, heritage, and archival contexts.

We encourage the widest range of applicants for these awards and are committed to welcoming those from different backgrounds and non-standard pathways. Applicants should have a Master’s degree in a relevant subject or be able to demonstrate equivalent experience in a professional setting.

Full details of projects, student eligibility and requirements are in the details which may be downloaded via the above links.

The Studentships

These are full-time studentships for 3.5 years (42 months), with an option to extend this by up to a further 6 months for placement/career enhancing activity. Students must submit their thesis within their funded period.

These studentships are open to both Home and International applicants. The award includes a full maintenance grant at the national UKRI rate: for 2023/24, this was £20,622/year, inclusive of London weighting (figures for 2024/25 will be available in Spring 2024). In addition, tuition fees are paid at the full-time home UKRI rate for PhD degrees; where an international student is successful, RHUL will make an additional tuition fee award, wholly covering the difference between the home and the international tuition fee.

Application Process

Please send your application to by the deadline of 15th January 2024.

Please include in your application:

  • Your CV
  • A cover letter (1,500 words max.) explaining why you are interested in researching one of the studentships, including what you would bring to the project and how you think you would develop it to reflect your own interests and expertise
  • A sample of writing. This could be a piece of academic writing (e.g., an MA dissertation); or a text written in the course of any current or previous employment or voluntary/community work.

Candidates invited to an online interview will be asked to supply a transcript of their university-level grades.

The successful applicants will be expected to apply formally through RHUL’s doctoral school (including the names of two referees) following notification of the interview outcome.


Closing date:           15th January 2024
Interview date:         22nd or 23rd January 2024
Candidates notified:  by 24th January 2024

The successful candidates will work closely with the project supervisors to revise the proposal, taking into account the interests of the student. The student will submit a revised proposal based on these project outlines to the Techne consortium by 21 February 2024. A final decision on funding will be received from Techne by 26 April 2024.

Further Information

For informal enquiries about these projects, please contact Professor Felix Driver (

For information or queries about the RHUL application process, contact

For further information about the research environment at Royal Holloway, see the Centre for GeoHumanities website

For information about Interdisciplinary Research at Kew, see

For further information about collections-based research at the RGS, see RGS research and collections webpages

The AHRC Techne consortium is comprised of Royal Holloway, University of London; Brunel University, London; Kingston University; University of Brighton; University of Roehampton; University of the Arts London; University of Surrey; University of Westminster.

Image credit

Image: The RGS Museum, Lowther Lodge, c.1920. Image courtesy of Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

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