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Collaborative AHRC PhD Studentship: Concerts, Commerce and Charity in 18th-Century London

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Collaborative AHRC PhD Studentship: Concerts, Commerce and Charity in 18th-Century London

  • Date24 October 2018

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD studentship on 18th-century London concert life at Royal Holloway, University of London, in partnership with the Foundling Museum, London.

This award, tenable for three years and covering fees and a maintenance grant (£16,777 per annum according to current rates, plus an additional £550 per annum for Collaborative Doctoral Awards), is made by the technē AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership. The project, due to begin in September 2019, will be supervised by Stephen Rose (Music Department, Royal Holloway) and Katharine Hogg (Librarian, Gerald Coke Handel Collection at the Foundling Museum).

The project

The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity, which used visual art and music to support its charitable goals, led by the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel. In addition to records of the charity and its performances, the Museum holds the Gerald Coke Handel Collection, an internationally important collection of manuscripts and printed material documenting London concert and theatre life in the 18th century. This studentship provides an opportunity to use the Museum’s holdings to explore the relationships between concert-going, commerce and charity in the second half of the 18th century. The student will be encouraged to research primary sources held at the Foundling Museum including original concert tickets and programmes, advertisements for musical and theatrical entertainments, and lists of performers at Handel’s concerts at the Foundling Hospital. Through this material, the student can illuminate such topics as the networks of musicians and audience members involved in London concerts, the economics of concert giving, and how audiences were demarcated by gender and social status. 

In addition to producing a PhD thesis, the student will have the opportunity to participate in cataloguing and conservation activities in the Gerald Coke Handel Collection, and to contribute to public events such as exhibitions and talks at the Foundling Museum. The student will therefore gain skills useful for careers in a range of sectors including academia, libraries, museums and audience engagement.

Application process

The residency requirements for this studentship can be found in Annex 1 of the Research Council Training Grant Guide.

Candidates must have an undergraduate degree in Music or a related subject (minimum 2.i) and should hold a Masters qualification by the start of the studentship in September 2019 or have equivalent professional experience. Candidates must apply online to Royal Holloway via Please specify ‘technē collaborative studentship with Foundling Museum’ as your source of financial support. Please also upload: 

  • a research proposal explaining how you would address the topic ‘Concerts, commerce and charity’  (max. 1000 words)
  • a personal statement explaining how your experience, skills and interests suit this studentship (max. 500 words)
  • sample of academic writing (one or two essays totalling 4000–8000 words)

The chosen candidate will be invited to complete an application form for technē funding in late January 2019, and the studentship is subject to final approval by the technē board in April 2019.


The deadline for receipt of applications (including two references) is Wednesday 28th November 2018. Interviews will be held at the Foundling Museum on Wednesday 12th December 2018.

Informal enquiries to Stephen Rose ( or Katharine Hogg (

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