On Wednesday 8 March, there’s an opportunity to find out more about taught Master’s (MSc) study at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester. Events during the afternoon will introduce our three taught Master’s (MSc) pathways:

The talks do not cover graduate research (PhD and MPhil), but potential research supervisors will be available to answer any questions at various times during the day.

Our talks and question-and-answer sessions will run from 2 till 4pm in Room 4.08 Simon Building,Brunswick Street, Manchester (see Maps and travel).

  • Starting at 2pm: introductions to History of Science, Technology and Medicine and Medical Humanities
  • Starting at 3pm: introduction to Science Communication

Talks will cover course structures and content, the application process, and career opportunities, including progression from taught Master’s study to PhD. Current and former graduate students will also be available to answer your questions and chat informally about their experience.

Registration and contact details

You do not need to register for the CHSTM session, but please help us to estimate numbers by emailing Dr James Sumner in advance to let us know you will be attending.

For advance queries about graduate study at CHSTM, please contact the relevant member of staff:

Many staff will also be available for individual meetings by prior appointment throughout the day: see our staff pages for contact details.

For those who can’t attend, a recording of a recent information session is available on our website at http://www.chstm.manchester.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/opendays/


Deadline for preliminary applications: Friday 17 March 2017

The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester, invites expressions of interest and applications for a Master’s studentship in Humanities and Social Science, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The studentship covers full fees and a living allowance for one year of taught Master’s study. UK universities are eligible to nominate one candidate per institution. As the University of Manchester’s leading centre for teaching and research in the field, CHSTM has a strong record of success in securing studentships in this competition.

Applicants must be strongly committed to building a research career relevant to the themes covered by the Wellcome Trust’s Master’s Awards in Humanities and Social Sciences scheme, and must meet the scheme’s eligibility requirements.

Applications will be considered for each of the following CHSTM taught programmes:

A CHSTM panel will review all applications for its programme and select one candidate to enter the University-wide competition.  The final decision of whether funding is awarded to the University’s nominated applicant rests with the Wellcome Trust.

If you are interested in applying, please contact Dr Rob Kirk, [email protected] as soon as possible to discuss the possibilities. Should you then wish to submit an application for the award, the first stage is to prepare a brief preliminary proposal, as described below.

Application information and deadlines

Preliminary applications should be sent to Dr Kirk at the address above no later than Friday 17 March 2017. Your preliminary application should include:

  • a brief CV with details of undergraduate degree held or being undertaken
  • details of the research proposed (maximum of two pages)
  • a letter of support from a current academic sponsor

The successful application will be chosen by a committee of CHSTM staff, who will appoint an academic sponsor to work with the candidate to develop the full proposal for the Wellcome Trust. You will need to be available to work on completing the proposal to a deadline in April, in order to meet the Trust’s final deadline of Tuesday 2 May.


Williamson graduate studentship in the history of biology and/or medicine: 2017 competition

Deadline for applications: Friday 26 May 2017

These details are also available online at http://www.chstm.manchester.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/funding/williamson-2017.aspx

The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM) at the University of Manchester offers a fully funded studentship (including maintenance allowance) for graduate study in the history of the biological sciences and/or medicine after 1800. The position is supported by the Williamson Fund, which was established to further the study of these subjects at the University.

Candidates may apply for a studentship in either of two schemes:

(a) Master’s plus PhD study. This scheme is open to students with an undergraduate qualification. It covers, initially, full course fees and a living allowance for our one-year taught Master’s (MSc) in History of Science, Technology and Medicine, which will provide training for doctoral research study. If the student shows satisfactory progress on the MSc, it will then be extended to cover three years of full-time PhD study, again including full course fees and a living allowance.

(b) PhD study. This scheme is open to students with a relevant Master’s-level qualification. It covers full course fees and a living allowance for three years of full-time PhD study at CHSTM.


The studentships are open to all suitably qualified UK and European Union candidates. We regret that we cannot at present extend the scheme to non-UK/EU students who would pay fees at the international rate. The studentships are available for full-time study only, and candidates must be available to begin their studies in September 2017.

The requirements for the two schemes are as follows:

(a) Master’s plus PhD study. The studentships are aimed at highly motivated students with a strong commitment to proceeding through the MSc to PhD research at CHSTM. The requirements for a studentship are higher than those for acceptance on the Master’s programme overall. We will consider all bursary applicants who hold or expect to receive a First-class undergraduate degree or international equivalent (see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/grade-comparison-of-overseas-qualifications) in a relevant subject such as history, science studies/STS, museology or science communication. However, we will also consider other applicants who can demonstrate strong aptitude for historical or related work through their study backgrounds or professional experience.

Applicants must also demonstrate a clear interest in the history of the biological sciences and/or medicine after 1800, and should preferably have ideas about a preferred research supervision area (see details for scheme (b) below).

Please note that progression from MSc to the funded PhD is not automatic, but will depend on successful performance in the MSc year and the development of a viable research plan.

(b) PhD study. Applicants should have a Master’s-level qualification, at Distinction or Merit level or international equivalent, in a relevant subject such as HSTM, medical humanities, history, science studies/STS, museology or science communication, and should have experience in producing a research dissertation.

Applicants will also need to have thought carefully about a potential PhD research project, and should have discussed this with one or more potential supervisors at CHSTM to ensure its viability. The proposed area of study should be explained in the ‘Case for support’ (see below).

Staff who are likely to be available to supervise on relevant topics include:

·         Prof Ian Burney: forensic medicine and science; medical authority and expertise; medicine and law

·         Prof Pratik Chakrabarti: imperial medicine and science, 1700-1950;  global health policies

·         Dr Jeff Hughes: scientific research in the Cold War

·         Dr Vladimir Jankovic: climate and health

·         Dr Robert Kirk: nonhuman animals in health, medicine and society; social, cultural, material and economic dimensions of medical and scientific practice and innovation

·         Dr David Kirby: science and medicine in fiction, especially film

·         Dr Stephanie Snow:  stroke research and services, quality and healthcare, health services since 1948

·         Dr James Sumner: brewing science and the conceptualisation of yeast as a living organism

·         Dr Carsten Timmermann: cancer research and services; chronic illness; translational research in medicine

·         Dr Duncan Wilson: species loss and the ecology of human-animal health; histories of bioethics

For full research profiles and contact details, please see http://www.chstm.manchester.ac.uk/people/staff/


The studentships cover all course fees at the UK/EU rate and provide an annual living allowance, provisionally set at £14 553 for 2017-18. Funds have also been committed to ensure that appropriate training and research support is provided.


The deadline for applications is Friday 26 May 2017. Applicants will need to provide full degree transcripts, two academic references and a statement outlining their interest in the field (scheme a) or proposed research topic (scheme b).

For full particulars and an application form, please see our website: http://www.chstm.manchester.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/funding/williamson-2017.aspx


Power-assisted learning? Exhibiting, interpreting and teaching on technology in the twentieth-century industrial city

An AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with the University of Manchester and the Museum of Science and Industry

We invite applications for a 3.5-year fully funded PhD studentship, beginning in October 2017, to explore the history of model engines and other demonstration equipment in education and museum display. The project is a collaboration between the University of Manchester, UK, and the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Manchester, and is funded by the Science Museums and Archives Consortium within the Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme.

About the project

Model devices and demonstration equipment have found a wide variety of uses as tools for technical education, sources of public spectacle, aids to informal learning in museums, icons of industrial heritage, and physical symbols of the technological future. Through case studies of museum development and industry-teaching relations in twentieth-century Manchester, this project will chart how approaches to machine display have changed over time, exploring past practices to find possible lessons for present-day interpretation. Research will focus particularly on the challenges and opportunities of displaying working artefacts, such as model engines, and the meanings of “authenticity” in demonstration.

Research questions may include:

·         What roles have objects and material culture played in promoting learning on technical topics? Did Manchester’s unrivalled position as the hub of a diverse production culture for plant and instrumentation give it unique educational opportunities?

·         What are the options in dealing with objects that can be worked for display, such as model steam engines? What approaches have past exhibitors taken to the trade-off between conserving machines and displaying them in use? What attitudes have exhibitors and their audiences taken to the use of replicas and the importance of authenticity?

·         What can we learn by considering an expanded definition of “technical education”, going beyond the traditional focus on formal classroom- and workshop-based study to consider the roles of on-the-job training, self-education and informal learning in an industrial city?

·         How far can we establish who were the intended and actual audiences for formal or informal learning on technical topics, and how they responded?

·         What lessons can this history offer for Manchester’s self-presentation as a city with a distinct scientific and technological identity and agenda today?

The project will draw strongly on the Museum of Science and Industry’s collections of powered machinery and technical education artefacts, and on its holdings of archival material from a number of local industrial firms. The student will have an institutional base at the University of Manchester’s Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM), but will spend a significant amount of time on site at MSI, and will receive appropriate training in dealing with collections and archives. Research from this project will contribute to MSI’s planned redisplay of its Power Hall displays, and to longer-term gallery planning.

The project supervisors are Dr James Sumner, Lecturer in History of Technology at the University of Manchester, and Ms Jan Hicks, Archives Manager at MSI. The studentship will cover full tuition fees at the UK/EU rate plus a living allowance at the standard Research Councils UK Doctoral Stipend rate (£14,553 for 2017/18: see www.rcuk.ac.uk/skills/training/) throughout the project. The award also carries up to £1000 per year of additional support from the Science Museum Group towards travel and research costs: for more information, please seehttp://www.ahrc.ac.uk/documents/guides/training-grant-funding-guide-2015-16/

The studentship will begin in October 2017. It is funded for 36 months, plus (subject to successful completion of the main project) a further 6 months, supported by the AHRC Student Development Fund, to allow the student to contribute further to MSI gallery development working directly alongside members of the Collections Department.


Applicants should have, or expect to receive by October 2016, a good Master’s degree in the history of science/technology, general history, museum studies, science and technology studies, or another subject closely relevant to the themes of the project. In some cases we may be able to consider relevant professional experience in place of a Master’s qualification: please contact the academic supervisor for guidance before applying. All applicants should also have at least an Upper Second-class undergraduate degree (or non-UK equivalent: see www.gov.uk/government/publications/overseas-degree-equivalency-table-and-methodology).

The award is subject to the Research Councils UK eligibility requirements, listed under Terms and Conditions of Research Council Training Grants at www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/grantstcs/. Typically, applicants for a full award including living allowance must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK, and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years. Students from EU countries other than the UK are normally eligible for a fees-only award, if ordinarily resident in the EU.

Applicants whose native language is not English must be able to satisfy the English language entry requirements of the University of Manchester: for further guidance see www.manchester.ac.uk/study/international/admissions/language-requirements/

How to apply

The deadline for applications is Friday 31 March. Please submit

·         a letter of 1 to 2 pages outlining your suitability for the studentship

·         a CV of up to 2 pages, including contact details for two referees

·         a sample of academic writing, around 2000-3000 words

directly to the academic supervisor, Dr James Sumner, at [email protected]. Informal enquiries about the project are welcome.

Shortlisting will take place in early April, and shortlisted candidates will be asked to attend interview on Tuesday 18 April at MSI in Manchester.

General information about CHSTM’s taught Master’s programmes is available at: http://www.chstm.manchester.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/

CHSTM also offers research postgraduate (PhD and MPhil) study. For more information, see: http://www.chstm.manchester.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/