Two AHRC-funded PhD studentships are available from 1 October 2008 for collaborative research projects between the Division of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds, and museums of national standing, including the National Maritime Museum (NMM) and the Thackray Museum.

(1) “The Telegraphic Life: Recovering the Work of Submarine Cable Technicians, 1850-1914.” This project draws upon the extensive archival resources of Victorian telegraph companies held by the NMM, the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum and the Merseyside Maritime Museum, especially the collections of the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company shared between these museums. It aims to recover the key role of technicians in making and maintaining the UK’s imperial cable communications network, recapturing their working lives and practices from the earliest transoceanic cable ventures of the 1850s through early competition with wireless telegraphy up to the outbreak of World War 1.

This project will be supervised by Graeme Gooday (Leeds HPS) and Richard Dunn (NMM), in association with Stephen Lax (Communication Studies, Leeds) and Libby Buckley (Porthcurno). The project student is expected to develop a searchable online resource on the lives and work of telegraph electricians, and also to present their research to local, national and international workshops and conferences.

Enquiries about the telegraphy project should be directed to Graeme Gooday, email: [email protected]

(2) “Industrial Illness in Cultural History: ‘La Maladie du Bradford’ in Local, National and Global Contexts (1875-1919).” This Thackray-based project will investigate the impact of woolsorters’ disease or anthrax (as it later came to be known) on the Bradford community where the disease was first identified in the nineteenth century. Drawing on a range of archival and material resources at the Thackray and elsewhere, the project will also seek to assess the development of national legislation in response to the disease; place the disease in a global cultural context, especially that of the British Empire and Continental Europe; and map the interplay between the disease’s local, national and global contexts.

This is the third collaborative doctoral project between the Leeds HPS Division and the Thackray Museum. The new project’s supervisors will be Gregory Radick and Adrian Wilson (Leeds HPS) and Monty Losowsky and Joanne Stewardson (Thackray). The student is expected to create a virtual exhibit of project-related materials and also to contribute to local, national and international meetings.

Enquiries about the Thackray-based project should be directed to Gregory Radick, email: [email protected]

General information

For both projects, applicants must be either UK residents (full studentship) or EU nationals (fees only). They should normally have, or expect soon to be awarded, a Masters degree in a relevant discipline (history of science, technology and/or medicine; museum studies; history). The studentships support three years’ full-time work, but can be taken up on either a full-time or a part-time basis. Standard tuition fees and maintenance grants will be paid by the AHRC to the nominated student. In the 2008/2009 academic year full-time awards will provide a maintenance grant payment of £12,940.00. In addition to these amounts, the AHRC will make an additional, one off maintenance payment of £500 in May. Students may also be eligible for UK study visits and one overseas study visit as well as one overseas conference for the duration of the award. From the non-academic partner the student will also a receive a contribution to maintenance and may also be eligible for travel and related workplace expenses. (Part-time awards provide a maintenance grant up to a maximum of 60% of a full-time award and half the full-time rate of tuition fees.)

The closing date for applications for both studentships is Friday 23 May 2008. Interviews for both studentships will take place the week beginning 2 June. Please specify whether you are applying for the NMM-based project (1), the Thackray-based project (2), or both.

Application forms and further details for both studentships are available from Katy Lanceley, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, email: [email protected], tel: 0113 343 3263.