Wellcome Strategic Award in the History of Medicine, University of Cambridge

The University invites applications for two doctoral studentships funded by a Wellcome strategic award in history of medicine <>.

We seek outstanding candidates whoseresearch would fall within the theme ‘Generation to Reproduction’. ‘Generation’ and ‘reproduction’ are at the heart of medicine. They involve theories of sex and gender; entities such as seeds, germs, embryos, monsters and clones; concerns about creation, evolution, degeneration and regeneration; investments in maternity, paternity and heredity; practices of fertility control, potency and childbirth; and health relations between citizen and state, individual and population. These crossroads for rich traffic to and from biology, the social sciences and the humanities have been of intense public and historical interest since the 1970s. Yet for all the excellent historical work, research tends to be dispersed among sub-disciplines and periods. The major frameworks are showing their age. Central topics, such as the recent rise of technologies of assisted reproduction, have hardly been studied. This award brings together expertise in every major period, and combines quantitative social and demographic approaches with more anthropologically oriented histories of natural philosophy, biology and medicine. We aim for a systematic reassessment of the field.

Possible areas for doctoral projects include, but are not limited to:

– patient-practitioner relations around fertility and other encounters that framed the generative body;

– the influence of diseases on reproductive behaviour and demographic patterns;

– representation and communication of generation and reproduction;

– ancient, medieval and early-modern investigations into generation;

– generation and childbirth in medical cases and casebooks;

– the reorganization of knowledge of generation/reproduction, especially in the age of revolutions;

– such sciences as embryology, obstetrics, gynaecology, evolutionary biology, reproductive physiology, genetics and developmental biology;

– reform movements around birth control, population control and sexual science;

– twentieth-century transformations in techniques, experiences and regulation;

– networks linking academic biology to reproductive medicine and public health, agriculture, especially animal breeding, and/or pharmaceutical industry;

– techniques for monitoring and manipulating pregnancy, hormones, genes, gametes and embryos, e.g., pregnancy testing, genetic screening, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer;

– sexology, psychology and psychoanalysis, including social and psychological practices for making babies and families.

The three-year studentships pay a generous stipend plus University and College fees at the home rate only. Candidates will usually be expected to hold a Master’s in the history of medicine or with strong emphasis on the history of medicine.

Informal inquiries may be made to the award holder with the most relevant interests <>.

Formal applications should be submitted through the relevant Department or Faculty in the usual way, indicating an interest in one of these studentships.

The deadline for applications is 15 February 2010 to be admitted in October 2010. The closing date for online applications is 1 February. However, you will need to apply earlier than this if you wish also to be considered for funding from the Cambridge Trusts, Arts and Humanities Research Council or Cambridge International Scholarships. The earliest of these deadlines, for applicants from the USA applying for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, is 15 October 2009.

We also welcome applications from students wishing to be nominated for the Wellcome Trust’s annual doctoral studentship competition, or for a master’s award to take the MPhil. in History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science, Technology and Medicine.