Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded PhD, a Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA), supervised jointly by the University of Edinburgh (Geography, School of GeoSciences) and the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). The CDA Studentship is one of three awards made by the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) between the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and the Royal Society of London. The subject of this Studentship is ‘Instruments of Exploration: Technologies of Geographical Enquiry, c.1860–c.1939’. The project will be supervised by Professor Charles W J Withers (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Catherine Souch (RGS-IBG). The studentship, which is funded for three years full time equivalent, will begin in September 2013.


The studentship will focus on instruments of geographical exploration and their associated print and manuscript histories. The RGS-IBG holds a uniquely important set of instruments of geographical exploration (and other archival and historical material, including maps and manuscripts). The project aims in general: to examine the RGS-IBG instrument collection in relation to contemporary debates about method, technology, credibility, and trust in geography, exploration, and the field-based empirical sciences; to extend existing collaborative work within the RGS-IBG over the nature and importance of its historical holdings; to address questions about the authority of science, the role of instruments and instrumentation in developing truth claims, and establishing authority through standards and practices of authoritative measurement. There may, in addition, be scope for work in the instrument collections of the Royal Society of London.


Intending applicants should have a good undergraduate degree, or Masters, in geography, history of science, or history, and will need to satisfy AHRC eligibility requirements. Ideally, you will have experience of relevant research methods (advanced research training is a required element of the studentship). Applicants should submit a two-page curriculum vitae, with a brief letter outlining your qualification for the studentship, and the names and contact details of two academic referees to: Professor Charles W J Withers, Geography, School of GeoSciences, Drummond Street, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9XP ([email protected]) no later than 8 May 2013. Interviews, which will be held in London, are scheduled to take place on 17 May 2013.

For further information regarding the studentship, please contact Professor Charles W J Withers ([email protected])/ 0131 650 2559.