University of Leeds AHRC Collaborative PhD Studentship available from October 2009

Project: Beyond Marconi: the roles of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and
the General Post Office in the collective invention of radio up to 1914

An AHRC-funded PhD studentship is available for this PhD project (2009-2012) held collaboratively between the Centre for History & Philosophy of Science (Philosophy Department) at the University of Leeds (

[ ] ),  the Archives of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) and the BT Archives

Deadline for applications: 18th May 2009

The aim of project: The advent of wireless telegraphy was one of the most spectacular phenomena at the turn of the twentieth century: within two decades it became a major feature of global telecommunications, military strategy, maritime security and cultural spectacle. Whereas popular accounts of the origins of radio tend to treat this story as grounded in the creativity of a few isolated pioneers – notably Hertz, Marconi, Bose, Popov and Tesla – this PhD project offers an opportunity to develop a constructive alternative to such ‘heroic’ narratives by exploring the genesis of wireless telegraphy as a matter of ‘collective’ invention. Specifically this project thus looks at the roles of the two major (intersecting) technological organizations that nurtured the early development of radio in the UK: the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), now the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and the Post Office, an ancestor of the present day British Telecommunications plc. Results of the PhD research will be made accessible through the BT Connected Earth project at [ ]

Eligibility and funding: 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, museum studies or history).  The studentship supports three years’ full-time study at the standard AHRC rate, with an additional £1000 per year from the IET. Part-time students will receive 60% of the annual AHRC stipend.

Contacts and supervisors: This project will be supervised primarily by Professor Graeme Gooday (HPS, Leeds)  email: [email protected] and archival staff at the IET, Anne Locker and.Asha Marvin.
Please contact Prof. Gooday for any academic enquiries about this PhD project.

For application forms and further details, Jenneke Stevens,  [email protected] TTel. 0113-343-3263 

For further information on the Archives partners, see [ ] and [ ]