Home African Caribbean University Of Liverpool Welcomes Applications For fully-funded ‘Controversial’ PhD Studentship starting in January 2023

University Of Liverpool Welcomes Applications For fully-funded ‘Controversial’ PhD Studentship starting in January 2023

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The Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS) and the School of Histories, Languages, and Cultures invite applications from suitably qualified candidates for a fully-funded PhD Studentship starting in January 2023 (dates negotiable) in collaboration with the University of Liverpool’s Libraries, Museums and Galleries (LMG). The studentship is tenable for three years full time [subject to satisfactory progress], though part-time options will be considered. Both Home/EU and international applicants may apply but international applicants will be required to pay the difference between home and international fees.

Project Summary:

The University of Liverpool (founded in 1881) is funding a PhD studentship to investigate the ways and means by which the University has benefited significantly from wealth and other advantages derived from colonialism and the enslavement of people. In some cases, this has taken the form of benefaction from those directly involved in these activities, or from their descendants. This connection has been interrogated by University departments (including Libraries, Museums & Galleries) and by local community groups, whose immense efforts and data collection has shown that it needs further investigation.

Inspired by and building upon the Liverpool Black History Research Group’s work on the Liverpool Royal Institution, this studentship will investigate the University’s original donors, benefactors and gifts, and their links with the historical slave trade, slavery and colonialism.. Using the University of Liverpool’s own archives, local, regional and national records, online sources and databases, this project will trace and assess the financial, familial, social and political links of the university’s original donors, benefactors and gifts back to the transatlantic slave trade and slavery. Within this broad brief, the student will be supported in identifying and prioritising specific avenues of enquiry depending on their existing research interests and preliminary findings.

The studentship forms an important part of a wider project undertaken by the Centre for the Study of International Slavery to deepen understanding and raise awareness of the University’s historical relationship with the slave trade, working alongside the project’s postdoctoral research associate and established colleagues from contributing academic departments.

A Research Associate will also be recruited on a two-year contract, to commence in September 2023, with the aim of assisting the candidate in disseminating their research within wider communities.

The PhD candidate will:

  • Conduct local, national and/or international archival research related to the University of Liverpool’s links with the historical slave trade and slavery
  • Produce a PhD thesis
  • Communicate findings to internal and external research partners and stakeholders, including but not limited to, the Liverpool Black History Group and the Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre
  • Disseminate findings at seminars, conferences, through scholarly journals and public history channels
  • Work alongside the PDRA, CSIS, academic colleagues and the Libraries, Museums and Galleries team to contribute to the research of the umbrella project
  • Contribute to public engagement activities connected to the project as appropriate.
  • Have research experience that closely aligns with the main focus on the project, and the candidate’s application statement should make clear how their interests and previous experience align with the project

All PhD projects at the University of Liverpool are supervised by a team of specialist academic advisors. The student will benefit from bespoke PGR training provided by the Department of History and the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, and also from the expertise and networks brought to the project by the Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS). They will also benefit from additional support networks including the Staff Equality Network. The candidate’s research will contribute to the ongoing work of Universities Studying Slavery, an international network of institutions in which the University of Liverpool has been a member since 2019.

For more information on the current research done by postgraduates in the history department, see: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/

Application Procedure and Deadline

The successful candidate will have either a first class or a 2:1 undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, and will either have completed or be close to completing a Master’s degree by December 2022. Applications should be emailed to [email protected] and should consist of:

  1. CV (maximum length 5 pages)
  2. Degree transcripts
  3. A personal statement outlining how you would intend to shape the project to your specific interests and how your experiences/qualifications to date make you suitable for this post.
  4. Names and contact details of 2 referees.

We would particularly welcome applications from Black British students, and especially those with links to Liverpool and the African-Caribbean community. This post and criteria are in adherence to the University of Liverpool’s use of positive action under the Equality Act (2010).

For more details for the university’s dedication to diversity and equality, see https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/sustainability/

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Thursday 24th November. Interviews will be held in Liverpool shortly thereafter. The successful candidate would be required to apply for PhD study at the University of Liverpool (to ensure eligibility requirements are met).

PhD supervision has now returned to in-person following the pandemic, and this post is not suitable for remote working. We expect that there may be the occasional need to travel away from Liverpool (including internationally) for research and dissemination purposes, but the student will normally be resident in, or around, Liverpool.

It is intended that the candidate will start in January 2023 where possible, though this is subject to negotiation.

Further information

Informal enquiries about the post can be made to Dr Mary Booth at [email protected]

Application Closing Date: 5pm, Thursday November 24th

Tuition fees + £17,668 (RCUK rate for 2022-23) + access to additional funds from the NWCDTP relating to research expenses and training costs including the Research Training Support Grant, the Student Development Fund and the Cohort Development Fund.



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