For the last decade, supported by the AHRC, the Society has hosted PhD students working collaboratively on the Collections. Currently, this is supported through the Science Museums and Archives Consortium (along with the Science Museum Group Museums, BT Archives, and the Royal Society). All projects involve a collaboration between a university-based researcher and the staff and (archive) materials at one of the CDP consortium institutions.
If you are an academic from a university with a potential project that draws on the Society's Collections, or have an interest in discussing opportunities, please contact Dr Catherine Souch.
At RGS-IBG we are keen to encourage proposals for PhD projects within the remit of AHRC that relate to the Society’s Collections, strategy, and opportunities afforded by the current Wiley archives digitisation programme, and engagement with new audiences. We encourage any prospective applicants to look at the projects currently supported and earlier Collections-based projects including Crossing Continents and Hidden Histories.
Studentship now open for applications: Rupununi re-collections: historical photographs, Indigenous knowledge and heritage in Guyana
Applications are invited for a PhD studentship on historical photographs, Indigenous knowledge and heritage in Guyana at Royal Holloway University of London, in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and Kew Gardens. This award is made by the Science Museums and Archives Consortium under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme. The project, due to begin in September 2020, will be supervised by Professor Jay Mistry and Professor Felix Driver at Royal Holloway and Dr Catherine Souch at the RGS-IBG, with further support from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
This project aims to reconnect historical photographs documenting Indigenous peoples and practices to contemporary initiatives concerning Indigenous knowledge and heritage development. Working in the Rupununi region of Guyana, the project will explore the use of significant photographic archives as a resource to enrich the understanding of Indigenous knowledge and practices, Indigenous heritage, identity and rights in contemporary Guyana. It will link work on Indigenous knowledge and memory with collections-based research, using methods of visual elicitation and digital repatriation in collaboration with the relevant Indigenous communities.
The project combines:
a) archival research in UK collections with
b) field-based photo-elicitation in the Rupununi.
A participatory action research framework will allow research questions to be refined and addressed with participants in an iterative way to produce tangible benefits. The student will be encouraged to use participatory video as a way of creating new interpretative narratives. The possibility of a small-scale exhibition will also be considered in order to engage with wider audiences in Guyana.
A full project description (.pdf) and further information on eligibility, funds and how to apply are available on the Royal Holloway website. The application deadline is 31 March 2020. Interviews will be held at the RGS-IBG, provisionally on 16 April 2020.