Advert: AHRC NWCDTP PhD Studentship

Start date: October 2021
Closing date for applications: February 17, 2021
Interview date: March 3rd, 2021
Supervisors: Dr Eleri Cousins, Dr Patricia Murrieta-Flores, Dr Andrew Birley

Applications are invited for an AHRC NWCDTP Collaborative Doctoral Award studentship (Classics pathway), to be held at the Department of History, Lancaster University, in partnership with the Vindolanda Trust. This PhD project, ‘Religious Landscapes on Hadrian’s Wall: A Spatial and Diachronic Analysis’, will bring together large-scale spatial analyses of religious activity on the Wall network as whole with an in-depth case study of religious and ritual landscapes at the fort/settlement site of Vindolanda to illuminate the role of religion in the construction of community and identity on the Romano-British frontier.  A full description of the project as currently proposed is available here: Religious Landscapes on Hadrian’s Wall CDA. The project scope and questions may be adapted according to the student’s research interests and prior experience, and applicants are encouraged to discuss how they would make the project their own in their letter of application.

The successful candidate will be provided with training in advanced use of GIS and computational archaeology via the LU History Department’s internationally-recognised Digital Humanities Hub and will take part in the Vindolanda Trust’s ongoing programme of fieldwork for up to three months over the course of the PhD.  Further training, as appropriate, in Latin, epigraphy, and other skills will be available both through Lancaster University and the other universities in the Classics pathway of the NWCDTP. In the final year of the project, the student will be encouraged to develop a temporary exhibition stemming from their research for the Vindolanda Museum, and will work with the Trust on incorporating the project’s results into site guide training and site and museum signage at Vindolanda.  The student will thus finish the PhD with a skill set suitable for potential future employment in History, Classics, and Archaeology, as well as the heritage and commercial sectors, in addition to having the opportunity to shape public perceptions of a heritage site that receives over 100,000 visitors per year and whose museum is recognized by the Arts Council as a ‘Designated Collection’ of national and international significance. 

Nature of funding
– Academic fees for 3.5 years

– Maintenance Stipend (£15,285 in 2020/21) for 3.5 years
– £5000 in travel expenses from the Vindolanda Trust for research and fieldwork trips to Vindolanda
– Up to two months of self-catered accommodation for research trips (outside of excavation season) at Vindolanda’s on-site Hedley Centre
– Additional funding for research support and training available from both the NWCDTP and the LU History Department. 

2.1 or 1st class Honours degree (or non-UK equivalent) and a Masters degree in a related subject; students may also offer a combination of qualifications and experience. The NWCDTP is committed to working with students from underrepresented communities and those from non-traditional academic backgrounds.

From 2021, the NWCDTP can award up to 30% of its studentships to International students (including from the EU), and applications from International/EU students are welcome for this project. Fees will be funded by the NWCDTP at UKRI Home fee levels, but Lancaster University will waive additional fees for NWCDTP-funded students who would otherwise be eligible for international fees.

Application process
Applicants should send the following materials by February 17th to

1) Academic CV
2) Copies of first degree and Masters degree transcripts (or predicted grades if appropriate)
3) Letter of application (max. 2 pages) outlining prior experience (including experience, if any, with GIS and/or archaeological fieldwork), suitability for the project and reasons for applying, and how you anticipate approaching the aims of the research proposal
4) Academic writing sample (max. 5000 words)
Applicants should also arrange for two academic references to be sent directly by referees to by February 17th.

Informal enquiries about the project from prospective applicants are welcome and should be directed to Dr Eleri Cousins at