Colin Nicolson is a leading expert on the history of the American Revolution. His work focuses on the origins of the Revolution in colonial Boston and the Imperial Crisis of 1765-1776. He is an elected fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. He is currently editing the Papers of Francis Bernard and writing a book and articles on the pre-Revolutionary life and politics of John Adams. He presently supervises five full-time PhD researchers working on New York Loyalism, slave literacy, friendship in colonial America, Massachusetts privateers, and British responses to militarization in Scotland and America during the mid- to late-eighteenth century. He encourages PhD applications from those aiming to investigate the American Revolution, Friendship, John Adams, Governor Francis Bernard, Revolutionary biography and prosopography. He loves family, fine books, and music, and is a dedicated writer and enthusiastic teacher.
Scottish Qualifications Authority
Scottish Education Department and Scottish Qualifications Authority: Question setter (1995-2001) and Principal Examiner (1998-2001) for (a) the CSYS in History and (b) the Advanced Higher in History, both in field of study (g): the American Civil War. Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum and Higher Still Development Unit. Consultant on the preparation of study packs for the new Advanced Higher in American History, 2000-2001.
Deputy Director for Postgraduate Training (School of Arts and Humanities)
Since 2012, have recently taken a lead role in developing doctoral training in the School of Arts and Humanities.Doctoral training provided by the School of Arts and Humanities (SAH) complements the Skills Development Programme run by the university's Stirling Graduate School (SGS). While the SGS programme focuses largely on researcher development and generic skills, the SAH activities concentrate on enhancing and applying subject skills within and beyond the academic environment. The SAH Postgraduate Skills Week in December, run jointly with the School of Applied Social Science, offers cross-disciplinary sessions on employability skills (writing, teaching, presenting research papers, publishing research, and understanding the impact agenda) and two days of intensive subject-focused sessions covering qualitative and quantitative research methods and topical research issues and approaches. I also co-ordinate Arts Training Modules for Masters programmes.
Director of Undergraduate Programmes in History. School of Arts and Humanities: History and Politics Division –
Postgraduate Director. School of History and Politics –
Research Committee. School of History and Politics –
Student Recruitment Officer. Department of History –
Website Administrator. School of History and Politics –
Faculty of Arts –
staff appointment committees
Faculty of Arts –
Board member and subject representative
Type of education
M.A. Hons. in History, summa cum laude
Book Launch for Bernard Papers Vol. 2
Type of event
Francis Bernard; documentary edition; history; American revolution
Negotiating British Imperialism: Gov. Francis Bernard and the Imperial Crisis, 1764-1769
Co-ordinator of postgraduate training in ARTP01 and ARTP02.
He is presently editing the Bernard Papers, a six-volume historical documentary edition of considerable relevance to scholars of the imperial crisis on the eve of the Revolution. The project is funded by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and the Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Fellowship. The AHRC described the Bernard Papers project as "an outstanding proposal meeting world-class standards of scholarship, originality, quality and significance." Work on the project for Stirling has generated research income in excess of £180,000. He is also finishing a book on John Adams and his political friendships and is a member of the editorial advisory board for the Select Correspondence of Thomas Hutchinson.