Sound Archives For Football Memories: Exploring innovations in the use of the Scottish Football Museum archive for older people

Deadline for applications has passed. Information available for reference only.

Fully Funded PhD Studentship

Key Facts

Fee status

England, Wales, NI, Republic of Ireland, European Union, International, Scotland


Postgraduate (research)


Deadline for applications has passed. Information available for reference only.

Number of awards


Value of awards

£15,609 per year

Your country/region

All nationalities

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded studentship at the University of Stirling and Scottish Football Museum.

Background information

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded studentship at the University of Stirling and Scottish Football Museum. This studentship is a Collaborative Doctoral Award funded by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities. The project is full-time, funded for three years and begins in October 2021. It will be supervised by Professor Richard Haynes and Professor Steven Buchanan (Division of Communications, Media and Culture, University of Stirling), and Richard McBrearty (Curator, Scottish Football Museum).

This collaborative research project aims to investigate the use of audio archives and assistive technologies for use in sport reminiscence as an innovative social care intervention in community and care settings. The research will gather evidence on the use and reception of the Scottish Football Museum’s sound archives through appropriate assistive technologies for the benefit of older people living with dementia or experiencing loneliness due to social isolation. The analysis of digital audio strategies in sporting memories practice will provide new knowledge on the efficacy of sound archives in cultural reminiscence work within the heritage sector more widely.

Sport reminiscence activity is claimed to have important social, psychological, physical and wider well-being benefits for healthy ageing. But little, if anything, is known about how sound archives can be used for this activity nor how they are received by older people in a sport reminiscence context. The project will raise questions about the relationships between cultural heritage organisations and their audiences, particularly in relation to overcoming issues of digital connectivity, in this case for connecting sound archives to those delivering a health and wellbeing initative for older people.

The successful student will investigate:

  • How older people use, gain pleasure from and interpret football sound archives as part of their cultural and personal memories.
  • The training and information needs of football reminiscence providers and carers as key intermediaries.
  • The most suitable evaluation tools for those managing cultural heritage resources for reminiscence activities.

The PGR student will work in collaboration with the Scottish Football Museum and the Football Memories Scotland network. The project will require multiple methods including:

  • A systematic literature review to include research on sport reminiscence, the preservation and management of sound archives, digital heritage and reception studies.
  • Archival research to develop knowledge of the contents of the SFM sound archive, in terms of its catalogue, quality of preservation, historical chronology or thematic coverage.
  • Participant observation, informal conversation and semi-structured interviews with members of FMS reminiscence groups on the use of sound archives (either in online zoom meetings or in delivery contexts once Government guidance allows) to better understand interpersonal interactions, interpretation of sound archives and their emotional and wellbeing benefits.
  • Interviews with FMS volunteers, carers and care home staff who deliver the reminiscence activities as key intermediaries to explore their use of sound archives and their information/training needs.
    Innovation and Originality

The project will assist the Scottish Football Museum to achieve its mission to:

  • Bring together, conserve and document its collections for the public benefit.
  • Utilise its collections to improve the health, social care and wellbeing of older people either living in isolation or living with dementia.
  • Advance citizenship and community development by encouraging social inclusion amongst older people.

The project will inform the museum’s digital interaction needs to address design and connectivity issues that will support sports reminiscence. It will meet longer-term needs to build resilience in the use of sound archives for reminiscence activities by:

  • Enabling research of its sound collection to identify appropriate resources for its football reminiscence programme;
  • Producing evidence on the efficacy of using sound collections in football reminiscence activities.
  • Understanding the information needs of football reminiscence volunteers and carers.
  • Informing innovations in the use of digital sound archives to expand the museum’s football memories programme.

Partner Organisation and HEI Supervisory Arrangements

The collaborative nature of this project will provide the student with a unique range of expertise and experience across the academic, digital heritage and sporting fields. Working with the Scottish Football Museum and its partners will provide hands-on experience learning key skills of conservation, digital heritage, sport reminiscence and effective communications. Working with the Scottish Football Museum will provide practical experience of how a major sporting heritage organisation can effectively use its archives for sport reminiscence with older people.

The University of Stirling

The successful candidate will become part of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities postgraduate community. They will also benefit from training and support from the university’s Institute for Advanced Studies. The Institute offers 24/7 access to a range of valuable resources that assist PGR student in their research. Stirling PGR students are able to:

  • consult our research frameworks and reviews
  • sign up for digital workshops
  • get advice on how to carry out your research and skills development projects

The University of Stirling has a sustained track record of working together with Heritage organisations. Heritage has been identified as one of the strategic priorities of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and of the University. This CDA project will also benefit from association with the ESRC funded project Generating Older Active Lives Digitally (GOALD) funded under the UKRI’s Social, Behavioural and Design Research Programme. The project, led by Professor Catherine Hennessy and involving Professor Richard Haynes, is delivered in  partnership with the Centre for Health Technologies at the University of Plymouth and a range of external partners including the Scottish Football Museum.

Specific training and skills development opportunities

The successful students will have the opportunity to:

  • Enhance their abilities to develop historical narratives from sport collections, which may include developing their theoretical knowledge on the interpretation of recorded oral histories and other audio material;
  • Develop their knowledge of sound archive preservation, in particular the appropriate standards of digitisation formats and codecs. Sound production expertise within the Division of Communications, Media and Culture will be offered to prepare the student to develop their competencies in this area.
  • Receive further training in the development of digital resources for online heritage use through SGSAH’s Knowledge Exchange Hubs and Discipline+ Catalysts scheme, as well as curatorial know-how within the SFM.
  • Receive oral history training through SGSAH’s ‘Spring into Methods’ training programme delivered by experts in the field from the University’s of Strathclyde and Glasgow.
  • Develop qualitative research skills, such as participant observation, to assist the reception study of older people and their carers. This training will be provided by the university’s Institute of Advanced Studies.

Prior qualifications

Applicants should have a very good undergraduate qualification (2i minimum) and a relevant Masters degree in the Humanities or Social Sciences. They will have some experience of relevant research methods (but note that research training is a key part of the studentship). Applicants without a Masters qualification should include with their application a 1-page statement outlining the specifically relevant skills, experience and knowledge they have gained beyond undergraduate degree level, that could be considered equivalent to Masters study.

Eligibility and availability

International students should check the UKRI eligibility terms and conditions for studentship awards.

How do I apply?

Applicants should submit:

  • a summary curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • a short statement (2 pages max) outlining your qualification for the studentship, and initial thoughts on how you would approach the project
  • the names and contact details of two academic referees

Please submit your application via email to Applications will close 27 May 2021 at noon. Please ensure your referees are able to provide (on request, via email) an academic reference by 31 May 2021.

Interviews will be held via MS Teams on 1 June 2021.

The successful candidate will be required to apply to the University of Stirling prior to being recommended for funding to SGSAH by 11 June 2021.