Skip header navigation

The Cold War in Scotland: Technical Heritage and the British 'Warfare State' - Fully Funded PhD Studentship

Please note that all information for this scholarship was valid for 2017-2018 applications only. Information below is available for reference only. We’ll confirm scholarships for 2018-2019 applicants from September 2018 onwards.

AHRC and NMS logo
  • Deadline: Not currently accepting applications

Background information

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded studentship at the University of Stirling and National Museums Scotland. This studentship is one of six awards made by the AHRC Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium. The project is full-time, funded for three years and begins in October 2018. It will be supervised by Professor Holger Nehring (Division of History and Politics, University of Stirling) and Dr Sam Alberti (National Museums Scotland).

The project will draw on objects from across NMS, including Scottish late modern, military, technology, and, especially, aviation. Assessing material from 1947–1991, the student will explore provenance, acquisition, and (where relevant) mode of display of both civilian and military objects (such as civilian and military aeroplanes, typewriters, computers and missiles). The project will explore how these objects related to their Cold War context and thereby analyse their meanings, values and authenticity. Thus, the proposed PhD project tackles the fundamental issue of the material legacies and heritage of the Cold War in Scotland: how does a (civilian) object become a Cold War object? And what are the implications of this civil/military dichotomy for museum exhibitions and engagement?

The project will answer these questions with an interdisciplinary methodology, drawing on critical heritage and museum studies, history of science and technology, and Cold War history. The student will have a degree of freedom to shape the project to their own interests and specialism, given the wealth of material available, and we anticipate that a number of innovative connections between collections will emerge from the research.

Prior qualifications

Applicants should have a very good undergraduate qualification and a relevant Masters degree in history or contemporary history, museum/heritage studies, history of science & technology or a related field. 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.

Candidates must fulfil the admissions criteria for PhD degrees at the University of Stirling and be able to demonstrate that they have met them.

Funding details

This award is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through the Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium. Subject to AHRC eligibility criteria, the studentship will cover Home/EU tuition fees. For those settled in the UK, it also covers a stipend towards living expenses. The value for the stipend in 2018/19 is £14,777 per annum plus a £550 additional stipend payment. In addition, the Award carries up to £1,000 p.a. of additional support from National Museums Scotland towards travel and related research costs.

For further details on eligibility, please consult the further particulars.

Eligibility and availability

How do I apply?

Applicants should submit:

  • a summary curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • an example of recent academic writing (e.g., MSc/MLitt/MRes chapter or undergraduate dissertation)
  • a short statement (1 page) 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 April 2018 at noon. Please ensure your referees are able to provide (on request, via email) an academic reference by 4 May 2018, 5pm.

Interviews will be held on 16 May 2018 at the University of Stirling. 

Contact us

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Professor Holger Nehring ( and Dr Sam Alberti ( with any questions before applying.

Scroll back to the top