AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership training grant: ‘The Duchess of Botany: Mary Somerset, Jacob Bobart, and the Formation of the Oxford Botanic Garden’

The Duchess of Botany: Mary Somerset, Jacob Bobart, and the Formation of the Oxford Botanic Garden

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum (OBGA) are pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded doctoral grant from October 2020.

This studentship is funded for 3 years and 9 months (45 months) full time or part-time equivalent. It directly complements attention to OBGA’s heritage in preparation for celebrating the Botanic Garden’s 400th anniversary in 2021 by exploring key aspects of its early history.

Research will examine the material and intellectual networks that supported the development of its plant collections and institutional structures during the later seventeenth century, with a particular focus on two intriguing figures: the elite female botanical collector, Mary Somerset, Duchess of Beaufort; and the Botanic Garden’s second superintendent, Jacob Bobart the younger.

A full description of the project objectives and application process is available in the Further Particulars.

This doctoral training grant is funded through the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) scheme. Collaboration between a Higher Education Institution and a museum, library, archive, or heritage organisation is the essential feature of these doctoral training grants. The doctoral training grant is fully funded (living stipend and tuition fees) at UKRI rates and is subject to standard AHRC eligibility, rules, and guidance for the research students whom they fund and support. AHRC’s minimum stipend rate and indicative fees rate for 2020/21 are detailed on the UKRI website. This studentship also offers generous research expenses (including support for travel between QMUL and OBGA), specialist training, and access to shared working space at both institutions.

CDP doctoral training grants fund full-time studentships for 45 months (or part-time equivalent). The studentship has the possibility of being extended for an additional 3 months to provide professional development opportunities, or up to 3 months of funding may be used to pay for the costs the student might incur in taking up professional development opportunities. The award holder will be appropriately embedded for a period on this basis within the education team at OBGA, and will be encouraged to explore possible placements with external partners, including the Natural History Museum in London and University of Padua Botanic Garden.

This project will be jointly supervised by Dr Richard Coulton (QMUL) and Professor Simon Hiscock (OBGA). The student will be expected to spend time at both QMUL and OBGA, as well as becoming part of the wider cohort of CDP funded students across the UK.

Candidates with interests in the history of science, garden and landscape studies, material history, exchange networks, and the history of collections will be especially welcome, as will those with relevant historical interests in heritage management and museum studies. Potential candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Richard Coulton (r.x.coulton@qmul.ac.uk) and Professor Simon Hiscock (simon.hiscock@obg.ox.ac.uk) before preparing an application.

The successful candidate will commence their PhD in October 2020. They will hold their doctoral training grant in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary University of London, and will work in partnership with University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum.

Application deadline: 5pm on Wednesday 11 March, 2020

Interview date: Friday 3 April, 2020

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