Skip to main content

AHRC Chase PhD studentship: Narratives of Fall: the Archive and Art Collection of the Nineteenth Century Foundling Hospital

Birkbeck, University of London and the Foundling Museum, London, invite applications for a three-year fully funded Collaborative Doctoral Award beginning 1 October 2023.

This PhD research will examine the work of the Foundling Hospital in the mid-Victorian period (c.1830-1870) as part of a broader examination of the representation of female sexuality and its regulation in the period. It will focus on the Hospital archive which is currently held at London Metropolitan Archives and the Foundling Museum's art collection from the same period.

The award holder will work closely with the archive and the collection and will be offered extensive research and curatorial training. As well as a thesis, the student will contribute to the Museum website and to an exhibition at the Foundling Museum.

CHASE values the diversity of its staff and students and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds. We particularly welcome applications from BAME backgrounds, as they are currently underrepresented at this level in this area.

Advice for Applicants

Project details

Supervisory team

Value and length of funding

  • Funding is for UK students/International students: the fees and stipend at AHRC rates (for the current academic year 2022-23, the stipend rate is [£18,218 non-London / £20,218 with London weighting]). This includes enhanced stipend to cover additional travel costs relating to the project. Please note, this funding amount typically increases with inflation each academic year.
  • The award is for 36 months from 1 October 2023 (PT equivalent 60 months) with the possibility of extension to 42-48 months via placement as part of further doctoral training (1-6 months) and/or additional application (1-6 months).


  • The candidate will require these essential skills and attributes:
    • The candidate will have a BA and MA in History of Art, History, Victorian Studies, or some clearly related discipline.
    • They must have an interest in museums and collections and be willing to learn cataloguing skills and take on cataloguing, curating and related responsibilities in addition to those of the PhD.
    • They will have good written and spoken communication and good organisational skills with the ability to deliver on time.
  • The candidate will require these desirable skills and attributes:
    • They will have a good understanding of nineteenth century British history and a familiarity with Victorian art.

How to apply

  • Applications for this studentship must be made via the Birkbeck PhD 2023 History of Art full-time or part-time route application form. The application will prompt you to confirm details of any scholarships or grants for your proposed study at Birkbeck. Please ensure you respond with: CHASE CDA/FM.
  • We request the following documents from each applicant:
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • A covering letter, including a statement outlining your eligibility for this award. Please describe your strengths as an applicant and explain your interest in the project, highlighting any lines of proposed enquiry you find particularly of interest.
    • Please note that a research proposal is not required for this application.
    • Please upload the two items above as one complete document, entitled 'Foundling Museum CDA Application' under the section 'research proposal'.
    • You may also wish to upload transcripts of relevant studies and - where appropriate - a letter from your course co-ordinator predicting your expected degree result (for those who are still to complete a current Masters-level programme).
  • Please also arrange for two individuals who know your academic work to upload references.
  • Submission of application:
    • Closing date for applications: Friday 13 January 2023, 12 noon.
    • Deadline for references: Friday 20 January 2023, 12 noon.
    • Interview date: to be confirmed.
    • Only complete and timely applications received, with both references, can be considered.
  • Terms and conditions: The studentship is subject to UKRI eligibility criteria, and will cover home or overseas fees and stipend at UKRI rates for a maximum of four years full-time, or eight years part-time study, subject to institutional regulations.

Closing date for applications

  • Friday 13 January 2023, 12 noon.

Further information

  • Informal enquiries about this collaborative project can be emailed to .