AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA): PhD studentship for `Reading and Writing in Medieval Womens Religious Communities' (Faculty of English and The British Library)

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Applications are invited for an AHRC CDA doctoral studentship offered by the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership, to start in October 2024.

The studentship will be based in the Faculty of English. The successful applicant will work on a collaborative project co-led by Dr Jessica Berenbeim (jb455@cam.ac.uk), University of Cambridge, and Dr Eleanor Jackson, Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts, The British Library.

This PhD studentship offers an opportunity to investigate the culture of female religious communities in the Middle Ages, through a study of their surviving manuscripts. We are inviting applicants to propose a project that explores any aspect of women's conventual life, with the specific aim of bringing together kinds of sources that have rarely been discussed in combination. The themes and structure of the project are entirely open, provided the proposal is interdisciplinary and combines different types of manuscripts in novel, creative, and productive ways. At least some element of your research should concern institutions in the British Isles, and in your proposal, you would aim to draw principally on The British Library's collections:

  • Manuscripts and Archives Collections Guides
  • Digitised Manuscripts
  • Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
  • Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue

In your research for this project, you would work on collections alongside the BL's curatorial staff and undertake specialised training at both the BL and at Cambridge, where you would be part of a large and collegial community of medievalists in a wide range of fields. The British Library is currently developing a major exhibition, Medieval Women, which is due to open in October 2024.

Further details of the project and its aims can be found on the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP website: https://www.oocdtp.ac.uk/reading-and-writing-medieval-womens-religious-communities.


The DTP studentships will provide an annual maintenance grant to cover living costs (£18,622 stipend + £550 CDA allowance pa at current rates) and university tuition fees at home fee level. The fee gap between the home and overseas fee rates will be covered by the University through internal co-funding for international candidates.

For more details, see: https://www.postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/funding.

Application process:

All applications will need to be made through the University Graduate Application Portal: http://www.2024.postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/elelpdeng

Whilst making your online application, please make it clear that you are applying for the project 'Reading and Writing in Medieval Women's Religious Communities' and indicate the supervisor leading the project (Dr Jessica Berenbeim). When applying for study through the Postgraduate Applicant Portal, you must indicate that you would like to be considered for funding, complete the AHRC section under 'Funding' and upload the OOC DTP Application Form as an additional document when completing the application through the portal.

We want to encourage the widest range of potential students to study for this studentship and are committed to welcoming students from different backgrounds to apply. We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

Informal enquiries about the project should be directed to the University supervisor (jb455@cam.ac.uk). If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please visit https://www.oocdtp.ac.uk/how-to-apply#tab-2276201.

The deadline for applications is 04 January 2024.

Please quote reference GA38798 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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