AHRC PhD studentship in collaboration with Cardiff University and Imperial War Museums

Diversifying and decolonising conflict photography: an exploration of how accompanying textual information can influence the reading and understanding of photographs.

This new studentship is being offered under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership programme. Cardiff University and Imperial War Museums (IWM) will be the partner institutions.

The studentship will be supervised by myself (Dr Tom Allbeson, School of Journalism, Media and Culture) and Helen Mavin (IWM) and co-supervised by Professor Claire Gorrara (School of Modern Languages).

It will begin on 1 October 2020 and is funded at standard AHRC rates for 45 months full time (or part-time equivalent) with the potential to be extended for a further 3 months for professional development opportunities.

  • Closing date for applications: 15 May 2020
  • Anticipated start date: 1 October 2020

The Studentship

The IWM Photograph Archive is an internationally significant collection that supports understanding of the causes, course, and consequences of modern conflict from multi-national perspectives.

It includes material illustrating the experiences of both civilians and military participants. Using material from across the IWM collection, this project will critically examine the language used to describe and contextualise collections.

It will focus on the portrayal of diverse experiences within the context of war and conflict during the 20th century and how original captions and museum-ascribed descriptions have consciously or unconsciously supported colonial narratives and influenced audience understandings.

The studentship offers flexibility, allowing you to define the scope of the research within the broad aims of the project.


Subject to AHRC eligibility criteria, the scholarship covers tuition fees and a grant towards living expenses for 45 months full time or part-time equivalent, and may be extended for a further 3 months.

The award pays tuition fees up to the value of the full-time home/EU UKRI rate for PhD degrees. The award pays full maintenance for UK citizens and residents only.

How To Apply

Applicants will need to satisfy AHRC eligibility requirements.

Applicants should submit the following via email:
• Covering letter outlining your suitability for the studentship (max. one page)
• Curriculum vitae (max. two pages)
• Sample of writing from either academic assignment/publication OR museum interpretation/publication (1,500 to 8,000 words)
• Proposal outlining how you would approach the research project (max. 1000 words)
• Transcripts of undergraduate and masters qualifications (or evidence of equivalent)
• Details of two academic referees

Complete applications should be submitted by email to the School of Journalism, Media and Culture, (JOMECStudentsupport@cardiff.ac.uk) by 5pm on Friday 15 May 2020. All documents should be submitted in either a MS Word or PDF format.

Interviews are scheduled to be held on Friday 29 May 2020. Owing to current public health measures to tackle coronavirus, interviews will be held online.

Further Enquiries

For further enquiries, feel free to contact me (Tom Allbeson) or Helen Mavin (hmavin@iwm.org.uk). Good luck with your applications!