AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award on the Royal Society in Victorian Literary Culture

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award 

The Place of the Royal Society in Victorian Literary Culture

University of Reading/The Royal Society

Applications are invited for a doctoral studentship on ‘The Place of the Royal Society in Victorian Literary Culture’. The research will be supervised jointly by Dr John Holmes, Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Reading, and by Mr Keith Moore, Head Librarian at the Royal Society of London. The award will be funded by the AHRC for three years, including tuition fees and a full stipend (£14,140 in the first year), supplemented by a grant of £1000 per year from the Royal Society. The University of Reading will provide academic support, including training in postgraduate research and guidance on the presentation and publication of academic work, plus opportunities for teaching at undergraduate level. The Royal Society will provide training in archival methods and procedures, research provision and support on site, and opportunities to present the findings of the project to the Fellows of the Royal Society and the wider public through events and/or exhibitions, the Society’s website and its publications.

The project aims to trace the significance of Britain’s leading scientific society within the literary culture of Victorian England. Specific objectives include:

  • defining the contribution of the Royal Society and its publications to the development of scientific prose in the Victorian period;
  • establishing the significance of the Royal Society within the interchange of ideas between scientists and non-scientific authors, including the Fellows of the Royal Society themselves;
  • recording and interpreting the depiction of the Royal Society in a range of literary texts;
  • cataloguing the Royal Society’s most significant archival holdings relevant to this research.

The project will be reviewed regularly, and the findings and interests of the student will play a central role in determining the direction and content of the doctorate and other outcomes within the overall objectives.

Candidates should hold a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours degree, and should normally have or be studying for a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline. For further information about AHRC eligibility and residency criteria, please consult the ‘Guide to Student Funding’ available on the AHRC web page:


Applicants should send a letter of application (1-2 pages) outlining their suitability for the project, together with a detailed CV (including marks awarded to date on Master’s programmes that have not yet been completed) and the names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers of two referees, by email to Dr John Holmes (j.r.holmes@reading.ac.uk) by 12 noon on Friday 1st July 2011. Applicants should ask their referees to email references directly to Dr Holmes, also by 12 noon on Friday 1st July 2011.

Shortlisted candidates will also be invited to visit the University of Reading on Monday 18th July, and formal interviews will be conducted at the Royal Society on Tuesday 19th July. Applicants are welcome to contact Dr Holmes by email or by telephone (0118 378 7009) to discuss the project or to ask for further information.