Heritage stands as an unchanging symbol of the past. Historic sites and places give people a sense of continuity and identity, linking themselves to the past with the knowledge that these places will still exist for future generations. The public may view conservation as an effort to preserve the current condition and appearance of historic places.
UK heritage is a massive industry, employing thousands of people and raising billions of pounds for the British economy. Heritage managers must balance the philosophical desire to preserve sites with pressure to change the sites, either to boost income through improving the tourist experience or from evolving regulations that require changes to the sites such as improving access to the sites for disabled people. Conservation is described as the “management of change” by professionals, reflecting the fact that historic sites are not static or unchanging. Further, efforts can be made to enhance the historic appeal of a place to increase interest and visitor numbers and such changes to historic places can improve the visitor experience, but the impact of changing the existing place on local people has not been fully understood.
Historic sites affect more than tourists who undertake a scheduled visitor experience. The local historic site plays a part in developing the sense of place and wellbeing for people living in close proximity re: shared memories, experiences in relation to place and the psycho-social attachment to places. Older adults may well recall how the heritage site has evolved and changed over the course of their lifetimes, giving a keen insight in to how changes implemented by heritage managers has affected their local area and their own sense of place and wellbeing. Importantly, heritage is grounded in aspects of memories which are rarely integrated into the design and development of places in a participatory way.
Older adults find comfort in revisiting places that have played a significant aspect of their lives. Historic sites are a natural example of a place where adults can be taken that can evoke memories from the past i.e. a sense of place. However, if the site itself has undergone a significant change in appearance or function then the ability of the site to act as a place of comfort may be challenged.
To be eligible, applicants should have a first-class honours degree in a relevant subject or a 2.1 honours degree plus Masters (or equivalent experience). Additional criteria may apply so please check the specific project details before applying. Scholarships will be awarded by competitive merit, taking into account the academic ability of the applicant.
We recognise that not every talented researcher will have had the same opportunities to advance their careers. We therefore will account for any particular circumstances that applicants disclose (e.g. parental leave, caring duties, part-time jobs to support studies, disabilities etc.) to ensure an inclusive and fair recruitment process.
Please complete our online application form. Please select PhD Construction programme and include the project reference, title and supervisor names on your application. If these details are not included your application may not be considered. Please note that applicants may only submit ONE proposal.
Please also provide a supporting statement outlining how you would approach the research and upload this to the research proposal section of the online application. You will also be required to upload a CV, a copy of your degree certificate and relevant transcripts and one academic reference. Until your nominated referee has uploaded their statement, your application will not be marked as complete and will not be considered by the review panel. You must also provide proof of your ability in the English language (if English is not your mother tongue or if you have not already studied for a degree that was taught in English). We require an IELTS certificate showing an overall score of at least 6.5 with no component scoring less than 6.0 or a TOEFL certificate with a minimum score of 90 points.
Applications will be reviewed throughout March and applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by the end of April 2021. Applicants MUST be available to start the course of study on a full-time basis in September 2021.
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