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Mahogany, Enslaved Africans, Miskito Indigenous People at Chiswick House, Kenwood and Marble Hill, London

   Faculty of Health Sciences

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  Prof Joy Porter  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

PhD in History

Start Date: 1st October 2021

Interviews will take place on: first week of June

About the project

Applications are invited for a four year (or part-time equivalent) Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) exploring the cultural significance and exceptional intercultural narratives surrounding mahogany in U.K. heritage environments. It will examine mahogany-related processes of exchange that link three English Heritage properties (Chiswick House, Kenwood and Marble Hill, London), Miskito-African American Indigenous environmental brokers, and enslaved Africans in the West Indies and Central America.

If successful, you will conduct archival research at sites including the National Archives, Kew, The British Library, Jamaica Archives and Records Department and Belize National Archives and Records Service. You will conduct 12 weeks of placement (3 weeks per year) at each of the three London heritage sites working directly with the Curator.

Training, development and support

You will join the Treatied Spaces Research Cluster which collaborates with researchers working on indigenous, slavery, environmental, museum and heritage themes worldwide and they will become part of the wider cohort of CDP funded students across the UK.

In addition, you will be eligible to participate in a range of events, workshops and training and development days. More details are available here.


Principal Academic Supervisor: Joy Porter (Professor of Indigenous & Environmental History, [Email Address Removed]

Principal English Heritage Supervisor: Dr Esmé Whittaker (Curator, Collections & Interiors, for Chiswick House, Kenwood and Marble Hill, London) [Email Address Removed]


CDP Studentships fund full-time studentships for 45 months (3.75 years) or part time equivalent. The studentship has the possibility of being extended for an additional 3 months to provide professional development opportunities, or up to 3 months of funding may be used to pay for the costs the student might incur in taking up professional development opportunities.

Tuition fees and stipend are paid at the national rates set by UKRI. The stipend rate for 21/22 is £15609 per annum.  The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England (on behalf of Historic England or English Heritage) additionally offers a travel and research expenses grant of £4000 (£1000 p.a. over 4 years). 

Entry Requirements & Eligibility

This studentship is open to Home and International applicants. However, the University is not able to waive or top up the additional international fee. The applicant may choose to cover the cost themselves or seek some other form of sponsorship. Further guidance can be found here.

Applications from all interested students are welcomed. We particularly welcome applicants from Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. The selected candidate will hold a good first degree in a relevant discipline (2:1 Honours or above, or international equivalent) and a Masters qualification (or international equivalent or equivalent experience) in a relevant field. Applicants must be able to demonstrate an interest in the museum sector and potential enthusiasm for developing skills more widely in related areas.

All applicants must meet UKRI terms and conditions for funding. See:

How to Apply:

Informal enquiries are welcomed by Professor Joy Porter [Email Address Removed] and Dr Esme Whittaker [Email Address Removed]


Candidates must meet the University’s requirements for registering for postgraduate research and should apply using the University’s application processes for recruiting PGR students. They are asked to supply a Personal Statement describing a) how their research experience equips them for success carrying out this project and b) their motivation for pursuing doctoral study.

To apply, go to:

History & Archaeology (19) Languages, Literature & Culture (21) Medicine (26)
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