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Northumberland National Park: Governmentality and the Recent and Not-So-Recent History of Thirlwell Castle (Advert Reference: NBCCDA020/KELLY)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, January 13, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

AHRC-funded through the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Consortium

Histories of Britain’s National Parks have focused predominately on the political process that led to the passage of the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, the consequent designation process, and the conflicts related to public access, forestry and infrastructural development in the immediate post-war decades. Little attention has been paid to the transformation of the context in which the park authorities have operated since the 1970s. Drawing on archival research and oral history methodologies, this PhD research will examine recent National Park history by contextualizing the multi-faceted process that saw Northumberland National Park Authority acquire, renovate, and enable public access to Thirlwell Castle in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The park authority will provide access to previously unexamined primary source materials and vital contacts as well as opportunities to work on the park authority’s public engagement activities in the build-up to the 70th anniversary of the park’s designation. This PhD is suitable for a historian interested in the intersection between environmentalism, public access, and the development of the heritage industry in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.

Expressions of interest should be received by the principal supervisor no later than January 6th 2020. Email Prof Matthew Kelly:

The deadline for applications through the Northumbria online portal is January 13th 2020. We expect to interview shortlisted candidates in February. The studentship will be awarded to the successful applicant subject to ratification by the Northern Bridge studentship committee.

More information about this studentship and about the application process including eligibility criteria, can be found at:

Please note: Applications that do not include the advert reference (e.g. NBCCDA020/KELLY) will not be considered.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

Each studentship consists of payment of tuition fees and a maintenance allowance at the UK Research Council's national rate (currently £15,009) funded for a nominal 42 months of study. The package also includes:
• access to a research support training fund to cover the costs of study abroad, conference attendance and fieldwork;
• financial support to participate in a Northern Bridge Conference, an annual Summer School and a Completion and Leadership Workshop, which focuses on career development and employability;
• financial support for placements

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