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PhD Studentship – Place, space, health: representing the North-South divide in literature and culture

   Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

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  Dr Ella Dzelzainis  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project


Interested in pursuing a PhD project examining the relation between place, space and health in literary/cultural representations of the North-South divide? This PhD studentship allows you to carve out your own area of investigation within a wider multidisciplinary Wellcome Trust funded project on regional health inequalities in England, focusing on the north-south divide. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to wider project team discussions and publications.  

Applicants should include a proposal outlining how they would approach this project. We encourage you to think imaginatively about possible texts and topics. You may wish to focus on literary/cultural responses from (or about) a specific period when health inequalities came to the fore (eg, the Victorian Condition-of-England novel, interwar theatre of the Great Depression, the kitchen sink realism of the 1950s and 60s, realizations of the 1980s Miners’ Strike and industrial decline, or the more immediate cultural responses to the coronavirus pandemic in poetry, prose, film). Or you may wish your project to be driven by topic, such as the working-class experience, teenage mental and physical health, the literature of the North, a specific health condition (drug addiction? tuberculosis? depression?), literature and political activism, the representation of the ageing / infant / maternal / labouring body. A wide range of text sources could potentially be exploited for this research: fiction, poetry, drama, periodicals, graphic novels and zines, the TV serial, film.

Newcastle hosts a thriving multidisciplinary medical humanities network encompassing postgraduate researchers, and resources that may be useful for this research, including the nineteenth-century novel, contemporary literature and poetry collections in the Robinson Library.

Number Of Awards


Start Date

1 October 2022.

Award Duration

36 months.


Wellcome Trust


Dr Ella Dzelzainis School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, and Professor Clare Bambra, Population Health Sciences Institute

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants should hold a 1st class or high 2:1 degree in English Literature and should hold, or be expected to achieve by September 2022, an MA with merit or distinction (or international equivalent) in a related field.

This award is available to home students only.

How To Apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system.

Please complete all relevant fields; fields marked with a red asterisk must be completed. You will need to:

·        insert the programme code 8190F in the programme of study section

·        select ‘PhD School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics (full time) – English Literature as the programme of study

·        insert the studentship code WELL22 in the studentship/partnership reference field

·        attach a covering letter; a project proposal no more than 750 words, which includes: research questions, research context, and research methods; and a CV. The covering letter must state the studentship title, quote reference code WELL22 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project

·        attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification.

Funding Notes

100% of home tuition fees paid and an annual stipend
Year 1: £19,919
Year 2: £21,542
Year 3: £23,298
Total = £64,759
Additional funding is available to cover research costs, conference fees, and engagement activities.
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