Research Studentship in Digital Humanities

   Department of Engineering Science

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  Prof David De Roure, Dr Sarah Ogilvie  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Research Studentship in Digital Humanities 

4-year (45 + 3 mo.) DPhil studentship 

Project: Application of computational approaches in addressing problematic terminology within V&A Museum catalogues

Supervisors: Prof David De Roure and Dr Sarah Ogilvie (University of Oxford) and Dr Jacques Schuhmacher (V&A) 

This studentship will investigate novel application of computational methods in addressing problematic terminology and descriptions within Victoria & Albert Museum catalogues. It will apply and extend existing methods from the fields of computational linguistics and information science to identify, analyse, and structure insights about terminology use and description within museum catalogue data. The project takes place in the context of work at the V&A in which descriptions within collections need to be better understood and addressed, with the aim of assisting computationally in the detection of problematic terminology and descriptions.

The study will survey existing (digital and non-digital) approaches and practice from across the museum sector, proposing a coherent conceptual information framework within which the above tasks can be expressed as requirements, and matched to the affordances of computational algorithms. This framework will also provide the basis for exchange of terminology and description analyses between collections and institutions, so that analysis of one catalogue can bootstrap or inform understanding of another.

The supervisory team comprises Prof David De Roure (Digital Humanities), Dr Sarah Ogilvie (Linguistics), Dr Kevin Page (Senior Researcher in cultural informatics), Dr Jacques Schuhmacher (Provenance Curator, V&A) and Pamela Young, Head Registrar (Documentation and Systems, V&A). The studentship will be held in the Oxford e-Research Centre and the V&A. It will benefit from close collaboration with Oxford's cross-institutional research activities in Digital Humanities and Digital Scholarship, and the V&A’s research community.


This studentship is funded through the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDP) scheme. Full details of the eligibility requirements can be found on the UK Research and Innovation website. CDP doctoral degrees are open to international students as well as domestic students; however, please note that AHRC funding only covers the domestic fee level and international students will need to cover the remaining fees separately.

We want to encourage the widest range of potential students to study for a CDP studentship and are committed to welcoming students from different backgrounds to apply. We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds as they are currently underrepresented at this level in this area.

Candidate Requirements 

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

·        Expertise in computational methods, for example an honours degree or Masters in information science, computer science, engineering science, data science or computational linguistics.

·        Excellent English written and spoken communication skills.

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

·        Knowledge of digital humanities.

·        Interest in museum collections and museum cataloguing

·        Interest in history or history of art.

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Prof David De Roure ([Email Address Removed]) or Dr Sarah Ogilvie ([Email Address Removed]) at Oxford, or Andrew Hulse ([Email Address Removed]) at the V&A.

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria. Details are available on the course page of the University website.

Please quote 23ENGIN_DDR in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline: noon on Friday 7th October 2022 

Start date: January 2023

Computer Science (8) Engineering (12) History & Archaeology (19) Linguistics & Classics (23)

Funding Notes

Award Value
CDP doctoral training grants fund full-time studentships for 45 months (3.75 years). The studentship also includes provision for professional development opportunities equivalent to an additional 3 months of the grant.
Course fees are covered at the level set for Home students (c. £8620 p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is £19,218 for 2022/23 and at least this amount for subsequent years, which includes a CPD maintenance payment (£550 p.a.) and London uplift (£1000 p.a.). Additionally up to £1000 can be claimed from V&A for travel and research expenses in the course of the studentship.
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