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Techne Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) studentship – ‘Speaking Truth to Power: A History of Galop and the LGBTQ Community’s Responses to Violence’

   Department of History

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  Dr Amy Tooth Murphy, Dr Alex Windscheffel  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Dominant discourses of contemporary British LGBTQ history present a narrative of increasing rights and equality. This public narrative of linear progression is largely due to a focus on topdown party political, policy, and legislative histories. However, a holistic view considering the social and cultural realities and lived experiences of LGBTQ people reveals a more complicated picture. This project will elucidate this story via a history of Galop, the UK's antiabuse LGBTQ charity. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2022, Galop has played a crucial role in fighting violence against LGBTQ people and supporting LGBTQ survivors of violence. Despite its role in the landscape of British queer history, there has been little to no historiographical attention paid to Galop.

Collaborating with the Bishopsgate Institute, one of the leading queer history archives in the UK, this project will employ the prism of Galop's history to track the changing ways in which LGBTQ people have been subjected to forms of violence and how LGBTQ communities and organisations have responded.

Envisaged key research questions:

  • How has the LGBTQ community’s relationship with the national and local state evolved?
  • How have community engagement and activism shaped the development of public policy, attitudes, and legislation around violence perpetrated against LGBTQ people?
  • How has Galop and the wider LGBTQ community shaped and developed public narratives of interpersonal violence (including domestic abuse, sexual violence and hate crime), making visible LGBTQ experiences?

Galop was established in 1982 by a group of LGB lawyers who sought to protect the community from Police violence and ensure people understood their rights. Over the last four decades the organisation has developed to become one of the largest LGBTQ organisations in the UK and continues to grow, bringing to attention abuse and violence that is little understood by the wider population. This important history is not widely known, but is a vital part of the history of LGBTQ rights in Britain.

This public history project coincides with Galop’s 40th anniversary, combining traditional archival research and new oral history interviews to create a digitised online archive and suite of public engagement outputs (such as blogs/vlogs, podcasts, commemorative public events at the Bishopsgate Institute, public-facing ‘short history of’ publication). The 40th anniversary ensures potential for significant public impact, raising Galop’s profile.

Galop archival documents (annual reports, minutes, campaigns, research reports) are currently held across the Bishopsgate Institute, London School of Economics, and at Galop, where they are inaccessible to the public. The unified online archive at the BI will facilitate community access and future research, and contextualise Galop's history within the landscape of contemporary queer history. Galop fully supports the project, facilitating oral history interviews and an ongoing archive accession agreement with the Bishopsgate Institute.

It is envisaged that oral history will play a key role in the project research and methodology. Oral history has become a go-to method for modern queer history, enabling insights into lived experience and correcting archival silences. Oral history has recently been utilised by business and organisational histories to produce a more nuanced understanding. As yet, these two applications of oral history have not been brought together. This project therefore constitutes an innovative contribution to oral history and queer history.

In addition to conventional academic supervision via the supervisory team at RHUL (Dr Amy Tooth Murphy and Dr Alex Windscheffel), this studentship offers training and mentoring from the Bishopsgate Institute. The successful applicant will spend up to 9 months at the Bishopsgate, spread over the duration of the project. They will receive training on the use of existing archives; digitisation and web development; events management, and public-facing resource creation. They will have desk space at the Bishopsgate and full access to existing archives. The student will become part of this diverse and innovative environment, working alongside archivists, education liaisons, community practitioners, outreach workers, researchers, and an existing community of CDA/CDP students. They will contribute to talks, blogs, and publications. As an institution committed to public engagement and education, the student will further benefit from the networking opportunities placement affords, as well as hands-on experience of best practice in community engagement and public history


This studentship is open to both Home and International applicants.

To be classed as a home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

Applicants should ideally have or expect to receive a relevant Masters-level qualification by the time of taking up the appointment, or be able to demonstrate equivalent experience in a professional setting (potential candidates may, for instance, already be working in the museum/heritage sector). Suitable disciplines are flexible, but could include History, Queer Studies, English.

The envisaged project is deeply rooted in two disciplinary areas: queer history and oral history, both of which are invested in and committed to marginalised voices and discourses. Students with expertise or experience in either of these areas are especially encouraged to apply.

Project details and how to apply

Please include in your application:

  • Your CV.
  • An outline, of 1000-2000 words explaining why you are interested in researching this topic, including what you would bring to the project and how you think you would take it forward
  • A sample of writing (ideally this should be between 5,000 and 10,000 words but this is flexible). This could be a piece of academic writing (e.g. an MA dissertation); or a text written in the course of any current or previous employment or voluntary/community work
  • Candidates invited to interview will be asked to supply a transcript of their university-level grades.
  • The successful applicant will then be expected to apply formally through RHUL’s doctoral school.
  • All prospective students are strongly advised to first make informal contact with the lead supervisor Dr Amy Tooth Murphy
  • Please send your application documents to Dr Amy Tooth Murphy (amy.toothmurphy(@) by the deadline of 18th February 2022

For information or queries about the RHUL application process, please contact Dr Karoline Cook (Karoline.Cook(@)

Funding Notes

The award pays tuition fees up to the value of the full-time home UKRI rate for PhD degrees.
Research Councils UK Indicative Fee Level for 2022/23 is £4,500. Note for international applicants: where an international student is successful, RHUL will waive the difference between the home and the international fee.
The award pays full maintenance for both home and international students. The National Minimum Doctoral Stipend for 2022/23 is £15,609/year, plus London Weighting of £2000/year, plus an additional CDA maintenance payment of £550/year to enable travel and engagement with the partner organisation.
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