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  Understanding and quantifying the risks to Scottish stained glass windows in terms of skills and materials

   School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

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  Dr C Kennedy  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

In 2023, stained glass window making (historic windows) was added to the Heritage Craft Association’s Red List of Endangered Crafts. The number of artists and craftspeople employed in this area are now at a dangerously low level to protect the UK’s heritage of stained glass making.

In addition, the closure of Church of Scotland churches may lead to key examples of Scottish stained glass becoming at risk or lost as buildings are sold and refigured by contractors.

Stained glass windows play a significant role in our cultural heritage; the windows can be seen in ecclesiastical buildings to depict biblical scenes, play a part in war memorials, or be used to celebrate or commemorate important people or events (eg the Great West Window at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh celebrates the life of Robert Burns). Since the stained glass revival of the 19th century, many Scottish buildings have been decorated with stained glass, and the history of Scottish glass artists in this field holds international significance.

The twin threats of loss of the windows themselves and the potential loss of the craft skills needed to replace them indicate how vulnerable stained glass windows are.

This studentship seeks to understand the ‘value’ in existing stained glass windows through fieldwork and surveys of a range of stakeholders (eg glass artists, heritage organisations, building owners, etc). Further, utilising records from various sources this research will seek to quantify the rate of loss of stained glass windows in Scotland with a view to better understanding the extent of vulnerability of this valuable resource.


This project is open to all students, whether home, EU or overseas.

The successful candidate will have at least an upper second-class (2:1) undergraduate honours degree in the relevant subject area and ideally a Masters Degree. We may also consider candidates who can demonstrate appropriate alternative learning such as experience gained in the workplace or professional qualifications.

We recognise that not every talented researcher will have had the same opportunities to advance their careers. We therefore will account for any particular circumstances that applicants disclose (e.g. parental leave, caring duties, part-time jobs to support studies, disabilities etc.) to ensure an inclusive and fair recruitment process.  

How to Apply

To apply you must complete our online application form.

Please select PhD Construction as the programme and include the full project title, reference number and supervisor name on your application form. Ensure that all fields marked as ‘required’ are complete.

Once have entered your personal details, click submit. You will be asked to upload your supporting documents. You must complete the section marked project proposal; provide a supporting statement (1-2 A4 pages) documenting your reasons for applying to this particular project, outlining your suitability and how you would approach the project. You must also upload your CV, a copy of your degree certificate and relevant transcripts and an academic reference in the relevant section of the application form.

You must also provide proof of your ability in the English language (if English is not your mother tongue). We require an IELTS certificate showing an overall score of at least 6.5 with no component scoring less than 6.0, or a TOEFL certificate with an overall score of at least 85, including reading 20, listening 19, speaking 20 and writing 21. Alternatively, if you have received an English-taught Bachelors or Masters degree from one of the countries listed on the UK Government Guidance under ‘Who does not need to prove their knowledge of English’, and it was obtained less than two years from your intended start date, you should provide evidence of your award that clearly states it was delivered and assessed in English language.

The primary supervisor for this project is Craig Kennedy. Please contact [Email Address Removed] for further information or an informal discussion.

Please contact [Email Address Removed] for technical support with your application.


The closing date for applications is 22 March 2024 and applicants must be available to start in September 2024.

Architecture, Building & Planning (3) History & Archaeology (19)

Funding Notes

James Watt Scholarship
This is a full scholarship which will cover tuition fees (Home and Overseas) and provide an annual stipend (£19,237 in 2024-25) for 42 months. Thereafter, candidates will be expected to pay a continuing affiliation fee (currently £130) whilst they complete writing up their thesis.