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Unlocking the SCAR archive: the sixty-year long consolidation of Antarctic governance through polar research

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Turchetti
    Dr K Flanagan
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is the international organization tasked with coordinating research in Antarctica and as part of its 60yr Anniversary celebration, has decided to open its archives for a comprehensive study. This is SCAR’s veritable legacy of sixty years of research coordination at the bottom of the world. We are looking for an enthusiastic and bright scholar to examine the archival documents in order to better understand SCAR’s role in the shaping of Antarctic science and geopolitics as well as to use the historical evidence to cast new light on Antarctica’s present and future. The SCAR archive consists of official documents and correspondence from 1958 to the early 2000s stored in approximately thirty boxes at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI, Cambridge, UK). The materials document meetings; projects in glaciology, oceanography, solid earth science, and environmental conservation; negotiations and related agreements in the context of the Antarctic Treaty System.

The researcher will be working under the supervision of Simone Turchetti as first academic supervisor and in coordination with Kieron Flanagan, the second supervisor. He/she will also report regularly on the project’s progress to Jenny Baeseman, the SCAR Executive Director.

The researcher will be employed at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM), University of Manchester, where she/he will receive further training on research methods as well as working space. The PhD student will travel regularly to Cambridge to visit the SCAR archive. SCAR will contribute the office space and incidentals needed by the student to complete the project, as well as some travel costs. SCAR will also provide in-kind assistance to the student while in Cambridge. The investigator may also have the opportunity to attend one of the Antarctic Treaty Meetings to familiarize with the system of scientific governance existing in Antarctica.

The student will familiarize with advanced techniques to carry out archival research including ethical and legal aspects (confidentiality, ethical issues). In defining the historical study, the appointed PhD student will also extensively benefit significantly from the diversity of research interests existing in the supervisory team. She/He will thus draw on other disciplines, including environmental and science studies, international relation studies, and law studies. SCAR’s role will also expose the scholar to a number of other studies in scientific disciplines such as glaciology, oceanography and conservation studies.

Candidates must hold a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in areas such as: history of science/technology, general history, historical geography, science and technology studies, environmental history or environmental studies or another subject closely relevant to the themes of the project). Candidates with a Masters in a relevant subject area would have distinct advantage. In some cases we may be able to consider relevant professional experience in place of a Master’s qualification: please contact the academic supervisor for guidance before applying. All applicants should also have at least an Upper Second-class undergraduate degree (or non-UK equivalent: see www.gov.uk/government/publications/overseas-degree-equivalency-table-and-methodology).

Interview for the studentship are expected to be held in May 2017.

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/).

Funding Notes

This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. UK applicants qualify for the full studentship. Students from EU countries other than the UK are eligible for a fees-only award. Only EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for minimum of 3 years prior to commencing the studentship, will qualify for the full award. Applicants whose native language is not English must be able to satisfy the English language entry requirements of the University of Manchester: for further guidance see www.manchester.ac.uk/study/international/admissions/language-requirements/


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