Don McCullin, ‘Liverpool 8’ 1961
Don McCullin
Liverpool 8 1961
© Don McCullin

This full-time Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) PhD studentship, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will commence in October 2021.

Application deadline: 5 February 2021
Salary: The studentship will provide payment of academic fees, at the standard UKRI rate for 3.5 years and a maintenance stipend (£15,285, in 2020/21) for 3.5 years.
Supervisors: Professor Michelle Henning, Dr Jordana Blejmar and Lindsey Fryer

The studentship will be based in the Department of Communication and Media, School of the Arts (University of Liverpool) and will also involve periods of research based at Tate Liverpool. The successful applicant will work on a collaborative project led by Professor Michelle Henning and Dr Jordana Blejmar with co-supervision from Lindsey Fryer (Head of Learning, Tate Liverpool).

The Project

The studentship will investigate photography archives and the work of named photographers to address the experience of exiles, migrants, stateless and marginalised people. We are interested in the photographer as a marginalised or migrant figure; how marginalisation and the experience of migration might inform their gaze; how such photographers have come to contest and to shape a cultural and collective memory; and how that can inform contemporary curatorial, learning and interpretation practices. Combining an historical and contemporary approach, this project will bring to light underexplored images and decolonise the photographic archive, but also activate historical images in the present. For more information please visit the project page on the University of Liverpool website.

The team supervising this project provide a unique combination of expertise in historical and contemporary art and photography, archives and exhibitions, memory, politics and transcultural experience, learning and public engagement. With their support, the student will develop their own research questions and trajectory. They will identify their own case studies and impact pathways for the research, and develop ways of reactivating archives (for example through innovative exhibitions, seminars and workshops that bring different collections and artworks together), or ways of enhancing and developing the archives for future use by diverse communities. The student will bring a prior interest and engagement with contemporary and historical art and culture in relation to questions of diversity and ethnic minorities. We particularly welcome applications from Black and POC candidates.

How to Apply

The minimum application submission requirements are:

  • Two high quality academic references
  • Undergraduate degree (2:1 essential)
  • Master’s degree (normally with Merit or above), merit (or 60%) for dissertation, or evidence of high-quality writing analysis

Applicants should email Michelle Henning ( and Jordana Blejmar ( the following by 5pm GMT on 5 February 2021:

  • Academic CV (max. 2 pages) including two named referees (one of whom should be your most recent academic tutor/supervisor)
  • Copy of first degree and Master’s degree transcripts (or anticipated grade if applicable)
  • Letter of application (max. 2 pages) outlining suitability for the studentship and how you anticipate approaching the research. This should include proposed research questions and suggested methodology

The successful candidate will have to submit a final application through the University Graduate Application Portal.

While we can provisionally offer a candidate the post, the offer is subject to the Liverpool Doctoral Training Programme’s approval.

Informal enquiries about the project should be directed to the university supervisors Michelle Henning ( and Jordana Blejmar (

Informal meeting with supervisors

You are welcome to join an informal meeting with the supervisors on Tuesday 12 January 2021, 12–1pm. At this meeting you will be able to find out more about the award and about the project; the qualifications and requirements needed; and the application process.

Register via Eventbrite

Please note interviews will take place on Friday 26 February 2021.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.