Henry Perronet Briggs, ‘The First Interview between the Spaniards and the Peruvians’ exhibited 1827
Henry Perronet Briggs
The First Interview between the Spaniards and the Peruvians exhibited 1827

Application deadline: 12 noon, Monday 17 May 2021
Salary: 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 2021/22 is £4,500, plus a CDP maintenance payment of £550/year. The award pays full maintenance. The National Minimum Doctoral Stipend for 2021/22 is £15,609. Further details can be found on the UKRI website https://www.ukri.org/skills/funding-for-research-training/.
Supervisors: Jointly supervised by Dr James Finch (Tate Britain) and Dr Katy Bunning and Professor Richard Sandell (Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester).

This collaborative award aims to develop and test new approaches towards an ethical, inclusive and effective curation of Empire at Tate Britain. It will support a student to research the connections between Tate’s collection and the history of the British Empire and British involvement in the transatlantic Slave Trade, and to critically examine how these connections have been surfaced and interpreted over the last two decades within Tate’s curatorial practice and programming. The research will lead to new knowledge and approaches that can support Tate to enhance their work in this area.

The student will be expected to spend time at both the School of Museum Studies and Tate, as well as becoming part of the wider cohort of Collaborative Doctoral Partnership-funded students across the UK.

Recognising the challenges of researching racial histories and contemporary practices within a predominantly white space, the student and supervisors will work together to create appropriate and additional mentoring opportunities alongside the research.

Project overview

The research aims to contribute new knowledge to how an evolving contemporary British art museum has addressed institutional histories of racial slavery and Empire over recent decades. This work will be part of a range of activities to support Tate’s ambitions to develop new ethical and decolonial frameworks for interpreting colonial histories.

There are two overarching research questions:

  • How have Tate’s curatorial and related practices addressed institutional links with the transatlantic slave trade and the British Empire more broadly in recent years?
  • How can Tate ethically surface its connections with the British Empire in the contemporary moment?

The student will be expected to develop a particular focus for the project, which may be a collection, a sitter, a recent exhibition or programme, or another aspect of curatorial practice. The project may involve a range of approaches to research, including archival and collections research, exhibition analysis, and semi-structured interviews with Tate staff and other key informants. It may also involve action research methods to test new interpretative frameworks with Tate staff in practice.

Eligibility & How to apply

In light of the ongoing under-representation of scholars and professionals from Black, Asian and non-white minority ethnic backgrounds within both UK museums and universities, this award is offered as a positive action studentship for a UK student. For more details on eligibility and to download the bespoke application form (please note this is not the full University of Leicester PhD application form), please visit the University of Leicester website.

The project can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis and will start on 1 October 2021. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Monday 17 May 2021. Interviews will take place by video call online with the supervisory team on 25 May 2021.

Further information

A full description of the studentship can be downloaded along with the application form here http://le.ac.uk/rcmg/current-research-and-events.

Informal enquiries can be addressed to Katy Bunning (katy.bunning@le.ac.uk).

For more information on the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme, please see https://www.ahrc-cdp.org/.

For more information on the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, go to https://le.ac.uk/museum-studies.