Medieval manuscripts blog

07 April 2018

Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots PhD studentship

As part of the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships scheme, the British Library and the University of Kent are offering a PhD studentship to work on Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, 1560–1587. For full details on how to apply, please follow this link.

Elizabeth i

Miniature of a bust of Queen Elizabeth I: Egerton MS 2572, f. 11r

Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots, have excited considerable scholarly interest, but historical coverage is patchy and relations between the two Queens are often discussed in a vacuum, isolated from broader diplomatic and cross-border interactions. We anticipate that the PhD research will explicitly seek to redress the prevalent Anglo-centric bias in the historiography. The successful candidate will be able to work with the project supervisors to further develop and refine the focus of the research.

The PhD student will have the opportunity to contribute to a major British Library exhibition on Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, and they will have staff-level access to the Library's collections and skill-specific training opportunities. The studentship will be supervised jointly by Dr Amy Blakeway (Lecturer in British History, 1480–1600, University of Kent), and Dr Andrea Clarke (Lead Curator Medieval & Early Modern Manuscripts, The British Library).

The studentship is awarded for three years initially. The British Library will provide studentship holders with financial support for research-related costs of up to £1,000 a year. Studentship holders will also benefit from the dedicated programme of professional development events delivered by the British Library in tandem with the other museums, galleries and heritage organisations affiliated to the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships scheme.

UK/EU nationals who meet the Research Council residency criteria are welcome to apply. For details please refer to the Research Council Handbook. Candidates should have the following: 

  • have or be studying for a Master’s Degree in a relevant subject (such as History, Early Modern History, Early Modern Studies, Early Modern/Renaissance Literature), with an expectation of obtaining a Merit or Distinction
  • an undergraduate Honours degree at First Class or Upper Second Class or equivalent
  • prior experience working with early modern/late medieval manuscripts
  • excellent palaeography is essential
  • Latin and/or French is desirable (training will be offered in these areas should this be necessary)

To apply, please complete the University of Kent online application form. In place of the research proposal requested on this form, a statement of up to 1,000 words should be provided on:

  • How you would like to develop the project theme, how your education and experience to date has prepared you for this research position, and how you will develop the opportunities offered by working with the British Library early modern manuscripts team. 
  • Your experience of working with early modern manuscripts and outreach activities. 

Applicants should also submit:

  • A piece of scholarly writing which best reflects their academic abilities and aspirations (e.g. an essay or dissertation) 

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 8 May 2018 (12.00 GMT).


Please note: there is a related studentship opportunity at the University of Kent, funded by the AHRC CHASE DTP consortium, on Anglo-Scottish Relations in the Early Sixteenth Century. Details of the second studentship are available here


Contemporary pen-and-ink drawing of the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots: Additional MS 48027, f. 650*


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