Friday, 28 March 2014

Fully funded studentship in data visualisation (AHRC)

The Royal College of Art and The National Archives in London are jointly offering one fully funded PhD studentship (full time for three years) to begin late September 2014.

Studentship (AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award)
Visualising historic time to integrate data across multiple datasets

The School of Design, Royal College of Art (RCA) and The National Archives (TNA) in London are seeking applications for one fully funded Thames Consortium Studentship. Funded by AHRC, the three year PhD research programme will be supervised jointly by the RCA ( and TNA ( The studentship begins in late September 2014.

Deadline for applications: midnight (UK time) 28 April 2014. Interviews likely to be week beginning 26 May.

More information here: 

The research
You will undertake a PhD on the visualisation of archive data with particular emphasis on time-wise interactive visualisations such as timelines and other chronographics. The research is intended to break new ground in representing multiple datasets. We see this as a problem of design, technology, and historiography, where data visualisation and interactivity hold the key to making sense of large data sets. This research builds on the achievements of an existing PhD project at the RCA which has already produced important advances for partners in museums and archives, disseminated through practical demonstrations, conference presentations and papers.

This project complements the AHRC-funded Big Data project ‘Traces through Time’ led by TNA in partnership with the Institute of Historical Research, King's College London, Brighton University and the University of Leiden, to identify and link individuals across large historical datasets spanning a wide timeframe. A key output of that project will be the identification of relationships between individuals in different datasets across time, including the ‘fuzziness’ and varying levels of confidence that are a feature of historical data.

The research will be jointly supervised by Dr Stephen Boyd Davis, Research Leader in the School of Design at the RCA ( and Dr Sonia Ranade, Digital Records Specialist at The National Archives.

The studentship will cover home fees (full time) and a stipend of £15,863 per year (current London rates) for UK students or EU students who have lived in the UK for three years prior to the award.  Overseas students may also be eligible if they fulfil a range of residency requirements stipulated on the AHRC guidelines.

More information on the AHRC's doctoral maintenance and fee rates for 2014/15 can be found at  The student will be eligible for an extra £550 per year CDP allowance, in addition to (up to) £1,000 per year from TNA to cover research and travel costs.

How to apply
Please complete the online application, available here:

When you reach the screen titled “Course”, please pick “AHRC Scholarship - Visualising Historic Time” and “PhD”.

You must include a research proposal and indicative bibliography with your application. See for general guidance on PhD applications, especially paragraph 7.  Two academic references are required.

You are very welcome to discuss your ideas with Dr Stephen Boyd Davis:

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