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AHRC DTP/English Heritage CDA Collaborative PhD in Conservation: Conservation of Late 19th and 20th Century Artillery Pieces

This funding opportunity has expired.

Key facts

Application deadline 14 October 2019
Start date 2 January 2020
Duration 3.5 years (Part-time study will be considered for this studentship)
Funding body AHRC
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship

This project will take a cross-disciplinary integrated approach combining three key areas, namely historical study, material science and conservation management, to provide robust evidence and recommendations for designing collections care.

Background

English Heritage (EH) cares for over 400 cannons, carriages and guns from many eras, across 29 historic sites including Dover Castle, Pendennis, and Tilbury Fort. Their function means artillery are often situated in exposed sites that include coastal peninsulas and ports, subjecting them to a range of environmental conditions that include exposure to airborne salts and pollution, which accelerates corrosion and increases the need for remedial conservation.

The complexity of more modern artillery designs involves a wider range of materials and components that act as water traps, which increases their vulnerability to corrosion. Developing evidence based long term collections care strategies is imperative to protect these heritage assets and to prioritise their conservation.

Project aims and methods

The key research question is:

What is the most effective management strategy for modern artillery in the English Heritage collection?

To answer this, the project will ask:

  1. What is the historical context in which artillery is found across the EH estate?
  2. Which artillery pieces display the greatest corrosion and how does this relate to factors specific to outdoor display environments?
  3. What is the relative effectiveness of coatings to protect artillery from corrosion?

Historical study

Establishing historic context and site specificity of late 19th and 20th Century artillery within the EH collection will connect locations and collections to provide a unique perspective on England’s history. EH has already been conducting work on the history and significance of each gun and their site specificity which will inform prioritisation of treatment. The student will examine this to develop an understanding of relationships between location and historic use of specific artillery, allowing them to correlate condition and site.

Condition and corrosion

Scientific investigation of the artillery pieces will assess the composition and condition of components, identifying those parts that show the greatest signs of corrosion and linking these to the initial research into provenance. Literature review and in-situ analysis using portable spectroscopy will determine alloy composition, which will be related to artillery production and corrosion processes occurring.

Effectiveness of coatings

The project will then focus on understanding the effectiveness of conservation treatments for artillery within their appropriate contexts, concentrating on assessing performance of current coating systems and investigating novel alternatives such as fluoropolymers. The duration of this project offers the opportunity to couple artificial ageing with real-time degradation studies onsite.

As a collaborative award, students will be expected to spend time at both the University and English Heritage properties and offices.

Supervisors

The project will also be supervised by Paul Lankester (Conservation Scientist, English Heritage) and Ian Leins (Curator, English Heritage).

For further information you may also contact Paul Lankester (Paul.Lankester@english-heritage.org.uk).

Contact

Professor David Watkinson

Professor David Watkinson

Professor of Conservation, Head of Archaeology and Conservation and Deputy Head of School

Email:
watkinson@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4249
Dr Nicola Emmerson

Dr Nicola Emmerson

Senior Lecturer in Conservation, Lead in Safety, Health and Environment

Email:
emmersonnj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4581

Funding details

Tuition fee support Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend The award pays tuition fees up to the value of the full time home/EU UKRI rate for PhD degrees as well as full maintenance for UK citizens and residents only. The value of the maintenance stipend is to be confirmed; however is expected to be around £15,559. This is based on RCUK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend for 2018 of £15,009 plus an additional £550 per annum for CDA students.
Additional funding offered You will be eligible to receive an additional travel and related expenses grant during the course of the project courtesy of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, worth up to £6,000.

Eligibility criteria

Residency UK Research Council eligibility conditions apply
Academic criteria

Applicants should have or expect to receive a relevant degree-level qualification, or be able to demonstrate equivalent experience, including appropriate research skills. Suitable disciplines are flexible, but might include Conservation, Heritage Science, Corrosion Science, Electrochemistry, Physics and Chemistry amongst others.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate an interest in the heritage sector and potential and enthusiasm for developing skills more widely in the areas of Conservation and Heritage Science.

Experience in the use of relevant analytical laboratory techniques would be an advantage, for example, EIS, FTIR, XRD, XRF, coatings testing or other techniques that could be advantageous to the project.

Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is open to UK/EU students who meet the residency requirements set out in the UKRI Conditions of Research Council Training Grants.

Contact

Professor David Watkinson

Professor David Watkinson

Professor of Conservation, Head of Archaeology and Conservation and Deputy Head of School

Email:
watkinson@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4249
Dr Nicola Emmerson

Dr Nicola Emmerson

Senior Lecturer in Conservation, Lead in Safety, Health and Environment

Email:
emmersonnj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4581

Candidates will need to apply for a Doctor of Philosophy in Conservation within the School of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University with a January 2020 start date, clearly indicating that the application is for the AHRC/ English Heritage CDA in Conservation of Late 19th and 20th Century Artillery Pieces.

In the “Research Proposal and Funding” section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided.

Please select “No, I am not self-funding my research” when asked whether you are self-funding your research.

Please add “AHRC DTP/English Heritage CDA Collaborative PhD in Conservation: Conservation of Late 19th and 20th Century Artillery Pieces" when asked “Please provide the name of the funding you are applying for”.

As part of your application, you will need to include:

  • An individualised research proposal, in which you amplify the proposal set out above. You should set out your contribution to the project research design and how the project topic will be tailored to your particular strengths and research interests.
  • A CV.
  • Two references from referees.

Interviews will take place on 21 October 2019.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Contact

Professor David Watkinson

Professor David Watkinson

Professor of Conservation, Head of Archaeology and Conservation and Deputy Head of School

Email:
watkinson@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4249
Dr Nicola Emmerson

Dr Nicola Emmerson

Senior Lecturer in Conservation, Lead in Safety, Health and Environment

Email:
emmersonnj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4581

Funding opportunity provided by:

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Eligible research programmes