Please find below details of the three Collaborative Doctoral Awards proposed for entry in September 2020. These positions have all been filled. We will shortly be updating the page with the Collborative Doctoral Awards for entry in September 2021.

For reference, here is the guidance for applications for entry in September 2020  SWW DTP2 Guidance for Applicants_2019_20 document for details on how to apply to undertake one of the CDA projects listed below.

This research project will provide the first detailed examination of the role of the Royal Society in both the acceptance and rejection of eugenics in the period up to 1950.

The project is located within the ongoing efforts to critically reevaluate the history of eugenics, and will entail an extensive engagement with, and a detailed investigation of, unexplored and under-utilised archives at the Royal Society. It will contribute to, and enhance, a drive to digitise and make RS archives accessible, and will provide the student with a valuable employability skills and career development.

The student will work closely with staff at the Royal Society to delineate the historical relationship (personal, financial, and intellectual) between the RS and eugenics.

The project will ask:
What degree of support for/opposition to eugenics was there at the RS 1860-1950?
How did the eugenic views of individual fellows impact on the policy of the Society?
What does the place of eugenics tell us about the policing of boundaries between mainstream and non-mainstream science?
How were government grants used to promote eugenic research?
How does the history of eugenics at the RS connect with and inform the movement to decolonise and reinterpret key aspects of British history and literature through the intertwined perspectives of race and class?

The project will make extensive use of:
records of Government Grants awarded by the Society;
Referees’ Reports on articles submitted to Philosophical Transactions;
records of the nomination and election of Fellows;
reports of the conversazione associated with the Society;
the Society’s correspondence.

The supervisory team:
Home supervisor: Prof. David Stack, University of Reading (
Co-supervisor: Prof. Angelique Richardson, University of Exeter (
Non-HEI supervisor: Keith Moore, Head Librarian, Royal Society (

The PhD student will be enrolled for a PhD in History at the University of Reading.

Please click on this link for full details: SWW DTP2 Collaborative Doctoral Award_Eugenics at the Royal Society

The documents from the late medieval Chancery (the governmental secretariat) have been scrutinised by linguists mainly in relation to the standardisation of English, as the influence of their linguistic features on this process and their interaction with urban vernaculars of major regional centres is still unclear. However, these documents remain to be explored with regard to the interface between French and English linguistic practices, an approach that has borne much fruit in literary texts (e.g. Jefferson & Putter 2013).

The government was at the core of medieval England’s multilingual culture. While administrative processes had been dominated by French and Latin for most of the post-Conquest period, English started to assert itself as a language of government administration in the late fourteenth century. As scribes switched to English, they imported into their mother tongue many of the same legal phrases and words that they had used when writing these same kinds of documents in French. Durkin (2014) has shown that most French loanwords entered the English language between 1350 and 1500, but no work has been done on the contribution to this process by the switch from French to English in government administration.

This project aims to explore the lexical debts to French legal practices in early fifteenth-century Chancery documents. Thus, the project will bring together historical linguistics, historical sociolinguistics and the understanding of the mechanics of government; and will further complement and advance current work on the interaction between the two languages in specific lexico-semantic domains.

Research questions:
The main research question of the project is: What is the French lexical basis of fifteenth-century governmental English?

This question is, in turn, related to a number of further questions:
To what extent can we still see the contribution of Anglo-Saxon legal terminology in these fifteenth-century texts?
Are there specific areas of government that are particularly prone to borrowing or retention of traditional terminology? If so, what can this tell us about the mechanics of government?
How can fifteenth-century Chancery documents help us understand the multilingualism of late-medieval England and vice-versa?

The supervisory team:
Home supervisor: Dr Sara M. Pons-Sanz, Cardiff University (
Co-supervisor: Prof. Ad Putter, University of Bristol (
Non-HEI supervisor: Dr Paul Dryburgh, The National Archives (

Please click here for full details: SWW DTP2 Collaborative Doctoral Award_French Influence on the English Legal Language of the Chancery in the First Half of the Fifteenth Century

Writing Pain is a partnership between the pain management team at Powys NHS Teaching Health Board, Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University and The Reading Centre for Cognition Research. It is about practical intervention in pain management – by using creative writing as a tool to communicate, document and manage chronic pain conditions – supported by academic research into the way pain is perceived and narrated, both in the individual and in society.

The project will combine practice-based research with academic investigation. Interventions and methodologies will be evaluated to inform academic research about the nature of pain and our approaches to understanding it.

The project is interdisciplinary in nature, with a focus on creative writing, current medical practice and philosophy, but drawing on other disciplines, including psychology, literature and history of medicine. The student will be assisted to create a workable framework from the wide field of options available.

A developmental three-year programme of interventions based at Bronllys Hospital will be combined with remote activities using Skype and other technologies. Medical staff and practitioners will be widely included in the project, as well as patient users, to examine a stated lack of expertise among health professionals in articulating and communicating the experience of pain.

The scope and originality of this project is suited to doctoral work, requiring advanced and flexible research skills from the student, a significant amount of individual working, creative thinking and an interdisciplinary approach. Investigating and articulating the nature of pain, by examining traditions from diverse fields, the student will be required to create his/her own research framework while contributing to the ongoing work between the partners.

We aim to investigate:
how patients and practitioners can use creative writing as an intervention in chronic pain, and how this intervention can be most effective
how patients and practitioners construct narratives of pain, and how effective these narratives are at communicating the reality of experience.
how different narratives can change the experience of pain.

The supervisory team:
Home supervisor: Dr Jacqueline Yallop, Aberystwyth University (
Co-supervisor: Prof. Emma Borg, University of Reading, (
Non-HEI supervisor: Clare Clark, Powys Teaching Health Board, Bronllys Hospital (

Please click here for full details: SWW DTP2 Collaborative Doctoral Award_Writing Pain

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