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Doctoral research projects

Find out more about the postgraduate doctoral projects which National Museums Scotland co-supervises supported from a variety of sources.

These projects usually last a minimum of 3.5 years (full-time study) and cover a variety of subjects from across the collections.

Whilst we do not fund PhDs directly, doctoral researchers are supported from a variety of funders including the Leverhulme Trust, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

National Museums Scotland is part of the Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium (SCHC) which is an AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme funding up to 6 PhD projects per year.

Research themes

Doctoral research projects fit broadly under the following three major themes:

Scotland's Material Heritage

2021 – Imagining ancient Egypt in the age of empire: Identity and power in Scottish museum displays of Egyptian objects, 1860 to 1930

2021 – Shaping Taste, Building Knowledge: Collecting China in Scotland, in the early 20th Century

2021 – The Elect and the Damned: the material culture of belief in post-Reformation Scotland, 1560-1750

2021 – Loyal Exchange: the material and visual culture of Jacobite exile, 1716-60

2021 – Collecting the Nation: Scottish history, patriotism and antiquarianism after Scott, (1832-91)

2020 – Imagining the Pacific in Scotland in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries: Collectors and Collections, Museums and Universities

2019 – British Collecting in Ethiopia 1769 to 1960: Explorers, Missionaries, Military Expeditions, and Royal Gifting

2019 – Material Spirits: Objects, Past and Landscape in Contemporary Scottish Whisky

2019 – Dress and the individual in medieval Scotland, 1200–1600

2018 – Coinage, landscape and society in the borderlands: economy, politics and identity in Scotland and northern England, 1136-1603

2018 – The Cold War in Scotland: Technology, Heritage and the British Warfare State

2018 – Understanding colour in Renaissance embroidery: new analytical approaches

2018 – Democratising Knowledge: Chambers' Illustrated Encyclopedia 1860-1892

2017 – Typewriters and Commerce in Scotland, 1870s-1920s

2017 – The Material Culture of Mass Politics in Scotland, c. 1815 - c. 1914

2017 – Intellectual Properties: Transferring Science from Universities to National Museums Scotland

2017 – The Changing Voice of Science and Technology: Exhibition Labels at the National Museum of Scotland, 1865-2016

2009 – Tibetan Collections in Scottish Museums 1890-1930: A Critical Historiography of Missionary and Military Intent

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