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Now Hiring

PhD Studentship, Department of History, University of Warwick

Full-time (3.5 years)

Desired starting date: Autumn Term 2019 / Winter Term 2020

Deadline for receipt of application materials: 2 September 2019

Today, the idea that fake drugs threaten global health has become almost common-sensical. Often, these concerns are voiced in relation to how, for example, Africans’ already poor health is further imperiled by fake Indian drugs. Yet a close look at the scientific literature behind these claims reveals unexpectedly weak evidence. The project “What’s at stake in the fake?” responds to this puzzle by critically re-examining our collective common-sense about fake drugs and global health. Initial research suggests that worries about fake drugs are strongly rooted in social, and not just pharmacological, relations. When the world’s supply of life-saving drugs is beset by worries about safety, governments and citizens face difficult decisions about how to allocate scarce resources. This project’s historical and ethnographic enquiries seek to understand the emergence and circulation of worries about fake drugs for global health, as well as to understand these worries’ effects.

This PhD will investigate any aspect of the larger project, in line with the interests and expertise of the student researcher. We anticipate that the student will make use of archival records located across the globe as well as oral history interviews.


The PhD will be supervised by Professor Sarah Hodges (Department of History, University of Warwick). The successful candidate will also benefit from being part of a dynamic international research team of anthropologists, historians and global health experts based in the UK, India, South Africa, Tanzania and the Netherlands. The selected student will be expected to participate in the project’s regular international project team meetings.


The studentship will cover fees (full time) and a stipend.

Successful applicants normally will have achieved at least a 2:i or equivalent in an undergraduate degree and will be working towards or have completed a master’s qualification (or similar postgraduate qualification) with Distinction.

The stipend rate for full-time students in 2019/20 will be matched to the Research Council Doctoral Stipend rate, which is £14,777 for 2018/19 and will increase each year in line with the GDP deflator.

How to apply

To apply, please send your CV, writing sample (of not more than 10,000 words) and cover letter outlining your suitability for the project and detailing the ways in which you would like to address the themes of the project to Sarah Hodges (

Your application should be accompanied by two academic letters of reference from those acquainted with your university career to be sent by email to the same address

Informal inquiries are warmly encouraged. Direct these to Professor Sarah Hodges (