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Queen Victoria sculptureApplications are invited for a full-time PhD (via MPhil route) studentship related to the project Fashioning Victoria: curating the royal image for dynasty, nation and empire, a collaboration between the University of Warwick and Historic Royal Palaces.

The PhD will be supervised by Professor Michael Hatt (University of Warwick) and Dr. Joanna Marschner (Historic Royal Palaces), and is funded by the University of Warwick and HRP through the WCPRS (Warwick Collaborative Postgraduate Research Scholarhips) scheme.  

The studentship is tenable for up to 3.5 years full-time, subject to satisfactory progress, and will cover the cost of tuition fees at UK/EU rates (£4,270 in 2018/19) and an annual maintenance grant (£14,553 per annum at 2018/19 rates). The studentship will commence in October 2018. 

The Project:

The PhD project is related to Fashioning Victoria: curating the royal image for dynasty, nation and empire, a major research collaboration between the History of Art department at Warwick and Kensington Palace. The project explores Queen Victoria’s curation of her own image, and the consequence of this for monarchy, nation and empire from the nineteenth century to the present. The project will bring to light Victoria’s own agency in self-fashioning, and so challenge the orthodox view of her as detached from public life and the political shaping of monarchy. It will also address how the legacy of her image and its circulation can be curated in the post-colonial world.  

This interdisciplinary PhD will use the collections at Kensington Palace to explore aspects of Victoria’s radical re-thinking of royal image in order to develop the so-called ‘feminised monarchy’ in an age of public media. Collections include sculpture, dress, and representations of these objects in photography, painting and sculpture. The PhD may also consider the site itself, since Kensington Palace is where Victoria was born, where she became queen, and where she shaped her legacy, for instance, in ceremonial and court culture, or in the museum established at the palace towards the end of her life . 

The student will be based in the collections at Kensington Palace. As part of the project team, you will not only undertake your own research, but will also gain the experience of working on a multi-institutional project. As part of the project team, you will become familiar with developing impact and public engagement activities, including the digital curating project that Fashioning Victoria will develop. At Warwick, there will be additional opportunities for training through CADRE, the Doctoral Training Centre in Warwick’s Faculty of Arts. Thus, this studentship will be an ideal training for developing a career in a university, museum, or heritage organisation.


Candidates should ideally have a First Class Honours degree and a distinction-level Masters degree or equivalent in History, History of Art, or another relevant field.

Applications are welcome from students from the UK and the EU. International fees status students may apply, but would need to be able to self-fund the difference in fees (£12,780 per annum at 2018/19 rates).

How to Apply:

Eligible candidates should submit applications for this studentship to Professor Michael Hatt (

Your application should include:

  • a cover letter of no more than 1000 words detailing how you might approach the PhD topic, and the skills and experience you would bring to the project
  • a current CV

  • a transcript of qualifications to date (and anticipated results if you are still studying for your MA)

  • letters of reference from two referees

  • a writing sample (either an essay or MA dissertation)

In addition you will be required to submit an application to study via the university’s online application system at:

Please make it clear in your online application that you are applying for the Fashioning Victoria studentship.


The deadline for applications is July 16, 2018. Interviews will be held on July 30, 2018. The successful candidate will commence the studentship on 1 October 2018.

For any inquiries related to this PhD studentship, please contact Professor Michael Hatt (