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AHRC Studentship - 'The CIA and American Foreign Policy'

Fully Funded AHRC Studentship 2008  

Department of Politics and International Studies

'The CIA and American Foreign Policy'

The Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) invites applications for one AHRC Postgraduate Research Studentship to support three years of doctoral research at the University of Warwick.

This fully funded studentship is available to start in October 2008, in the internationally renowned Department of Politics and International Studies. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Home/EU applicants only are eligible for this funding

This doctoral research will form an integral part of a recent AHRC award to the project - 'Landscapes of Secrecy: The Central Intelligence Agency and the contested record of US foreign policy, 1947-2001' (AH/F018444/1). This is joint project running at the Universities of Nottingham and Warwick under Professor Matthew Jones and Professor Richard J. Aldrich respectively.

Project Description

The project is organised into three main 'strands'. The first focuses on the struggle over the appearance of the CIA in the State Department's respected series of published historical documents. A high profile battle between academics, the State Department and  the CIA prompted legislative intervention by Congress in 1991. Thereafter, the CIA developed its own 'forward strategy' in the field of history, including a large on-site museum.

The second strand constitutes an analysis of the production and role of CIA memoirs by retired CIA officers. More than ninety CIA memoirs have been published. Because of the uneven nature of primary historical documentation concerning the intelligence, memoirs have exercised a disproportionate influence upon the construction of CIA history. Controversially, some retirees  published 'renegade' memoirs that were uncensored.

The third strand explores the realm of 'spy-faction', or lightly fictionalized accounts of real events, together with film and fiction. This popular form of CIA 'history' has achieved a wide reception as the result of transfer to the cinema screen. The CIA now co-operates with film companies to enhance their 'reality' and recently assisted with the film 'The Good Shepherd'.

Research Studentship: Strand Three

The successful candidate will focus on this third strand and will be supervised by Professor Richard J. Aldrich in PAIS. In addition to pursuing their own doctoral research, the holder of the award will form part of a five-person research team and join in a range of activities to promote research on the study of intelligence and on American foreign policy.

The successful candidate should have an interest in the representation of American foreign policy in film, fiction and 'faction'. They should also have an interest in the study of intelligence agencies. They should be trained broadly in one or more of the disciplines of American Studies, English Literature, Film Studies, Contemporary International History or International Studies.

The studentship will be highly competitive. Successful candidates should have obtained at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) from a recognised institution of higher education before 31 July 2008. The possession of a MA in a relevant discipline would also be an advantage, as would some pre-existing knowledge of the United States. Applicants should have the requisite standard of English language would be useful. The studentship includes for three years:

The payment of academic fees; An AHRC standard maintenance stipend (£12,940 for full-time award holders in 2008/2009); Within the associated research project there is also funding for appropriate research visits to the United States.

Application Procedure

Interested candidates are encouraged in the first instance to contact directly Professor Aldrich( for informal discussions about their suitability and research plans. Formal applications should be made by sending a completed copy of the University of Warwick application form, two references, and academic transcript to Professor Aldrich. A sample of previous work, ideally a copy of the BA or MA dissertation, would also be helpful. This should be sent to

Professor Richard J Aldrich,

Department of Politics and International Studies,

Social Science Building,

University of Warwick,

Coventry CV4 7AL.

In addition, and separately, candidates should also make the normal formal application for a doctoral place at Warwick through the University of Warwick’s Graduate School. (

The deadline for applications for the studentship is Friday 8 August 2008. Results will be made known at the end of August. The studentship will commence in late September 2008.

Entry is for the academic year 2008/09, ideally in October 2008, but slightly later entry isnegotiable. For more information about PAIS and postgraduate research, please consult: