King’s College London and the University of Birmingham offers PhD studentship of one to three years research project. The research topic is ‘People, products, pests and pets: the discursive representation of animals‘ (Leverhulme)

Worth of award

The successful applicant will receive an annual maintenance grant of £13,590 and an annual contribution of £3,828 towards payment of their fees. (The annual fee for 2013-14 is £3,925.)


Successful applicant must have completed Master’s study with a research training component at the time of beginning their PhD. However, applicants who are currently working towards completion of a relevant Master’s programme may be eligible to apply.

You will have very good undergraduate and Master’s degrees in relevant disciplines, e.g. English Language, Applied Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics. Only UK home and EU students not already reading for a PhD are eligible

Research requirement

The PhD student will use corpus analytic techniques to investigate ways in which animals have been represented in English discourse in the previous two centuries.

The research will entail the collection and analysis of a diachronic corpus of texts, working in liaison with the project team and under the supervision of Dr Alison Sealey and Dr Mel Evans.

Intensive participation is expected from student in the main study during their first year, followed by more independent study in the following years.

The precise focus of the research will be negotiated with the best applicant, but potential topics include: the language used in wildlife broadcasts from the earliest examples to 2000; newspaper reports featuring stories about wild / domestic / farmed animals 1800 – 2000; archival texts from organisations represented in the main project, such as the RSPCA, from its inception in 1824 to 2000.

How to apply:

Informal enquiries are welcome and can be made to Dr Alison Sealey, project Co-Investigator.

Applicants are asked to apply directly to Dr Alison Sealey via email. The successful candidate will be asked to apply formally to the University’s Graduate School after selection.

They are to send hard and electronic copies of the documents listed below to Dr Alison Sealey, Department of English, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT.

CV including undergraduate and MA/MPhil educational history with degree and exam results, and any awards; special skills or experience (e.g. language proficiency, other relevant expertise); and publications (if any).

One A4 side only, describing their preparation and qualification for, and interest in, this studentship.

A sample of their post-graduate academic writing (up to 3000 words), or a short academic publication.

A proposal of not more than 2500 words, outlining the PhD research which they would undertake within the parameters of the Birmingham studentship for this project as described in the summary.

In addition, applicants need to supply two letters of reference, one of which should be from a tutor on their postgraduate course, preferably their dissertation supervisor. They are to ask their referees to send their letters directly by email to [email protected] by that date.

Deadline: application closes on July 12, 2013, Interviews will be conducted during July.

Click here for details, and to apply. 

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