PhD Studentship: AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) studentship – Decorated Pebbles: Life on the Rocks

University of Bristol

The project:

The University of Bristol, and Amgueddfa Cymru –Museum Wales are pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded studentship [from October 2023] under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme.

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic saw a trend to collect, decorate and display pebbles in public places. As time has passed pebbles have been gathered by communities to form memorials to those who died during the pandemic. The research will explore these trends and see how pebbles have been used to express human experience through time and will offer a multi-disciplinary perspective on how affective, sensory and creative connections with the natural world play a role in well-being when life itself comes under threat.

The successful candidate will be eligible to participate in CDP Cohort Development events. All new CDP students will be expected to attend the CDP Student Launch Event at the British Museum.

Candidate requirements: 

Applicants should ideally have or expect to receive a relevant Masters-level qualification, and/or be able to demonstrate equivalent experience in a professional setting. Suitable disciplines are flexible, but might include Anthropology or Archaeology.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate an interest in the museum sector and potential and enthusiasm for developing skills more widely in related areas.

As a collaborative award, students will be expected to spend time at the University of Bristol, the National Museum Cardiff and St Fagans National Museum of History.


CDP doctoral training grants fund full-time studentships for 45 months (3.75 years) or part-time equivalent. The studentship has the possibility of being extended for an additional 3 months to provide professional development opportunities, or up to 3 months of funding may be used to pay for the costs the student might incur in taking up professional development opportunities.     

The student is eligible to receive an additional travel and related expenses grant during the course of the project courtesy of Amgueddfa Cymru –Museum Wales worth up to £350 per year for 3.75 years (45 months).


For queries related to the application process, please contact the Faculty of Arts Postgraduate Research Admissions Team [email protected] .

For further information on the project, applicants should contact Professor Graeme Were [email protected] or Dr Elizabeth Walker [email protected] .

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