Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
The University of Southampton
Archaeology Part of Humanities

Applications are invited for a SMMI Doctoral Award focusing on HMS Victory after the Battle of Trafalgar.

Published: 12 March 2015

Applications are invited for a Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute Doctoral Award hosted by the Faculties of Humanities at the University of Southampton. The project will focus on HMS Victory after the Battle of Trafalgar.

This project will chart the history of Victory after Trafalgar, looking at the place of Victory in narratives of navy, nation and empire in the years after her active service, how the ship became a national heritage site as well as the challenges of presenting Victory to twenty-first-century British audiences. This will involve a study of the ship itself, but it will also involve a careful consideration of the various meanings attached to it, in the past and in the present.

Victory has come to symbolise a certain type of British patriotism, bound up with ideas of national greatness and naval mastery. Part of this project will seek to understand the history of this iconic status. The project will also be about the preservation and presentation of this ship. How has Victory changed physically over time? What are the current challenges of preserving the oldest commissioned flagship in the world and of making sense of this relic for a multicultural and international audience in the twenty-first century?

The student will be a member of one of the foremost research intensive universities in the UK and will be supervised by world leading scholars. The student will be registered at the University of Southampton and supervised by Dr Christer Petley in the Discipline of History with support from Professor Jon Adams in Archaeology and from Dr Dominic Hudson and Dr Jon Downes in Ship Science. Research, for the project will cut across disciplines – analysing texts and material culture as well as making sense of the structure of Victory. Ample opportunities will be provided for training and career development.

Required: at least a high 2:1 honours degree and an MA (or equivalent) in History or the related discipline of Maritime Archaeology. Candidates without an MA but with relevant experience will also be considered and are encouraged to apply.

Desirable: Working knowledge of archival research; understanding of British social and cultural history; familiarity with the history of heritage and museology; openness to interdisciplinarity and the exploration of connections between ship science, archaeology and history.

The studentship is tenable for three years. A full stipend at RCUK-level will be provided, and all fees will be paid. There will be some limited funds for training.

For further details of the project contact

Closing date: 13th April 2015

Application for the studentship is by CV; a sample of written work (5,000 word max); and covering letter, explaining why you feel you are suitable for this research project.

Please also arrange for two academic references to be sent independently by the deadline. All material should be sent to

Shortlisted candidates will be required to undertake a 1500 word proposal challenge by 27th April and will be invited to interview, by Skype or conference call if necessary. It is anticipated that interviews will take place in late April/early May 2015.

Privacy Settings