College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Country houses research inspires medal success

An Edinburgh student has received a prestigious medal for insightful research into representations of national identity in 18th-century Scottish country houses

Robertson Medal

Emma Olver, a PhD scholar in the History of Art has been awarded the Robertson Medal for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

Emma graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2017 with a First Class honours in History of Art and received a Distinction in her MA in Decorative Arts and Historic Interiors from the University of Buckingham.

Emma’s understanding of historic buildings has been further developed through working at historic properties, including Apsley House, Chiswick House and Gardens and Kensington Palace in London, and a position at the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust. 

Outstanding scholarship

The silver medal was awarded in an online ceremony led by the Trust’s Chair, Professor Dame Anne Glover.

Also attending was the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Peter Mathieson.

The medal recognises Emma’s outstanding application of scholarship across the disciplines of arts, humanities and social sciences.

Professor Viccy Coltman from History of Art and John Lowrey at Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) are supervising Emma’s PhD.

I feel honoured to have been chosen for both the Carnegie PhD scholarship and this medal from among all the other talented applicants. Scottish country houses and their interiors are an area that has been remarkably understudied. I am very much looking forward to discovering more about these fascinating buildings.

Emma OlverRobertson Medal winner

Each year we commemorate the 40 years of service by Sir Lewis Robertson to the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland by awarding the Robertson Silver Medal to a truly outstanding Carnegie PhD scholar.  This year we are delighted to award the medal to Emma Olver and are very pleased that she joins our Carnegie community.

Professor Dame Anne GloverChair of the Carnegie Trust

The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland supports staff and students of the universities of Scotland in a number of ways. It provides a limited number of scholarships for graduates with First Class honours degrees to undertake research leading to a PhD.

Emma’s work was chosen from entries submitted by 13 scholars awarded Carnegie PhD scholarships by the Trust.

Sir Lewis Robertson, an eminent industrialist and administrator, is a past Chairman of the Trust, the Robertson Medal was introduced in 2003 to mark his 40 years of service to the Trust.

History of Art 

The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland