Graduate School

The BSECS Edinburgh PhD Scholarship in Enlightenment Identities

The British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (BSECS), and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology (HCA) and Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) are delighted to announce a PhD studentship with stipend in Enlightenment Identities at the University of Edinburgh.

HCA British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Logo

Applicants may apply for the PhD in History or PhD in History of Art, and we welcome applications with cross-disciplinary research proposals. We are particularly interested in approaches to identity that address histories of race, ethnicity, and sexuality during the long eighteenth century.

Application deadline 21 June 2021 (23:59 GMT), start date September 2021.


The British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Scholarship is tenable for 3 years, commencing in September 2021, with a stipend of £15,580 (21/22), £16,000 (22/23) and £16,500 (23/24). The scholarship covers tuition fees at the home rate.

Within one calendar month of admission and one calendar month of each Annual Review, the successful candidate will submit a short (500-word) discussion of their current research to the President of the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, for possible inclusion in the Society’s communications to members.

The successful candidate will be invited but not required to apply to attend every BSECS conference during the PhD.


This PhD scholarship is open only to students who qualify for UK tuition rates, and who meet the requirements of the PhD programmes in History (at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology) or History of Art (at the Edinburgh College of Art).


Applicants for these awards must meet the usual entry requirements for the degree programmes that are linked to this scholarship, and shortlisted candidates will be asked to apply to the University of Edinburgh through the normal application procedure. The PhD programmes that must be applied for are the History PhD programme or the History of Art PhD programme.


Applicants are required to:

Provide two letters of support, one from a former academic supervisor and another one member of academic research in HCA or ECA, who will agree in principle to act as supervisor or co-supervisor;

Submit a short (1000-word) research proposal that explains how and why this PhD engages with “Enlightenment Identities,” including racial, sexual, and/or gender identities, to which the letter/s of support will refer. The proposal should refer to research materials held within Edinburgh or which are uniquely accessible through the University of Edinburgh. The applicant should consult the guidance and recommendations provided by the Royal Historical Society’s Report on Race and Ethnic Equality, Gender Equality in UK and on LGBTQ+ Histories and Historians.

Complete the provided document below agreeing that they understand the eligibility criteria.


All materials should be sent to HCA Graduate School Office (, with Subject line “PhD in Enlightenment Identities.”

Candidates will be invited to interview, which will take place online. 

If you have any academic enquiries about the project please contact Dr Adam Budd at HCA ( and/or Prof Viccy Coltman at ECA ( For application queries please contact Agata Paluba (

Deadline for applications: Monday 21 June 2021, 23:59 GMT.