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Mining the Anthropocene: Interrogating Heritage and Nature at Scottish ‘Legacy Site’ Coalfields Studentship Opportunity 2019, UK

Publish Date: Feb 13, 2019

Deadline: Apr 05, 2019

Mining the Anthropocene: Interrogating Heritage and Nature at Scottish ‘Legacy Site’ Coalfields

This studentship is funded by the ESRC through the Scottish Graduate School of the Social Sciences

Project details

Coal played a key role in the Scottish Industrial Revolution, and has employed hundreds of thousands of people. Competition from abroad and new, cheaper energy sources led to spiralling closures at the end of the 20th century, with Scottish Coal, operator of the last six open cast mines in Scotland, entering liquidation in 2013. What remains are challenging ‘carboniferous legacy’ landscapes that are framed, in the midst of a ‘greening’ Scottish economy, as abandoned, toxic and exhausted, and responsibility for which cuts across sectors. This project confronts both the challenge of difficult landscapes, and the ‘silo-thinking’ in academic analyses of former coalfields. It draws together human geography, biogeography, and the participation of the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust (SMRT) to interrogate the planned, and possible, futures of Scottish coalfields. Using a combination of social science methods and environmental Earth science methods the project asks: (1) What are the environmental and social legacies of former coalfield ‘legacy sites’? (2) How can debates in the heritage sector on ruins as public spaces offer insight into the current community engagement practices of the Scottish Opencast Coal Taskforce and the SMRT, and how might these practices be usefully augmented? And (3) How can coalfields be used to evidence and narrate the Anthropocene as a planetary condition, and as an opportunity for renewed understandings of how to live with, as well as on, the Earth? The project will develop a dissemination strategy that focuses on developing evidence-based, future possibilities to an array of stakeholders via a site-based ‘Anthropocene Workshop’ as well as final report, and impactful outreach projects and outputs that take forward debates on the future of mining landscapes in a Green Scotland, and the challenges as well as opportunities involved.

About the institution

The Human Geography Research Group (HGRG) at the University of Glasgow is an expanding community of academic staff, postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate students, with a well-established reputation for geographical research that is theoretically innovative, politically engaged, empirically diverse, and inclusive of a broad range of communities and partnerships. The HGRG is committed to engaging with local communities and broader publics, and to forging transnational solidarities between the Global North and South. Our research practice, whether operating through sustained fieldwork, archive-work or desk-work, enables progressive forms of activism and intervention in daily lives and public campaigns. Our critical analysis is designed to speak back constructively to user-groups and different policy fields (urban, economic and health, for instance). Our creative, engaging research takes shape through collaborations with artists, composers, and curators in exhibition settings, public spaces and contested landscapes.


Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Have a good first degree (at least 2:1) in Geography or an equivalent science/arts and humanities/science subject (applicable for both 1+3 and +3 applicants)
  • Have a Masters degree with ESRC-approved research training (only applicable if applying for +3 funding)
  • Have a grounding in mixed research methods, with experience of these approaches.

Students must meet ESRC eligibility criteria.

Award details

The scholarship is available as a +3 or a 1+3 programme depending on prior research training.  This will be assessed as part of the recruitment process.  The programme will commence in October 2019.  It includes:
  • an annual maintenance grant at the RCUK rate (2018/19 rate £14,777 full-time);
  • fees at the standard Home rate;
  • students can also draw on a pooled Research Training Support Grant, usually up to a maximum of £750 per year.

Other information

All applicants should complete the Supervisor Led Awards Eligibility Checker prior to submitting an application.    

How to apply

  1. All applicants should complete the Supervisor Led Awards Eligibility Checkerprior to submitting an application.
  2. Applicants register on GradHub and fill out EO data (this is a requirement of the application process)
  3. Applicants complete and upload the prescribed list of required documentation to include:
  • Application form
  • Academic transcripts
  • References
  • CV
  • Any other additional questions as specified by the supervising team – this should be uploaded in a standalone document with a naming convention as follows *name/supervisor/institution/competition/date*
  1. Applicants submit application through GradHub
Apply now via GradHub

Selection process

Applications will be ranked by a selection panel and applicants will be notified if they have been shortlisted for interview by mid-April 2019. Interviews will take place sometime during the week commencing 29th April 2019. All scholarship awards are subject to candidates successfully securing admission to an MRes / PhD programme within University of Glasgow. Successful scholarship applicants will be invited to apply for admission to the relevant MRes/PhD programme after they are selected for funding.

Supervisor/Contact details


Prof Deborah Dixon

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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Host Countries

United Kingdom