Annual PhD Scholarships
The Society provides annual scholarships which fund postgraduates studying for a PhD in architectural history at a United Kingdom university. Applicants must be intending to study full-time (but may be converting from part-time). Funding will be directed to students on the basis of recognised financial need as well as merit. Applicants should not be in receipt of any other award, but exceptional cases will be considered.
The full Terms & Conditions of the PhD Scholarships can be found here.
As of the 2017-2018 academic year, the SAHGB Scholars will receive £14,533 p.a. and free membership of the Society whilst in receipt of the award. The only restriction on applicants is that they must be studying full-time at a British university, or intending to study full-time, but they can apply at any stage of their research when scholarships are advertised. Reports on our PhD scholars, past and present, will be a feature of future issues of the society’s new magazine, The Architectural Historian. The scholarship is tenable a maximum of three years, renewable subject to satisfactory academic performance and to the Society’s finances.
For the 2016-2017 PhD Scholarship, the Society received twenty-five high quality applications despite the short notice given thanks to an unexpected availability of funds. Topics ranged from antiquity to the contemporary and embraced a wide variety of methodologies.
Current Scholarship holders:
Sam Grinsell, University of Edinburgh (scholarship awarded 2016)
'British Imperial Architecture of the Nile Valley, 1880s-1920s’
This project will analyse the relationship between architecture, the environment and imperialism during the early period of British control in Egypt and Sudan. The Nile was central to the British imagination of the region and also presented particular challenges to those trying to build near it: for example, soil that was generally dry but became saturated during flood season. The ways in which poorly resourced officials dealt with such challenges can present us with a new understanding of the construction of imperial space. In order to take a full view of this process, the work of architects, planners and the construction industry as an integrated whole will be considered, moving beyond the usual separation of architectural, urban and labour histories.
Sydney Ayers, University of Edinburgh (scholarship awarded 2015)
‘Beyond “Genius”: the reputation, reception and afterlife of Robert Adam’
Sydney’s dissertation seeks the challenge the idea of ‘genius’ as applied to the eighteenth-century British architect Robert Adam, by exploring how Adam entered the British architectural canon and how he remains there today. This study will examine Adam’s reputation and reception, both in his life time and posthumously; and will be accomplished by looking at several different aspects, including: Adam’s patrons and networks, his death and funerary practices, the representation of Adam in portraiture, the development of biography, and the beginnings of architectural history writing.
Horatio Joyce, University of Oxford (scholarship awarded 2015)
'New York Clubland: a social and architectural history, 1880-1910'
Horatio's work examines the Gilded Age clubhouses of New York City designed by the firm of McKim, Mead & White. Clubs were an English institution widely adopted by the American upper classes at the end of the nineteenth century and yet the subject remains largely unexamined. The outcome of his research promises new insights into a neglected building and the working practices of McKim, Mead & White.
Karey Draper, University of Cambridge (scholarship awarded 2015)
'Beyond the Nissen hut: the development and longevity of temporary wartime buildings in twentieth century Britain'
Karey's research will provide a survey of all temporary wartime buildings designed in the UK during the 20th century, nearly sixty of these developed during the Second World War. These buildings, though intended for temporary use, have proven to have extreme longevity and can still be found all over Britain. Her work will present a framework for designation and listing, and will serve as a tool for historians to use in the field for identification of wartime buildings.
Recently completed Scholarship recipients:
Sophie Dentzer, Courtauld Institute of Art (scholarship awarded 2013)
‘Decorative Vaulting in 14th Century England’
Sophie is studying decorative vaulting in fourteenth-century England, concentrating on those gothic vaults built upon Romanesque elevations such as Malmesbury and Pershore abbeys, as well as the use of timber decorated vaults in important buildings such as York Minster and Exeter Cathedral - with the aim of learning more about the gothic design process and its relationship to the medieval liturgy.
Mark Baker, University of Cardiff (scholarship awarded 2011)
‘Welsh Country Houses; “Architecture in Wales” or “Architecture of Wales?”’
This is a rather neglected subject and Mark concentrated on how the differing legal system and associated customs in Wales, such as the prominence of gavelkind and female inheritance, had an impact on country house design. His researches have recently discovered a medieval deer park of native Welsh princes adjoining the derelict Plas Brynhir manor house in Gwynedd.
David Lewis, St. John's College, Oxford (scholarship awarded 2011)
'The work and architectural thought of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott'
David recently finished the DPhil in November at Oxford University, researching Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, well known as the designer of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and Battersea Power Station. David has presented a paper at a symposium organised by the Yale Centre for British Art, published a paper and reviews, and very recently helped organise a conference at Oxford University on British Architecture between the Wars. He is now a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Yale Center for British Art, based in New Haven, but he spends about a month each year in the UK researching and attending conferences.
Education & Research
As well as a substantial bequest from the estate of Jonathan Vickers, and contributions from our members and English Heritage, the PhD Scholarships have been generously supported by the Barnsbury Charitable Trust, the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, the Drake Trust, the Ernest Cook Trust, the Follett Trust, the Thriplow Charitable Trust, CHK Charities Limited, and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.
The Society is most grateful for this support.
The H.B. Allen Charitable Trust