PhD Studentship: Making the Invisible Visible in the Contemporary Art Museum

Tate and UCL Institute of Archaeology invite applications from eligible candidates for a full-time collaborative PhD studentship, funded for 3 years by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, to commence in January 2019.

The proposed doctoral research aims to bring new theoretical perspectives to questions about visible and invisible practices in the contemporary art museum. Focusing on the pioneering practice of the Collection Care and Conservation teams at Tate, the research will problematise the proposition that opening up the currently invisible processes of the museum affords greater transparency which in turn promotes greater inclusivity. The doctorate will therefore develop new thinking about the implications and impact, including the potential benefits and pitfalls, of making visible the work of the museum that is usually hidden to a general audience. The research will offer a critique of current and historic ways in which hitherto hidden processes have been revealed and provide opportunities to explore new approaches.

Entry criteria

Potential applicants must have a Master’s degree with an overall grade of 70% or better, with at least 70% in the dissertation.

Applicants may come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. sociology, political theory, museum studies, media and communication studies, archaeology, anthropology, cultural studies, conservation, social psychology), but it is expected that the successful candidate will be able to clearly explain the relationship between their existing training and the topic of the studentship, and indicate how their present research interests relate to the proposed topic area. Applicants who have experience of working in the field would be particularly welcome.


The award is subject to the AHRC’s terms, to which applicants should refer before applying (see the Research Funding Guide). The studentship is funded through the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership programme, and includes tuition fees up to the standard Home/EU amount and an annual maintenance grant. The doctoral stipend for 2018/19 has been set as £14,777. Note that overseas students are not eligible for AHRC awards (except under specific circumstances) and EU students need to assess whether they are eligible for fees and maintenance or fees only.


Closing date for applications: 12 November 2018

Interview date: 27 November 2018