PhD Studentship - Researching and Communicating North Highland Pasts: The North Coast 500 Studentship

University of the Highlands and Islands - University of the Highlands and Islands, Centre for History


Dr Iain J. M. Robertson

Dr David Worthington

Funding Status: Directly Funded Project

Application Deadline: Monday 7th May 2018, 5.00pm UK time

The North Coast 500 initiative has transformed tourism across large parts of the Scottish Highlands; however user feedback indicates a strong but largely unfulfilled desire for knowledge of Highland history and heritage.

NC500 aims to address this through the development of an online digital application for those who follow its itineraries, either online or on-road. Working with NC500, this PhD will engage with this aim in three distinct ways.

First, the student will coordinate the documentation of the heritage sites, landscapes and objects; the stories from the past associated with them and the new histories people make en-route, forming  the app’s raw material.

Second, the student will spend a considerable proportion of their time based in the Inverness offices of NC500, taking a central role in co-ordinating research and design efforts, investigating and fully participating in the process of creating this heritage tourism app.

Finally, the student will turn the project in on itself to reflect on, and critically engage with, the processes of making public history in a commercial environment and with external stakeholders.

In drawing these strands together the student will work closely with the NC500, regional heritage organisations and experts in heritage management, modern, early modern and medieval Highland history from the Centre for History at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

The successful candidate will have a familiarity and comfort with interdisciplinary methodologies particularly around digital humanities and public history/heritage in order to address the project’s key issues:

  • The role of the digital humanities in heritage tourism and place representation;
  • The nature and role of the public academic;
  • The relationship between heritage tourism, public history and the digital humanities.

Through the collection, co-production and public presentation of narratives of the past, the overall aim is the development of a digital learning tool and online collection which will be placed at the heart of NC500’s heritage practice and tourism offer and will support sustainable heritage tourism, interpretation strategies and community engagement curation.

More information is available here

Funding Notes

This studentship is funded by the European Social Fund and Scottish Funding Council as part of Developing Scotland’s Workforce in the Scotland 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Fund Programme.

The studentship covers fees at the Home/EU rate only, plus a stipend at the RCUK level, for a total of 42 months (including writing-up).

Funding is available for students worldwide, however non UK/EU students will be liable for the difference between home/EU and international fees.  

Students must be domiciled in the Highlands and Islands transition region during the course of their study to be eligible for funding.

The project is expected to start on 1 October 2018.

Applicants must possess a minimum of an Honours degree at 2:1 and/or a Master’s Degree (or International equivalent) in a relevant subject.

To apply please complete the standard application form, attaching supporting documentation and send to:

Informal project specific enquiries can be made to: Dr Iain Robertson,  (01847) 889628


Project specific enquiries: Dr Iain Robertson,  (01847) 889628

General enquiries: Graduate School Office (01463 279 241,

Application Web Page

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