Fully Funded PhD Studentship: Future Proofing the Heritage Value of the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive and Associated Cultural Memories of Team Scotland

University of Stirling

(Funded by the AHRC Sporting Heritage Consortia)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 4 June 2018, 12 noon

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded studentship at the University of Stirling and Commonwealth Games Scotland. This studentship is one of three awards made by the AHRC Sporting Heritage Consortia. The project is full-time, funded for three years and begins in October 2018. It will be supervised by Professor Richard Haynes (Division of Communications, Media and Culture, University of Stirling), Mr Karl Magee (Stirling University Archives), Professor Sian Jones (Division of History and Politics, University of Stirling) and Mr Jon Doig (CEO, Commonwealth Games Scotland).

The proposed Collaborative Doctoral Partnership will investigate the management and ‘future proofing’ of Commonwealth Games heritage in Scotland, including the material culture of the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive. In addition, the research shall actively develop the intangible heritage of Team Scotland through an extensive cultural memory project with former athletes, coaches, administrators, and athlete family members. By investigating the choices made over the heritage value of the CGS Archive and through broadening its reach by capturing cultural memories from past Games, the research will provide valuable and critical knowledge about the purpose and relevance of sport heritage activities in Scotland.

Aims and Objectives

The proposed project aims to:

  • Investigate the purpose and relevance of sport heritage in Scotland through a case study of the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive.
  • Develop a cultural memory project focused on past members and associates of Team Scotland.
  • Examine the practices and processes for future proofing the heritage value of the material and visual cultures of Commonwealth Games Scotland and its 28 member sports.

The proposed project has the following objectives:

  • To examine the heritage value and management of the CGS Archive through a detailed study of its collection.
  • To investigate and catalogue the heritage value of existing and potential archives of relevance to the CGS Archive, whether this be the personal collections of former athletes or of individual sports associations.
  • To initiate, establish and interpret a cultural memory project of Team Scotland through oral history methodologies to create an intangible heritage archive of value for future research and heritage activities associated Commonwealth Games Scotland.
  • To explore the future potential of the CGS Archive and associated collections for future heritage and learning activities in Scotland, in relation to their use in public exhibitions (ie. Hosts and Champions), digital communications (ie. Websites, blogs and social media), educational resources (ie. Fact sheets, digital resources and data), and reminiscence toolkits (ie. Dementia care resources). 

The key benefit of the proposed CDP is the expansion of heritage activity focused on the CGS Archive and associated archives (ie. Sir Peter Heatly, Willie Carmichael and others), as well as providing research evidence and strategic thinking for future proofing heritage policies and processes of CGS and its stakeholders. This will be achieved by the CDP advancing the following:

  • Assisting with a more detailed cataloguing of the CGS and related collections under the supervision of the University Archivist; in particular the large collection of administrative records of the 1986 Edinburgh Games which require appraisal, arrangement and cataloguing.
  • Researching availability and accessibility to further collections held by members and former members of CGS, including administrators, coaches, athletes and their families;
  • Developing a cultural memory project through the existing networks of CGS which will be both a resource for research by the CDP student and others, as well as future heritage activities;
  • Research in the CGS archive and the cultural memory project will enhance the capacity to introduce new themes to the ongoing development of the Hosts and Champions touring exhibition and brand;
  • Providing historical narratives and digital resources for use by CGS on its website to celebrate its heritage, as well as linking in to the heritage activities of the 28 member sport associations through their participation in the Commonwealth Games throughout its history;
  • Assisting CGS in preparation for celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2020;
  • Assisting CGS management in the continued selection, cataloguing and archiving of material and visual culture associated with each Games, which will soon include collections from Gold Coast 2018 and the next Commonwealth Youth Games in 2020.
  • Networking and collaborating with other sport heritage organisations and museums in Scotland, including Sport Heritage Scotland, the Hampden Experience, the British Golf Museum, the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame (National Museums Scotland) and other smaller, more localised holdings of sports heritage.

The student will divide their time between the University of Stirling Archives, where they will work on the CGS collections and the offices of Commonwealth Games Scotland, also located on the University of Stirling campus, where they will support the promotional / social media work of the organisation, bringing additional knowledge and experience of their history and heritage to current activities. The student will also be involved in organising the transfer of material relating to Team Scotland’s participation in Gold Coast 2018 to the University Archives and in drawing up a heritage policy providing guidelines for future collecting and retention of records produced by Commonwealth Games Scotland to ensure the continued preservation of its sporting heritage.

Student Schedule of Research, Training and Monitoring

The student and supervisory team shall meet at least once per month to monitor progress of the project and to set a schedule of work in collaboration with CGS. The supervisory team and the Chief Executive of CGS, Jon Doig, shall meet three times per year to monitor the progression of the project and the CDP student’s research to ensure it is meeting the targets and heritage requirements of the organisation. The University of Stirling has a postgraduate research monitoring system, Research Compass, which provides an opportunity for the student to register and update their progress, monitor supervisory meetings, sign up to research training and skills opportunities and develop a personal development plan.

Impact, Engagement and Outreach

The CDP student will develop and curate events to coincide with key dates in the heritage / sporting calendar including Commonwealth Day (March), Sporting Heritage Day (September) and the Explore Your Archive campaign (November). They will also support the Hosts and Champions exhibition, which continues to tour venues across Scotland. These activities will play a vital role in raising the profile of sporting heritage, promoting its value to heritage professionals, sporting associations and the general public. The oral history element of the project will feed into the wider aims of the Scotland’s Sounds project administered by National Library of Scotland.

Partner Organisation and HEI Supervisory Arrangements

The collaborative nature of this project will provide the student with a unique range of expertise and experience across the academic, heritage and sporting fields. Working with original sporting heritage material in the University Archives will provide hands-on experience learning key heritage skills of conservation, cataloguing, interpretation and exhibition. Working with Commonwealth Games Scotland will provide practical experience of how a major sporting organisation can use its heritage to promote and celebrate its achievements. An insight into the logistical arrangements required to manage a team at a major international sporting event will also be provided through the accessioning of material from Gold Coast 2018 which will be added to the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive during the period of the studentship.

The University of Stirling

The successful candidate will become part of the Stirling Graduate School. More information on the Stirling Graduate School is available here: https://www.stir.ac.uk/graduateschool/

The University of Stirling has a sustained track record of working together with Heritage organisations. Heritage has been identified as one of the strategic priorities of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and of the University.

The proposed project will be placed within the Faculty and the Division of Communications, Media and Culture and its thriving research culture. The doctoral student will join over 100 doctoral students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Stirling and around 25 in CMC. They will have access to advanced training opportunities at Stirling. This includes training in qualitative research methods, research impact, academic networking and career development through the Stirling Graduate School’s annual Postgraduate Skills Week. Stirling also offers regular additional postgraduate training events on academic publication, conference presentation, and project management. The student would also receive support for presenting his or her work at national and international conferences and to benefit from opportunities offered by the Scottish Graduate School in Arts and Humanities. Students will also be eligible for desk space in the Faculty, and the Stirling Graduate School has dedicated facilities for postgraduate students, too.

Commonwealth Games Scotland

Commonwealth Games Scotland is the organisation with responsibility for selecting, preparing and managing Commonwealth Sport in Scotland. CGS represents the 28 governing bodies of Commonwealth Games sports in Scotland, and is itself one of seventy-one members of the Commonwealth Games Federation, the international parent body for the Games. CGS is based on the campus of the University of Stirling, and its archive is held in the special collections of Stirling University Archives. The collection covers a period of 88 years, with thousands of letters, memoranda, minutes, publications, artefacts, film and press clippings that document the activities of the Commonwealth Games movement, its philosophy, organisation and mission. This collection now includes artefacts and publications from Glasgow 2014 and will collect material from Gold Coast 2018 with the support of Commonwealth Games Scotland. Stirling University also holds the private papers of Sir Peter Heatly (former President of the Commonwealth Games Federation), Willie Carmichael (former Manager of the Scotland Team and Director of the 1970 Edinburgh Games) and Douglas Brown (Honorary Secretary and Honorary Life Vice President of Commonwealth Games Scotland and Honorary Secretary of Scottish Swimming). The CDP will provide much needed support and research for CGS in their commitment to conserving and celebrating their heritage which is part of their mission as a multi-sport organisation. The project will also connect with the Scottish Government’s continuing policy to encourage broader cultural legacies following Glasgow 2014, and its strategies for diversity and inclusiveness in sport and heritage across Scotland and beyond. 

Prior qualifications 

Applicants should have a very good undergraduate qualification and a relevant Masters degree in history or contemporary history, archive/heritage studies, history of sport, or a related field. They will have some experience of relevant research methods (but note that research training is a key part of the studentship). Applicants without a Masters qualification should include with their application a 1-page statement outlining the specifically relevant skills, experience and knowledge they have gained beyond undergraduate degree level, that could be considered equivalent to Masters study.

Funding details

This award is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through the Sporting Heritage Consortia. Subject to AHRC eligibility criteria, the studentship will cover Home/EU tuition fees. For those settled in the UK, it also covers a stipend towards living expenses. The value for the stipend in 2018/19 is £14,777 per annum plus a £550 additional stipend payment.


Applicants must be a resident of the UK or the European Economic Area (EEA).

There are residence requirements for research council funding for postgraduate research. These are based on the Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007 and subsequent amendments. Normally to be eligible for a full award a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship (with some further constraint regarding residence for education).

To be eligible for a fees-only award:

The award is subject to the Research Councils UK eligibility requirements, listed under Terms and Conditions of Research Council Training Grants at www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/grantstcs/ (UK and EU student residency requirements are detailed on p. 11). Applications cannot be accepted from students liable to pay fees at the Overseas rate.

Students from EU countries other than the UK are generally eligible for a fees-only award. To be eligible for a fees-only award, a student must be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU; in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK.

The UK Government confirmed on 21 April 2017 that Research Council studentships (including AHRC studentships awarded through the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities) remain open to EU students starting courses in academic year 2018 to 2019, and that the funding support will cover the duration of their course, even if the UK leaves the EU.

Candidates must fulfil the admissions criteria for PhD degrees at the University of Stirling and be able to demonstrate that they have met them: https://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/research-degrees/.

The application 

Applicants should submit:

  • a summary curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • an example of recent academic writing (e.g., MSc/MLitt/MRes chapter or undergraduate dissertation)
  • a short statement (1 page) outlining your qualification for the studentship, and initial thoughts on how you would approach the project
  • the names and contact details of two academic referees

Please submit your application via email to fahgs@stir.ac.uk. Applications will close 4 June 2018 at noon. Please ensure your referees are able to provide (on request, via email) an academic reference by 11 June 2018, 5pm.

Interviews will be held on 20 June 2018 at the University of Stirling.