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PhD Studentship: Mosslands in Early Modern Lancashire: Carbon, Community and Conservation, 1500-1800 (Fully-funded ESRC CASE Award)

The University of Manchester - School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Manchester
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Full Home/EU fees and stipend at UKRI rate (£14,777 p.a.)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 25th January 2019
Closes: 25th February 2019

Project title: Mosslands in early modern Lancashire: carbon, community and conservation, 1500-1800 (Fully-funded ESRC CASE award)

Anticipated start date for project: Monday 16 September 2019

Closing date for applications: Monday 25 February 2019

Information about the project:

A full-time, fully-funded PhD research studentship is available from September 2019 on the project ‘Mosslands in early modern Lancashire: carbon, community and conservation, 1500-1800’.

This PhD project will explain the historical decline of mossland landscapes in the North West and contribute to the restoration and reintroduction work of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. Mosslands are wetland peat landscapes that are the second largest carbon stores on Earth, and are home to unique species of flora and fauna. Despite their ecological value, the UK’s mosslands now cover just 3% of their historic maximum. By producing a history of these mosslands before industrialisation, this project will provide vital historical data to underpin ongoing conservation and restoration work, will demonstrate the historical and cultural value of mosslands, and will explain their role in the transition to an industrial fossil-fuel economy.

The project will focus around three core strands:

  • From peat to coal: energy transformations and the industrial revolution
  • Governing the commons: managing peat as a fragile common-pool resource
  • Creating a carbon landscape: the historic characters of a changing mossland environment

The studentship is a collaboration between historians at the University of Manchester and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT). The student will be required to work at both the University, and on-site at the LWT office and reserves, including Astley Moss, and Cadishead and Little Woolden Moss. The student will work with the LWT to present their findings to the public.


Dr John Morgan (University of Manchester), Prof Sasha Handley (University of Manchester), and Mike Longden (Lancashire Wildlife Trust)


NWSSDTP ESRC CASE ( The successful applicant will be required to submit a full application for a PhD in History, at the University of Manchester, with the support of the supervisors.

Qualifications applicants should have/expected to receive:

Candidates must have a good undergraduate honours degree at first or upper second class level and a suitable master’s degree at Merit level or above (or appropriate progress towards a master’s degree at Merit level or above), in History or a related discipline.

Amount of funding available and eligibility: Full Home/EU fees and stipend at UKRI rate (£14,777 p.a.)

Nationality restriction: Due to funding availability, the studentship is open to Home/EU students only. Candidates must meet the eligibility criteria set out in the NWSSDTP +3 and +2 Application Guidance document available at

Contact for further information: For further information about the project, and all enquiries, please contact Dr John Morgan, Lecturer in Early Modern History

How to apply:

Applicants should email the following to by Monday 25 February 5pm GMT:

  • An academic CV (max. 2 pages), including two named referees (one of whom should be your most recent academic tutor/supervisor)
  • A copy of your first degree and Master’s degree transcripts (or anticipated grade if masters is on-going)
  • A letter of application (not exceeding two pages) outlining your suitability for the CASE studentship and how you would anticipate approaching the research.

Please note, the successful candidate will be required to submit an online application for a place on the PhD History programme based on the project brief by Thursday 7 March 5pm GMT, with the support of the supervisors.

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