The Society of Authors - fully funded studentship available

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Fully-funded PhD studentship at the Institute of English Studies

The Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London invites applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to begin in October 2020. The studentship forms part of the Leverhulme Trust funded project ‘The Society of Authors, 1884-1914: Professional Association and Literary Property’.


The Studentship

‘The Society of Authors, 1884-1914’ is a collaborative project between the University of Leeds, the Institute of English Studies, and Kings College London. Led by Dr Richard Salmon (Leeds), the project examines the formation and early history of the Incorporated Society of Authors, founded in 1884 by the novelist Walter Besant (and continuing in existence to this day). The project will be the first academic study to conduct sustained research on the Society’s large unpublished Archive in the British Library, as well as examining its extensive body of published work.

The PhD attached to the project will be based at the Institute of English Studies. Working under the supervision of Dr Andrew Nash (IES) and Professor Clare Pettitt (Kings College London), the researcher will develop a PhD project based primarily on a study of the Society of Authors archive. The project will be focused on two main topics: a qualitative and quantitative study of the Society’s membership over 1884-1914, and a study of its legal casework. (See Further Particulars for more details).

The student will have access to postgraduate skills training in archival research, book history, and digital humanities provided by the Institute of English Studies and the School of Advanced Study, as well as the numerous seminar series, conferences and other events open to graduate students across the University of London. The student will benefit from joining a larger PhD cohort working across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and will be encouraged to participate fully in the postgraduate culture in the Institute and wider federal University.

There will be opportunities to contribute to the Institute’s teaching programmes and to the Graduate Teaching Assistantship scheme at King’s College London. Support will be provided for forward career planning.

The studentship will commence in October 2020 and will last for up to 48 months.

The studentship will cover full tuition fees for 36 months plus a writing-up fee for 12 months at the UK/EU rate. In addition, the studentship will provide a living allowance of £15,309 per year for three years. The student will also have access to additional funding for travel for research and conference participation. Please note that candidates not eligible for UK/EU fees may apply, but will have to pay the difference between home and overseas fees.


The institutions involved in the studentship and the broader research project are fully committed to the principles of equality and diversity and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified or experienced people.

All applicants should meet the standard entrance requirements of the School of Advanced Study, University of London:

Applicants should hold (or expect to receive before October 2020) a Masters-level degree in a relevant field of study.

All applicants should also have at least an Upper Second-Class undergraduate degree or non-UK equivalent (for a guide see

Applicants whose native language is not English must be able to satisfy the English language entry requirements of the University of London. For further guidance see:

Further Particulars
More details can be found here.

How to apply

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 9 June. Please submit the following to Helen Bhandari, Manager of the Institute of English Studies (

  • A covering letter (maximum two pages) outlining your suitability for the studentship
  • A CV (maximum two pages)
  • A sample of academic writing of no more than 4,000 words
  • The names and email addresses of two referees who may be approached for confidential references if an applicant is shortlisted

Your application will be acknowledged upon receipt.

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to attend an interview. The date of interviews will be Wednesday 8 July. The selected candidate will then need to complete a formal application to the PhD programme at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. 

If you would like to discuss the studentship informally, or have any questions about the application process, please contact Dr Andrew Nash (

Equality, diversity and inclusion

The University was founded upon the principles of equality and established to provide education on the basis of merit. Since then we have amended our Statutes to include the following statement from the University of London Statutes:

"The University shall not discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, religion, social background or political belief. (21.1)"