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PhD Studentship: Holocaust Refugees: Working with fragmentary museum collections


UK Other

Closing Date
Friday 09 August 2024


Holocaust Refugees: Working with fragmentary museum collections 

 A collaborative doctoral award between the University of Nottingham and the National Holocaust Centre and Museum

 We are inviting applications for the collaborative doctoral award, which will be jointly supervised by Professor Maiken Umbach of the University of Nottingham's History Department, and Dr Claudia Reese, exhibition curator at the UK National Holocaust Centre and Museum (NHCM), for three years, starting on 1 October 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter. 

 The PhD will explore the NHCM's rich, largely untapped collections of ego-documents – letters, photographs, and artefacts – which have been donated by Jewish survivors who were displaced from their homelands by Nazi persecution, or in the aftermath of the Holocaust. It will focus on the NHCM collections, but also draw on other archives including, but not confined to, materials from the Jewish Museum London, which are currently housed at the University of Nottingham's Manuscripts and Special Collections. The project will ask what insights personal records can offer into the experiences and identities of Jewish refugees, focusing on connecting threads between lives left behind, and new ones built in the UK. It will also explore transnational links. Families and communities were rarely displaced together: some found themselves in different countries after 1945, and many of these sought to maintain ties of family and friendship through the exchange of letters and photographs.

 Beyond contributing to historical knowledge, the PhD will also support the museum's eco-system of constantly refreshed permanent exhibitions, temporary mobile exhibitions, and digital platforms and experiences. All these contribute to NHCM's mission to fight harmful prejudices against Jewish people, especially the misperception that they are alien to British society.

 The award is for full-time study for three years. It will cover home fees, a travel allowance of £3,000 over the three years, and an annual stipend (non-incremental) for each of the three years of £13,688 pa (£41,065 total). The award cannot cover international fees.

 Applicants should have a first degree and an MA in a relevant discipline, such as History, English, or Museum Studies, as well as a good understanding of the Holocaust and Jewish history. Additional language skills are desirable, but not essential. Informal inquiries can be sent to

 Funding applications should be submitted by email to Maiken Umbach (staff) by 5pm on 9 August 2024. A CV and covering letter must be attached. The covering letter should outline the applicant’s motivation and relevant experience. Please also include the name of two referees. Interviews of shortlisted candidates will be conducted by Zoom shortly after this.

 Applicants for funding are also required to have applied for the PhD in History full-time study for three years starting on 1 October 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter, at the University of Nottingham by the funding application deadline of 9 August 2024. Please follow the link below


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