Aberystwyth University School of Art AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) Studentship with The National Botanic Gardens of Wales

Nature Restoration past and present: changing attitudes to the natural world

Start date: October 2024

Application Deadline: 31st May 2024

Interviews will take place on 25-26th June 2024


Aberystwyth University School of Art and the National Botanic Garden of Wales are pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded Collaborative Doctoral Studentship from October 2024 under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme.

The student will be based at Aberystwyth School of Art and The National Botanic Garden in Carmarthen. There will be opportunities to take part in the programme of CDP Cohort Development events and other activities organized for CDP students by the AHRC, as well as training and development provided by Aberystwyth University and the CDP Welsh Culture and Heritage Consortium.


Project Details 

This AHRC funded PhD scholarship is a unique opportunity for a practice-based fine artist to develop an innovative Art and Science project focused on landscape heritage, nature restoration and biodiversity conservation. Located in the historic landscapes of the Tywi Valley, the project aims to creatively investigate how societal attitudes to nature and landscapes have changed in Wales over time, leading to current concerns regarding the climate and biodiversity crises. Working in collaboration with specialist scientists at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, together with archivists at the National Library of Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru, the research will result in fine art exhibition(s) that aim to enhance public understanding and appreciation of current species decline, landscape depletion and the urgent need to restore nature for the benefit of all. The PhD scholarship will also result in a written thesis of around 30,000 words.

For informal enquiries about the project, please contact Dr Julian Ruddock jur27@aber.ac.uk


Eligibility Criteria

We want to encourage the widest range of potential students to study for a CDP studentship and are committed to welcoming students from different backgrounds to apply.

Applicants should ideally have or expect to receive a relevant Masters-level qualification and/or be able to demonstrate equivalent experience in a professional setting.  Suitable disciplines are flexible, but might include fine art practices of painting, printmaking, photography, film, installation, and drawing etc. Bilingual (Welsh/English) ability is not a requirement for this studentship.

This studentship is open to both Home and International applicants. International applicants will need to demonstrate how they will cover the gap between the studentship and international PGR fees. To be classed as a home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

Further guidance can be found here - https://www.ukri.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/UKRI-030221-Guidance-International-Eligibility-Implementation-training-grant-holders-V2.pdf

The project can be undertaken on a full-time or part time if a UK student.


Studentship Award Details

The AHRC award pays tuition fees up to the value of the full-time home UKRI rate for PhD degrees and full maintenance for all students. The National Minimum Doctoral Stipend for 2024/25 is £19,237 plus a CDP maintenance payment of £600/year. Funding period: 4 years full time, or equivalent part time (subject to confirmation). Placement and development opportunities, to be shaped in collaboration with the successful candidate, will be embedded into this funding period.

The student is also eligible to receive an additional travel and related expenses grant during the course of the project courtesy of the CDP4 Welsh Heritage Consortium worth up to £400 per year for 4 years (48 months).

How to apply

Please make an online application through Aberystwyth University PhD application portal: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/study-with-us/pg-studies/apply/

The application must include the following:

  1. An artist’s statement.
  2. Two references.
  3. A research proposal based on the project remit of around 1000 words, outlining your practice, your previous experience, and your ambitions for the project.
  4. A digital portfolio consisting of around 25 annotated images of previous work.
  5. An up-to-date CV (with a link to a website if available).

For further information on the application process, please contact Aberystwyth University, Postgraduate Admissions: pg-admissions@aber.ac.uk

For specific questions about the project email Dr Julian Ruddock (jur27@aber.ac.uk) at Aberystwyth University School of Art.