Archiving the Nuclear Past: exploring the nuclear energy industry and its community impact in Britain

PhD position, deadline: 8 May 2017


Full-time PhD Studentship at the University of the Highlands and Islands - Centre for History

Location: Dornoch
Funding for: UK, EU & International students
Funding amount: UK/EU fees & stipend (RCUK rate) for 42 months
Closes: 8th May 2017, 12pm (UK time)

This innovative community-focused project will investigate the impact of the nuclear industry from 1950 to the present day on the communities of Britain. It will be the first major project to make use of the Nuclear and Caithness Archive (Nucleus) in Wick, which will be the single most important facility in the world for the history of the nuclear industry and its economic, social and political impact.

The construction of the Dounreay Nuclear Establishment in 1955 had a transformative effect on the far north of Scotland: as well as changing the built environment of the region, it also had a significant effect on employment, politics and environmental interest in the region. This project will assess the long-term impact of Dounreay on the communities of the far north of Scotland, from the 1960s onwards. It will also afford the student the opportunity to carry out comparative studies with other UK nuclear facilities whose records will be held at Nucleus, including Harwell in Oxfordshire, Trawsfynydd in Snowdonia, and Sellafield in Cumbria.

Based at Nucleus, the student will combine archival research with extensive oral history interviews, making local communities active participants in this project through workshops, community-curated exhibitions and work with schools. This research will make a significant contribution to academic debate about British nuclear culture, shifting focus away from nuclear weapons and the emergence of the nuclear state towards the impact of nuclear energy on postwar Britain, and to debate about the Highlands, industry and modernity.

To apply:

Click here to download the application form and guidance and return to:
Informal project specific enquiries can be made to:

Funding notes:

This studentship is funded by the European Social Fund and Scottish Funding Council as part of Developing Scotland’s Workforce in the Scotland 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Fund Programme.

The studentship covers fees at the Home/EU rate only, plus a stipend at the RCUK level, for a total of 42 months (including writing-up).

PLEASE NOTE: Funding is available for students worldwide, however non UK/EU students will be liable for the difference between home/EU and international fees.

Students must be domiciled in the Highlands and Islands transition region during the course of their study to be eligible for funding.

Applicants must possess a minimum of an Honours degree at 2:1 and/or a Masters Degree (or International equivalent) in a relevant subject.