Fully-funded doctoral position "Environmental History" (Trinity College Dublin)

Katja Bruisch's picture

Applicants are sought for a fully-funded four-year Provost’s PhD Project Award to start a PhD at Trinity College Dublin in September 2020 or March 2021 on a subject arising from the research project ‘Peat mining as an unwritten chapter in the fossil fuel age’ led by Dr Katja Bruisch (Trinity College Dublin). 

This award provides a unique opportunity for a doctoral student to engage in frontier historical research within the growing Environmental Humanities community at Trinity. The successful applicant will be based in the School of Histories and Humanities and enrolled in the Structured PhD Programme. 

The award comprises the student’s full PhD tuition fees (EU or non-EU) and an annual stipend of €16,000. Trinity’s Provost’s PhD Project Awards are generously funded through alumni donations and Trinity's Commercial Revenue Unit.

Potential applicants are invited to email the Principal Investigator, Dr Katja Bruisch, to consult on their research proposal.

Further Project Information: 

How has the fossil fuel age transformed lives, identities and landscapes in places of fuel extraction? And how do these historical legacies shape present and future choices about the relationship between humans and the environment? This project explores a largely unknown chapter in the history of the fossil fuel age: industrial peat mining and its impact on the social and physical world. Through case studies from Ireland and the European part of Russia this research seeks to improve our understanding of the intertwined social and environmental dimensions of resource extraction and resource use and highlight the multiple manifestations of the fossil fuel age at national, regional and local levels. 

The project pursues four main objectives: 

1. To analyse how the production, transportation and consumption of peat fuel transformed rural regions;
2. To examine the link between the peat fuel industry in Russia and Ireland and visions of national development following WWI;
3. To conceptualize the rise of the fossil fuel age as both a local and global process;
4. To develop a historically informed understanding of the challenges facing efforts to implement sustainable uses of peatlands (including climate change-mitigation measures) in the present.

The PhD dissertation will focus on the Irish case and analyse how in the 20th century different social actors negotiated their various, partly conflicting interests in peatlands; how conflicts around peatland resources were resolved; how industrial peat mining changed local environments and cultures; and how the intertwined histories of peat mining and rural development shape the prospects of transitioning to post-extractionist futures in the country.

We are looking for applicants with the following qualifications:

- A first-class (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in History
- Excellent communicative competence in English
- Excellent research and organisational skills

- A Master’s degree (completed or in progress) in modern or environmental history
- Demonstrable experience of using archives and familiarity with oral history approaches
- Willingness to contribute to the activities of the Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities

Applications for the award must include a personal statement with a research proposal (max. 5 pages), a curriculum vitae with educational history, transcripts of degree results, and two academic references. Prospective students will need to send these documents to Eilís Dunne at pghishum@tcd.ie by the deadline on the 1st April 2020. The successful candidate will then make a formal application to TCD via the my.tcd.ie portal and be issued with a formal offer in the same manner as other incoming PhD students. 

Applications will not be considered complete until referees have submitted their references. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by the end of May. Unsuccessful candidates will be considered for other available funding. If the successful candidate does not have English as a first language, s/he will also be required to submit evidence of English language competence at this stage.

Trinity College Dublin is committed to policies, procedures and practices which do not discriminate on grounds such as gender, civil status, family status, age, disability, race, religious belief, sexual orientation or membership of the travelling community. On that basis we encourage and welcome talented people from all backgrounds to join our staff and student body. Trinity’s Diversity Statement can be viewed in full at https://www.tcd.ie/diversity-inclusion/diversity-statement.

Contact details:

Katja Bruisch

Trinity College Dublin, Department of History
College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland