PhD Funding Opportunity: University of Leeds, The Role of Slavery in the British Financial Sector (1700-1838) (Deadline 31 May)

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The Role of Slavery in the British Financial Sector (1700-1838)


Key facts

Tuesday 31 May 2022
Funding start date
Saturday 1 October 2022
Number of funding places
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Source of funding
External organisation
Key staff
Professor Manuel Barcia Paz and Dr Danielle Terrazas Williams
School of History


A PhD scholarship offered in partnership with The Baring Archive Ltd to research the historical role of slavery in the British financial sector.

The scholarship will be hosted at the School of History. The PGR will be supervised by a team led by Professor Manuel Barcia (Chair of Global History) and co-supervised by Dr Danielle Terrazas Williams (Lecturer in the History of the Global South).

The scholarship will offer a maintenance amount of 16,062 GBP per year (2022/3 rates) for three years full time study, pro-rata for part time study. The scholarship will also cover the tuition fee at the Home or International fee rate.

The scholarship will also cover some Research costs which include travel, training, conference attendance and dissemination of research.

One fully-funded PhD scholarship is available to UK and international applicants to carry out research into the involvement of the financial centre of the City of London, and particularly Baring Brothers, with slavery in the 18th and the early part of the 19th centuries. Using principally the extensive resources of the Baring Archive, as well as other relevant source materials, the research will map the extent of the involvement of Baring Brothers with the slave economy and the contribution this involvement made to the business of Baring Brothers. The Project will document and analyse evidence of financial involvement at specific turning points in Barings’ history, such as the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in 1807 and the abolition of slavery in British territories in 1833. The research will have a global remit relating to plantations within the British Empire (Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad), Danish controlled territory (St Croix), Cuba and the United States and might also include indentured labour systems in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Guyana and Trinidad.

The candidate will have the opportunity to participate in academic workshops on the topic within the Baring Archive.  The Baring Archive, as well as the funding organisations, will be closely involved in this project and the provision of support for the successful candidate. There will also be opportunities to interact with non-academic audiences and assist in the production of materials such as internal articles/talks/video content/staff events and website/social media content. The Student will work in close collaboration with the archivist of the Baring Archive to improve and update finding aids relating to the records identified as relevant to this area of research to facilitate future access by researchers.

Faculty information

Leeds is recognised as a global centre for research in the arts and humanities, with a consistent record of performing exceptionally in UK measures of quality, excellence and impact. As one of the largest and most diverse arts and humanities faculties in the UK, our research projects range widely by period, geography and theme but are united by their focus on innovation, academic rigour and global reach.

With world-leading researchers, and world-class archives and facilities, we generate innovative, intellectually and socially significant research within a wide spectrum of disciplines, and across an exceptionally strong range of interdisciplinary strengths.

We conduct interdisciplinary and impact-orientated quality research to address challenges at regional, national and global levels. To achieve this our research is user-led and solutions focused, driven by the needs of our partners and stakeholders.

How to apply

Please note to be considered for the scholarship you must complete both Stage One (submit an application for research degree study) and Stage Two (submit an application for the Scholarship) as outlined below.

Stage One: Formal applications for research degree study should be made online at Please state clearly in the ‘Residency and Funding’ section of the application form that the funding you wish to be considered for is the ‘Barings Bank Scholarship’.

Stage Two: As part of the supporting documentation you must provide the following:

(a) Your CV, highlighting your suitability to undertake this Project;
(b) A statement of no more than 1,000 words outlining how your studies to date have prepared you to undertake this project; why you wish to undertake it; and what research questions and methodologies you will apply to it.

Further information can be obtained by contacting the Graduate School Office at

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the School's minimum English language requirements (please see the relevant section below).

As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+; and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold a first class or upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline and a distinction or predicted distinction at master's degree level. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

English language requirements

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent (please contact the Graduate School Office for information about alternative English language qualifications accepted by the School). The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. A degree from a country in which English is the primary language can be considered valid evidence of English language qualifications provided that it is no more than two years old at the time of the proposed start date.

Contact details

For further information please contact the Graduate School Office