PhD Studentship on the history of sexual science

JEN GROVE's picture
June 12, 2016
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Literature, Social Sciences, Sexuality Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies

A PhD studentship is offered from 1st September 2016, in connection with the project “Rethinking Sexology – The Cross-Disciplinary Invention of Sexuality: Sexual Science Beyond the Medical, 1890-1940” at the University of Exeter.

The studentships will be for a period of up to 3 years, dependent on satisfactory progress, and will cover full fees and an annual maintenance grant of £14,296 for 2016/17. Please note that this studentship is open to UK/EU students only.

Applicants from all humanities and social science fields, engaging with a wide range of approaches, themes and sources are welcome.

Rethinking Sexology is a major five-year Wellcome Trust-funded Joint Investigator Award project, led by Professor Kate Fisher (History) and Dr Jana Funke (English) at the University of Exeter, seeks to reconsider the emergence of the scientific study of human sexuality in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century. From the 1890s, medical doctors argued that a properly scientific understanding of sexuality required input from various areas of knowledge, including anthropology, biology, history, literature, psychology, sociology. We explore the emergence of this cross-disciplinary 'sexual science', which was driven by dissatisfaction with exclusively medical approaches. In so doing, we aim to provide a new history of sexual science and reconsider of how modern views of sexuality were constructed.

For more information on the project, please see:

The project is structured around four overlapping and broadly conceived core themes:

  1. The cross-disciplinary dimensions of sexual science
  2. The global expansion of sexual science
  3. The relation between health and pathology, normal and abnormal
  4. The conceptualization of nature and nurture

For more information on the project, please see:

Prospective PhD students are invited to apply with proposals (1.000 words) for a three-year doctoral research thesis that addresses some of the core themes and ideas explored in the Rethinking Sexology project. 

In addition to their research proposals, applicants should submit a covering letter. This covering letter should outline past research interests and experiences and explain how these relate to the proposed research. Applicants should also indicate how their proposed research speaks to the Rethinking Sexology project as a whole.

The application deadline is Sunday 12th June 2016.

For more information on this opportunity including entry criteria and how to apply, please see:

Contact Info: 

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Kate Fisher ( and Jana Funke (

Contact Email: