ODNB/OCLW Visiting Scholarships

OCLW are pleased to announce the launch of a new bursary for one academic year, in collaboration with the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and supported by Oxford University Press.

Closing date for applications: Sunday, 12 June 2016

Applications are invited for three research bursaries to work on humanities research projects in the academic year 2016-17. We're looking for scholarly, creative, and defined projects that will extend our understanding of the British past and culture using the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and its biographical data.

  • two Oxford DNB bursaries are for research projects in the field of History, broadly defined.

  • one bursary will be awarded in association with the Visiting Scholar Scheme at the Oxford Centre for Life Writing (OCLW) at Wolfson College, Oxford. TheOCLW / ODNB bursary is for a research project in the fields of English, Music, Art or Philosophy.

The three bursaries are open to PhD students or post-holders at a Higher Education Institution in the UK or overseas; or an individual undertaking scholarly research in the humanities—for example, as an archivist, librarian, museum curator, or in a private capacity without such an affiliation.
This is the second year of the bursary scheme. Details of the research projects for 2015-16 are available.

1. About the Oxford DNB

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the national record of 60,000 men and women who shaped British history and culture—in the British Isles and overseas—from the Roman period to the present day. The Dictionary is a research and publishing project of the University of Oxford's History Faculty and Oxford University Press, with a staff of academic editors and publishers. The ODNB's General Editor is the historian, Professor Sir David Cannadine. More about the Oxford DNB.

2. About the Oxford Centre for Life Writing

The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW) was founded at Wolfson College in 2011, as a hub for scholars and practitioners who are interested in, working on, or researching, all forms of life-writing. We organize events (lectures, seminars, conferences, exhibitions) that stimulate thinking about life-writing and disseminate research into auto/biographical subjects and methodology. Through a programme of Visiting Scholarships, Doctoral Studentships and Research Fellowships, OCLW fosters sustained and thorough academic research into a wide variety of interpretations of the theme of life-writing.

The Director of the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing is Professor Dame Hermione Lee, and its Associate Director is Professor Elleke Boehmer. The Centre's activities are administered by Dr Kate Kennedy, who is the Weinrebe Research Fellow in Life-Writing.

3. Using the Oxford DNB online for humanities research

The Oxford DNB online is used both as a work of reference (distilling existing knowledge), and as a means to undertake new research in the humanities. Much of this research is taking place in University departments (especially of History and English), though there is scope for similar work in museums, galleries, archives, and research libraries.

Common to this research is an appreciation that the ODNB online offers not just discrete biographical entries but also a potentially connectable, collective statement on those who shaped the national past. Viewed in this way, the ODNB presents interesting opportunities to study aspects of British history and culture.

These may include:

  • professional and personal groupings
  • shared experiences and endeavours
  • intersections of biography and place; or the movement of individuals / networks over time
  • aspects of social change and mobility
  • the professional and personal impact of significant historical events, such as war
  • prosopographies of professions, organizations, movements, and social circles
  • connections between biography and artefacts in a museum or gallery collection
  • applications of the ODNB for university teaching in the humanities

These projects employ several approaches:

  • analysis of multiple ODNB biographies as texts
  • use of the ODNB's online search options which allow historical figures to be grouped by shared attributes
  • (in partnership with OUP) analysis of the rich biographical metadata that underpins these search options
  • social network analysis
  • mapping and visualization of biographical data
  • digital initiatives (e.g. apps) using ODNB data

4. The ODNB / OCLW research bursaries, 2016-17

The three research bursaries will begin in September 2016 and run during the academic year 2016-17. In each case, the successful candidate will work on a defined research project that draws on an aspect of the Oxford DNB's content, be this in the form of Dictionary entries, portrait images, links to archives, or other biographical metadata.

It is expected that successful applications will take the form either of a discrete piece of research or form part of a larger project in the humanities, such as a PhD dissertation, journal article, book or teaching resource.

Each bursary will be for the sum of £750 which is intended to assist in undertaking the research project (for example, with travel / accommodation when visiting Oxford, or to libraries and archives). Bursary recipients will engage and work with academic editors at the Oxford DNB and / or literary scholars connected to the Oxford Centre for Life Writing.

On completion of the bursary, holders will be required to write a case study of their work for publication on the ODNB or OCLW website, as well as an article for the academic blog of Oxford University Press. The award is conditional on acceptance of these terms and conditions. It is also expected that research will lead to additional outputs: for example, a seminar or conference paper (in Oxford or elsewhere), journal article, online or visual presentation of research findings, or a teaching resource for an HEI.

5. How to apply: ODNB History bursaries

To apply for an ODNB History bursary, please download the History bursary application form. Applicants should send the completed form—in which they set out their proposed research project—along with a current CV, to philip.carter@oup.com by Sunday 12 June 2016.

If you prefer to post your form, please send it to: Dr Philip Carter, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP.

Successful applicants will be informed by Friday 22 July 2016.

For any enquiries please contact the ODNB's Senior Research and Publication Editor, Dr Philip Carter: philip.carter@oup.com in the first instance.

6. How to apply: ODNB / OCLW bursary in English, Music, Art or Philosophy

Applicants should send their completed application—in which they set out their proposed research project—along with a current CV, to oclw@wolfson.ox.ac.uk [marked ‘OCLW bursary application'] by Sunday 12 June 2016.

If you prefer to post your form, please send it to: Dr Kate Kennedy-Allum, OCLW, Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford, OX2 6UD

Successful applicants will be informed by Friday 22 July 2016.

For any enquiries please email oclw@wolfson.ox.ac.uk in the first instance.

Downloads
OCLW /ODNB Research Bursary application formDownload
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