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Doctoral PhD Studentship

AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral PhD Studentship with the University of Bristol and the National Gallery - Closing date: 10th May 2019.

Published on 19 April 2019

‘New research on the history and technology of materials in paintings and other cultural heritage artefacts using advanced mass spectrometry techniques’

This project offers the successful candidate an opportunity to help answer both art historical and conservation-related questions using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry (MS) approaches. High resolution mass spectrometry using either Orbitrap MS or Q-TOFMS instruments offers substantial advantages over the current instrumentation typically used by heritage scientists.

The studentship brings together researchers from the University of Bristol and the National Gallery and will use these new technologies to explore question relating to:

(i) The detection of specific organic materials;

(ii) The identification of the biological (or geological) source of organic materials;

(iii) The status of organic materials (whether original additives to the paint or contaminants from a later conservation intervention).

Achieving this will involve refining analytical protocols based on  advanced instrumentation using reference samples selected from the extensive collection of natural products held within the National Gallery scientific department. The analytical protocols developed will then be applied to real problems within the cultural heritage sector using authentic case studies, selected from on-going projects in the art-historical study or conservation of paintings from the National Gallery collection.

Candidates should possess a degree in a relevant subject area, such as a 2:1 or higher in chemistry, or a related discipline aligned to the studentship. 

This Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD studentship is funded by the AHRC. The full studentship award for students with UK residency* includes fees and a stipend of £15,009 per annum plus £550 p.a. additional stipend payment for Collaborative Doctoral students for 3 years. The student will receive additional support towards further research expenses from The National Gallery over the course of the research studentship.

Students with EU residency are eligible for a fees-only studentship award. International applicants are normally not eligible to apply for this studentship. Both partners and the CDP consortium will provide opportunities for training and career development.  

*UK residency means having settled status in the UK that is no restriction on how long you can stay in the UK; and having been “ordinarily resident” in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship that is you must have been normally residing in the UK apart from temporary or occasional absences; and not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purposes of full-time education.

For further information and to apply, please visit  
Informal enquiries should be directed to Professor Richard Evershed ( or Dr David Peggie (