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Call For Applications: British Library PhD Placement Scheme 2018

January 18, 2018

PhD students are invited to apply to undertake one of our forthcoming research placements. These are specially-selected projects that have been developed by the Library to support current doctoral researchers to develop and apply transferrable skills and expertise:


About the British Library PhD Research Placements Scheme

A PhD research placement at the British Library provides the chance to experience research in a different environment to that of a university, to engage with a range of research users and audiences, to gain insights into different potential postdoctoral career paths, and to make a tangible contribution to the purposes and programmes of a national library and major cultural organisation. A broad range of research placement opportunities have been identified by the Library for 2018-19. Further details and profiles for each placement are available at the link above.

Current opportunities

  • Afrikaans fiction
  • Investigating Anne McLaren’s Notebooks
  • Art, Poetry and Politics – Contemporary British Artists’ Books
  • Exploring music archives of 20th-century British composers
  • Unlocking Charles I’s Vision of Rome
  • Exploring our ‘Endangered Archives’ Projects in Africa
  • First World War French posters
  • Examining the role of internal engagement and communications in the British Library
  • Visualising a future for Midland Road and Euston Road
  • North American Migrant Narratives
  • Playbills in context: linked open data for historical playbills
  • Policy development with the British Library
  • Political cartoons in India in the 1930s and 1940s
  • Virus checking in long-term digital collection management and digital preservation
  • William Blake at the British Library

 How to apply

Application Guidelines and the application form are available at: https://www.bl.uk/news/2018/january/phd-research-placements-2018

Please refer to the guidelines and email the completed application form and a CV to Research.Development@bl.uk  Please note that all applications must be approved by the applicant’s PhD supervisor and Graduate Tutor (or equivalent senior academic manager). The application deadline is 4pm on 19 February 2018.


This scheme is open to all PhD students, as long as they have the support of their PhD supervisor and their Graduate Tutor (or equivalent). International students are eligible if they have the right to study in the UK.


The research placements offered through the scheme are opportunities for current PhD students to apply and enhance research skills and expertise outside of Higher Education as part of their wider research training and professional development. They are training and development opportunities to be undertaken within this specific context – and are therefore different to the paid internships or other fixed-term posts that the Library may occasionally make available. See the Application Guidelines for further details and background. Please note that – unlike for an internship or a fixed-term post – the British Library is unable to provide stipends or payment to PhD placement students. It is therefore essential that applicants to the placement scheme obtain the support of their PhD supervisor and Graduate Tutor (or someone in an equivalent senior academic management role) in advance and that, as part of their process, they consult their HEI to ascertain what funding is available to support them. To support self-funded and part-time students, most placements can be done on a part-time basis, with some remote working also sometimes possible – see the individual projects for details.

Any questions?

Contact Research.Development@bl.uk for all queries or to be added to our placement scheme mailing list for future years.