PhD Studentship Bursary in Renaissance Studies on London theatrical culture and its context, 1565-95

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), English and Creative Writing were ranked 15th in their panel for the strength of the research outputs produced during the assessment period. The department, and the university, continue on an ambitious trajectory, providing a fully funded PhD studentship to work alongside the Before Shakespeare project, engaging in PhD study full time and integrating into the life of Roehampton’s School of English and Creative Writing working with academic colleagues. This fully funded PhD studentship also provides you with the opportunity to work with our project partners, Dolphin’s Back, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Museum of London Archaeology, to develop important networks and develop the impact of your own research. Details of the Before Shakespeare project can be found at

The Bursary: Funding is available for UK/EU and International* students at Home/EU rates for three years full-time study. This fully funded scholarship will cover home/EU fees of £4,121 for Home/EU students and maintenance of £16,296 p.a. in 2016/17 for 3 years full-time subject to satisfactory progress.
*(see end note)

Accommodation: will be available at Spring Mews. If you take up this accommodation, the cost of the rent will be deducted from the stipend. The rent rate for 2016-17 is £175 per week.
Your research study will be supervised by Dr Andy Kesson and Prof Clare McManus. Applications are invited from bold, innovative postgraduates with a record of achievement to undertake a project on a subject of their choice within the field of dramatic, literary or theatre history between the years 1565 and 1595. Subjects might include, but are not limited to:

  • Anti-theatrical pamphlets as a literary form 
  • Theatre companies (Queen’s Men, Paul’s Boys, Strange’s Men) 
  • Playhouses (Red Lion, Newington Butts, the Curtain) 
  • Overlooked authorial canons (George Peele, Robert Greene, Robert Wilson) 
  • Relationships between theatrical and non-theatrical culture (for example, poetry, music, prose, fiction or pamphleteering) 
  • Theatre company touring practices during the period of the early playhouses 

The successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School training programme.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to contact Andy Kesson ( for informal discussion of potential projects before applying.

Eligibility and how to apply:

In order to be eligible, applicants should hold a first class or upper second class honours undergraduate degree (or equivalent international qualification) and a Master’s degree with distinction (or equivalent) in a related subject.

The successful candidate should be available to start on 1st October 2016.

To apply, please email the following to with the subject heading ‘Before Shakespeare’:

1) A copy of your CV including copies of your academic qualifications.

2) Contact details of two academic referees.

3) A cover letter outlining your proposed project, a research plan and a potential structure for the thesis. The cover letter also needs to state the reasons you are applying for this studentship and outlining your expertise and relevant skills.

4) Completed Application Form for PhD Study (RDB1b) downloadable at

The closing date for completed applications is: 25 July 2016.

Formal interviews will be held: 15 August 2016.

*Recipients of these studentships will be covered for Home/EU fees, and recipients due to pay overseas fees will be required to pay the difference between Home/EU and overseas tuition fee rates.