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Graduate Admissions


Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD studentship in Heritage Studies to begin in October 2019. The successful applicant will conduct doctoral research as part of the project 'Yangshao Culture: 100 Year Research History and Heritage Impact'. This project is funded by the Shanghai Academy of Guyewang Studies and hosted by the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre and McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

The Yangshao Culture refers to a Neolithic culture that existed along the Yellow River in China. The Yangshao Culture has been granted a central role in the development of agriculture and the invention of new material forms in Chinese prehistory. The project will analyse the historiography of the Yangshao Culture and its functioning as a heritage icon for the Chinese nation. There will be three strands of analysis, of which this studentship will contribute to one.

The PhD student will analyse the uses of archaeological interpretations of the Yangshao Culture and assignment of contemporary significance to it as 'Chinese Heritage'. The research will focus on claims made by individual provinces at local government level and will investigate how links between prehistory, heritage and contemporary identity claims are constructed. The student will provide new evidence and interpretations regarding how local governments seek to promote recognition of their own version of the Yangshao Culture, contest and negotiate their heritage claims with their neighbours, and will contribute important insights to the project derived from analysis at this scale.

The studentship will provide an annual maintenance grant (at least £14,130 pa at current rates) and will cover university tuition fees. The student will be able to apply to the project PI for additional research and fieldwork costs.

The successful candidate will have obtained a Merit grade in a Masters degree in Heritage or a related discipline from a UK institution or the equivalent from a non-UK institution, or possess relevant professional experience. The candidate will demonstrate competence in English at a high level by meeting the University language requirement. If required, the applicant must be in possession of an accepted language test certificate at the point of application. The successful candidate will also demonstrate competence in Chinese at a high level as required for documentary research and interviews as part of their doctoral research.

To apply applicants should send the following documents to by the deadline. A checklist is available from the link below:

1) CV 2) Academic Transcript 3) Accepted English language test report 4) Written statement (not more than 1,500 words outlining the reasons for applying and how prior experience would be drawn upon to the benefit of the research project)

Applicants should refer to the Graduate Admissions website for information on transcripts and language requirements (

Two references should also be provided. Candidates should ask referees to write directly to by the deadline.

The deadline for applications for the studentship is 24 February 2019. Interviews will be conducted via Skype during the week beginning 11 March 2019. The successful candidate will be asked to make an application for the PhD in Archaeology. Receipt of any studentship will be conditional on being accepted for the PhD.

For informal email inquires please contact supervisor, Prof Marie Louise Stig Sorensen ( or Mr Ben Davenport (

Please quote reference JD17808 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Key Information

Department of Archaeology

Reference: JD17808

Dates and deadlines:

Friday, 11 January, 2019
Closing Date
Sunday, 24 February, 2019