Department of Geography

Fully funded PhD studentship in Social Sciences and Medical Humanities (located within Department of Geography and the Centre for Medical Humanities)

A fully funded three-year doctoral studentship commencing in January 2013 (providing a £13590 tax-free stipend p.a. plus payment of full-time tuition fees at home / EU rate), is available to work with Dr Felicity Callard (Department of Geography / Centre for Medical Humanities) and members of the Hearing the Voice project team.

Proposals are invited for a doctoral studentship which combines the social sciences and medical humanities. The studentship is associated with a three-year research project entitled 'Hearing the Voice', which is supported by a Strategic Award in the Medical Humanities from the Wellcome Trust. The project will investigate the phenomenon of voice-hearing (hearing a voice in the absence of any speaker). Usually interpreted as a sign of severe mental illness, voice-hearing figures in the experience of a wide range of people, including many who do not seek psychiatric help. The project aims to achieve the fullest possible account of this experience by examining it from a range of perspectives including philosophy, literature, theology, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, psychiatry and the medical humanities. The project involves researchers from all three faculties of Durham University, along with clinicians, academics and experts-by-experience from national and international partner institutions.

Applicants are invited to submit interdisciplinary proposals addressing voice-hearing that fall within or across the following domains: cultural and / or health geography; critical and cultural studies; medical humanities; qualitative health research; critical neuroscience; literary studies; and philosophy.

The successful candidate will also join the interdisciplinary Hearing the Voice project team, attending fortnightly meetings and participating in academic workshops, conferences and other project events. In addition, s/he will be a member of the inter-disciplinary and cross-faculty Centre for Medical Humanities. The research training and PhD registration will be through the Department of Geography, one of the leading centres of geographical scholarship in the world and ranked joint first nationally in the 2008 Research Assessment. Our aim is to create and sustain a world class research and teaching environment with top class laboratories and IT facilities in a supportive and collegial atmosphere.


Applications are welcome from candidates with a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) and preferably a postgraduate MA / MSc that relates to the proposed topic. Please note that only EU and UK citizens are eligible.  We welcome applications from people who are experts-by-experience.

How to Apply

To apply for this studentship you must submit all the following documents to the email address below by the due date:

  • CV
  • Letter outlining any relevant experience and your interests in this topic
  • Details of the proposed topic of research proposal - up to 2500 words, excluding footnotes and references
  • Two references from academic referees
  • Certificates of qualification
  • Academic transcripts

Fully-completed applications must be submitted to by 1.00pm on Wednesday 21st November, 2012 at the latest.

The selection process will take place during the week following the application deadline and we expect to be able to notify candidates shortlisted for interview by Friday 30th November, 2012. Interviews will be held on Friday 7th December, 2012.

Informal enquiries are welcome - for further details please contact: