Archivists at MOLA look through boxes of archaeological material (c) MOLA

Telling Different Stories PhD Opportunity: Join us for an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership at MOLA

MOLA team

Through our Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentships, MOLA aims to develop future leaders, specialists and advocates for archaeology, as well as extend our strong record for academic collaboration and engagement. We are recruiting for a PhD to start in January 2022, offering a unique, fully-funded opportunity to work with two of Bournemouth University’s world-leading archaeologists, alongside our Director of Infrastructure and Director of Research & Engagement.

What is the project? Telling Different Stories: innovative approaches to the publication, interpretation & archiving of linear archaeological infrastructure projects. This PhD will draw upon recent developments in commercial archaeology practice, archaeological theory and the digital humanities. It seeks to engage in a more creative and ambitious fashion with the vast quantities of archaeological data generated by large-scale linear infrastructure projects such as road schemes and railways. The aim is to develop new ways of interpreting, presenting and archiving this data, and in turn to generate new interpretations of the past.

This studentship presents an opportunity to:

  • Experiment with digital and analogue archaeological outputs for different audiences and communities
  • Work with an array of archival records spanning vast landscapes
  • Collaborate with academic, commercial and professional partners
  • Innovate with narrative forms and storytelling on a large scale
  • Change the way archaeologists communicate about the past
  • Question how emerging trends in archaeological theory can work within the demands of large-scale commercial fieldwork

View the full project description (pdf 277.86kb).

The PhD will be supervised by Prof Mark Gillings and Prof Kate Welham at BU, and Dr Sara Perry and Dr Sorina Spanou at MOLA.

This studentship may be of particular interest to applicants with experience of any of the following: digital storytelling, commercial archaeology, critical cartography, creative approaches to archiving, recent trends in archaeological theory, heritage interpretation or digital humanities.

The studentship is fully funded and includes a stipend of £15,609/year to support with living costs. The successful candidate will also receive £1,000/year to support the additional costs of working with a London-based organisation, plus a Collaborative Doctoral Award maintenance payment of £550/year. They can also claim research-related expenses of up to £1,000/ year from MOLA.

The closing date for applications is 12 October 2021 and interviews will be held on 25 October 2021. The studentship will start on 1 January 2022.

Further information about entry requirements and application process are available on the Bournemouth University website.

Please contact Prof Mark Gillings ( or Dr Sara Perry ( for further information.

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