A fully funded three-year doctoral studentship commencing on 1 May 2013 or as soon as possible thereafter is available to work with Professor Patricia Waugh and Professor Corinne Saunders (Department of English Studies) and members of the Hearing the Voice project team. The studentship will provide an annual tax-free stipend at the Research Councils UK rate (£13, 590 for the academic year 2012-13, pro rata for the May 2013 start date) plus payment of full-time tuition fees at the home/EU rate.

Proposals are invited for a doctoral studentship which combines English studies 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 proposals exploring the relations between voice hearing and literary and cultural theory. The period of specialisation is open, though proposals should fit an interdisciplinary framework which explores the potential connections between literary studies, phenomenology, neuroscience and hermeneutics.

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 English Studies, which is one of the top UK research departments in English and has a significant national and international profile. All eligible members of staff were submitted to the 2008 RAE, which classed 90% of the Department’s research as of international standard in terms of its originality, significance and rigour, and judged the research environment as ‘world-leading’.

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. Applications will be assessed according to the coherence, importance, and viability of the proposal, and in particular the feasibility of completion within 3 years. 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 should be sent to Victoria Patton by Friday, 5 April 2013 at the latest.

Informal enquiries are welcome – for further details please contact: Corinne Saunders or Patricia Waugh.

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