AHRC-Funded PhD Studentship An oral history of england international rugby union players, 1945-1995



Starting October 213

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship at the International Centre for Sports History & Culture, De Montfort University, Leicester, working in collaboration with the World Rugby Museum, Twickenham.

The studentship starts in October 2013 and includes tuition fees and a full maintenance grant from the AHRC. The World Rugby Museum will also provide £1000 per year to help fund travel, research expenses and conference costs.  

The project will be supervised by Professor Tony Collins (De Montfort University) and Mr Michael Rowe (Curator of the World Rugby Museum).

Scope of the project

British society changed significantly between 1945 and 1995 and this was sharply reflected by rugby union, which evolved from an amateur game to a professional sport during this period. This project aims to explore those changes through an oral history of England international players.

Backed by the considerable resources of the archives of the World Rugby Museum, the student will interview former England internationals to explore and answer a range of questions. The project will investigate the daily lives of elite amateur athletes, examine how rugby was played and its underpinning attitudes, and explore the relationship between rugby and social, business and career networks. The project will also ask to what extent rugby players’ experiences reflected broader attitudes and practices within Britain during this period, for example, by comparing the changes taking place in rugby with those in business and broader social life. Central to the project will be the issues of class and masculinity.

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The project will offer not merely an extensive history of a major British sport during a period of tremendous change, but also a unique window into the changing values and mores of young middle-class Englishmen in the second half of the twentieth century.

How to apply

Due to funding restrictions the studentship is open to UK or EU citizens who satisfy AHRC academic and residency criteria. EU candidates are normally eligible only for a fees-only award. Applicants should hold a first or upper second class degree, and hold or be studying for a Masters’ degree in a relevant area of history.

Applicants should submit a short curriculum vitae and a brief letter outlining reasons for interest in the studentship and qualifications for it. The names and contact details of two academic referees should also be supplied. Applications should be sent to Professor Tony Collins at [email protected]

Closing date: 28 June 2013

Interview date: 11 July 2013

Interview location: Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham TW2 7BA.

For more information, contact Professor Tony Collins at [email protected]

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