PhD studentship, University of Warwick

PhD studentship (2 positions)

Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick

Application deadline: 16th May 2016

  • The position includes a home/EU fees waiver, research costs, and a stipend equivalent to RCUK stipend amounts (currently £14,296 for 2016/17).
  • Fixed term for 3 ½ years
  • Start date 1/10/16
  • Token Communities in the Roman East / Token Communities in the Roman West

Two fully funded 3 ½ year doctoral positions are available as part of the ERC-funded project ‘Token Communities in the Ancient Mediterranean’. The positions will be based in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick, and will be supervised by the project’s leader, Dr. Clare Rowan, with secondary supervision provided by Prof. Kevin Butcher. This represents an opportunity for graduate students with high potential to work on a project aimed at uncovering a little used and little known source from antiquity.

The ‘Token Communities in the Ancient Mediterranean’ project will provide the first comprehensive analysis of the role played by tokens in the ancient Mediterranean. Tokens are frequently found on archaeological sites and within museum collections, but are little studied and poorly understood. These objects played a central role in cultural, religious, political and economic life in antiquity; closer study of these objects is thus imperative in gaining a fuller picture of the ancient world and its cultural legacy. The project combines an analysis of museum material with the known archaeological contexts of these objects. It will be the first project to approach these items in a cross regional and fully contextualised manner. This approach will enable us to better define what tokens were in antiquity, and what roles they played. Moreover, through a careful consideration of type, context, and distribution, the project will also explore how these objects actively contributed to the generation of different types of community.

Two doctoral researchers will focus on the projects ‘Token Communities in the Roman West’ (1st century BC – AD 284) and ‘Token Communities in the Roman East’  (1st century BC – AD 284) respectively. The successful candidates will work with the PI (Clare Rowan) to identify a series of fruitful case studies focused on tokens and token use from the eastern and western Mediterranean in the Roman period before late antiquity. Utilising available archaeological data, as well as relevant museum material, the successful candidates will focus on the following questions:

  • What were the defining characteristics of tokens within the ancient world?
  • What political, economic, religious, cultural and social roles did tokens play in the Roman world?
  • How did these objects enable and actively contribute to social life and the formation of different communities within the Roman Empire?

The PhD topic will be of interest to scholars concerned with the role of everyday objects in society, as well as the active role of images and material culture in forming identities and communities. The successful candidates will work alongside the PI, Clare Rowan (‘Token Communities in Rome and Italy’), as well as a postdoctoral researcher (‘Token Communities in the Hellenistic World’), participating in project meetings, reading groups, and will contribute to joint publications. The successful candidates will disseminate their results via the project’s blog, website, Twitter feed, and other media.

The successful candidates will also join the broader postgraduate community at the University of Warwick and will be expected to participate in the department’s work in progress seminars, as well as the annual departmental postgraduate colloquium. In addition to a home/EU fees waiver and a stipend, the project offers generous financial support for international research trips, conference attendance, consumables (including the provision of a laptop), and publication costs. Both the department of Classics and the University, via the Faculty of Arts CADRE programme, offer training and career development opportunities for postgraduate students (e.g. media training, teacher training, digital storytelling, experience in engagement and widening participation activities).


We are seeking candidates with high potential who are able to work within a team environment. The successful applicant will have a good background in Ancient History and/or Archaeology at undergraduate and Masters level, and hold a first or upper second class honours degree (BA), and will have completed a Masters level certification by 1 October 2016. A reading knowledge of foreign languages and/or numismatic experience is desirable but by no means essential; training will be provided for successful candidates.

International students are invited to apply but will need to fund the fees difference for Overseas Research Students.

How to apply:

Interested candidates are asked to submit the following documents by 16th May 2016 to

  • a letter of application (max. 2 A4 pages) explaining how the position connects to previous research interests and any previous relevant experience, and why the candidate feels they are suited for the position
  • a curriculum vitae
  • full transcripts of all previous degree results
  • evidence of competence in English if English is not your first language
  • a writing sample (max. 7000 words)
  • two academic references submitted by the referees. These should be sent by the referees themselves, and not the applicant. The referees should ideally be familiar with the candidate’s academic work, and able to assess their potential and preparedness to undertake PhD research as part of a team project. It is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that references are received by the deadline.

Interested candidates are invited to contact the project PI Clare Rowan ( to discuss the position, or for any further queries.  Further information about the Department of Classics at the University of Warwick is available here.

Interviews will take place at the beginning of June. The successful applicants will be required to complete a standard application for graduate study at the University of Warwick.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s