Venice and its Environments: Navigating Memory, Culture and Crisis

Venice and its Environments: Navigating Memory, Culture and Crisis

Eligibility: UK/EU graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU)

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 7th October 2020

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: January 2021

For further details contact Professor Juliet Simpson


This PhD project, aligned with the Cultural Memory research strand within the Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities, will investigate the unique cultural heritage of Venice examined in new contexts of its pivotal place in addressing world heritage challenges. It will align to global environmental challenges and connecting cultural heritage in contexts of crises, encompassing historic and contemporary responses to plagues and pandemics.


The studentship offers an outstanding opportunity to capitalise on CAMC’s ongoing collaboration as a leading advisory partner institution with the British Council Venice Fellowships Programme. Building on this international partnership, the specific focus of the PhD is to open up new, interdisciplinary knowledge of Venice’s ‘environments’ broadly conceived. This may encompass art and architectural heritage (historic and contemporary), which may extend to an examination of Venetian heritage eco-systems:  waterways, the Venetian marine environment (lagoon), and the ongoing impact of flooding and bio-hazards (Covid-19) in addressing Venice’s exemplary status and cultural memory as an existentially threatened world heritage environment. The PhD thus will provide innovative opportunities to bring to new attention, Venice’s integrated art and heritage environments, via these, to develop new knowledge of their value and significance for heritage conservation, and for understanding cultural heritage as key to addressing bio challenges both past and present.

The PhD will be supervised by Prof. Juliet Simpson, FRSA, FRHistS and colleagues in the Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities at Coventry University.


This is a fully-funded PhD studentship, including:

  • Full tuition fees
  • Stipend/bursary


Training and development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)

Additional Requirements

  • Masters in Art History, Cultural History, or a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 2:1 equivalent in the dissertation element
  • Demonstrable ability to develop inter- and cross-disciplinary study methods
  • Reading and spoken proficiency in Italian CEFR levels, B2, C1

How to apply

To find out more about the project, please contact Professor Juliet Simpson.

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus an up to 2000-word statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Apply to Coventry University