Applications are now being accepted for two PhD Fellowships to support doctoral research on the Abbey Theatre Digital Archive at National University of Ireland, Galway. Fellowships are worth €16,000 per year for four years.

The Abbey Theatre Digital Archive is the world’s biggest theatre-related digital archive, running to over one million items. It features annotated scripts, promptbooks, video recordings of productions, costume and set designs, photographs, administrative records, minute books, correspondence and a variety of other related theatrical material. See here for more information:

The PhD Fellows will be supervised by staff in Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway. See  for more details. They will be based at the Moore Institute

PhD Fellows will be part of the Digital Arts & Humanities (DAH) programme at NUI Galway. The DAH is a full-time interdisciplinary structured PhD programme drawing on the strengths of a consortium of Irish universities committed to digital scholarship and practice. The programme includes core and optional educational modules on digital tools and methodologies, a six-week internship at the Abbey Theatre, and the completion of a transcription project involving the Abbey Theatre Minute Books, or a similar project that uses digital tools and/or methodologies in conjunction with the Abbey Digital Archive.

Interested applicants should prepare a proposal (using the guidelines below), outlining how they would make use of the Abbey Theatre Digital Archive to carry out a four-year programme of doctoral research. Suggested areas of research include:

·         Writers associated with the Abbey – W.B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, Lady Gregory, Sean O’Casey, Brian Friel, Tom Murphy, Marina Carr, Conor McPherson, etc.

·         Neglected Irish dramatists and the Abbey

·         Major productions at the Abbey by Irish writers such as Shaw, Wilde, Beckett, Heaney, or of non-Irish writers such as Shakespeare, Sam Shepard, etc.

·         Theatre craft at the Abbey: studies of design, acting, direction, stage management, etc.

·         Significant eras in the Abbey’s history

·         Materiality and aesthetics at the Abbey

·         The Abbey and international theatre

·         The Abbey and Irish social/cultural/political history.

·         The Abbey in relation to other Irish theatres (esp. those whose archival holdings are held at NUI Galway: Druid Theatre Company, the Lyric Player’s Theatre (Belfast), Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, etc) or in relation to specific writers (e.g. Thomas Kilroy).

Applications on other topics are welcome.

To apply, please send the following to  by 17 April 2014.

·         Proposal (guidelines below)

·         Full academic CV (guidelines below)

·         Sample of written academic work (3,000-5,000 words)

Please also arrange for two academic referees to write to the address above on your behalf before the above closing date.

Late and incomplete applications cannot be considered.



Please prepare a document listing the following:


1. Description of proposed research (800 words)  This section should describe clearly the subject and scope of your research. You should indicate the critical problems or questions you propose to investigate. Should you be in a position to do so, you may also outline possible digital projects that you might wish to develop with the archive (though you are not required to do so).


2. Critical context (350 words)   This section should describe, as far as you can tell, the extent of the scholarly work already done on your topic. You should be able to explain how your research will challenge or extend this existing knowledge.


3. Methodology (250 words)  Here you should describe the research and critical methodologies you hope to employ, and explain why you have chosen them (e.g. critical biography, practice-as-research, archival research, feminist/ queer theory, Marxist theory, genre study, etc.).


4. Bibliography, Sources and archives (100 words)  Give a preliminary indication of the primary and secondary material you expect to examine, and how much of the material may be found in the resources of the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. You will be able to avail of inter-library loans and will be eligible to apply for some limited travel funding during the course of your research.


5. Personal Statement (500 words)  Explain how/why you are qualified and motivated to carry out this research, and what your career goals are.



Please prepare a document with the following information included:

·         Name

·         Postal Address

·         Email Address

·         Primary Degree Results (including dates attended)

·         Postgraduate Degree Results (including dates attended)

·         Relevant Professional Experience (if applicable)

·         Relevant publications/conference presentations (if applicable)


1.       The Fellows must be prepared to start in September 2014. Fellowships may not be deferred.

2.       The Fellowship will be renewed annually, subject to satisfactory progress

3.       The successful applicants will be obliged to register with the university via

4.       Applicants of any nationality may apply.

5.       The minimum qualification for the award of a Fellowship is a first class or higher second class honours primary degree or the equivalent, from a recognised institution in a relevant discipline. Higher degree results shall normally take precedence over the results of the primary degree.

6.       Fellowships do not attract Tax or Social Insurance. Recipients are not employees of the University.

7.       The completion of the research which is central to the PhD degree remains the primary purpose of the Fellowship. However, as part of their doctoral graduate formation, and with a view to assisting them in the acquisition of skills in the transfer of knowledge and the assessment of students, Fellows will be expected to engage during their second, third and fourth years in teaching, or other academic work, that normally will not exceed three contact hours, or the equivalent in other duties, per week (

  1. The Fellowships will be awarded only to those who are full-time students and who will engage full-time in research during the period of the Fellowship. Fellows will accordingly be prohibited from having paid employment during the tenure of their Fellowships. All full-time doctoral students, including Fellowship holders, are expected to be normally present in the university for the duration of their programme. Students wishing to take a prolonged absence from the university must apply for permission.