ESRC South Coast DTP Studentship - Representing Everyday Life Using Mass Observation’s Covid-19 Collections (S2105)

University of Southampton

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Position type:

Full time

13 Nov 2020
18 Jan 2021

Full details:

Reference number: SOU-SCDTP-S2105

Representing Everyday Life Using Mass Observation’s Covid-19 Collections 

A fully funded studentship awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP) commencing in 2021/22 Academic Year.

Since March 2020, Mass Observation (MO) has been collecting Covid-19 diaries and directive responses. How best might these collections be used to understand everyday life during the pandemic? What can MO’s Covid-19 collections tell us about everyday life during the pandemic? Inspired by the original MO of the 1930s, this project will develop aesthetic techniques for addressing the challenge of representation posed by MO collections – the challenge of how to represent British society in all of its diversity – before applying those techniques to one of the following issues: mental health, housing inequality, productivity, or trust in government.


Supervisory Team:

Nick Clarke, School of Geography and Environmental Science, Eve Colpus, Department of History,

Skills Required

The student would require familiarity with archival and qualitative research methods, provided by most degrees in Human Geography, History, and related disciplines (Sociology, Political Science, Cultural Studies, Anthropology etc.).


South Coast DTP Funding provides an annual maintenance grant (tax free) of £15285 (2020/21 UKRI rate), plus payment of programme fees.  Other funding available for SCDTP funded students can be found on the SCDTP website (

Funding is provided for 3 years full-time PhD study (pro-rata for part-time students).  Applications for 1+3 funding for students completing a Master's year prior to the commencement of PhD study are also welcome (details available at

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

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