The School of Geography and the Environment is part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering for Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA). Two exciting interdisciplinary four-year doctoral scholarships - Improving the evaluation of conservation treatments for deteriorating sandstone in built heritage and Learning from nature: evaluating site-based conservation approaches to mitigating climatic risks to earthen heritage sites in N W China - are available. Students will transfer to Oxford after the first MRes year at UCL. Excellent applicants with good scientific skills and an interest in heritage science are strongly encouraged to apply. Further details and instructions on how to apply are available on the SEAHA website.

The Oxford studentships are:

  • P38: Improving the evaluation of conservation treatments for deteriorating sandstone in built heritage

    Many of the world's greatest built heritage sites are crafted in sandstone, which often deteriorates rapidly posing major challenges for conservators. Many treatments have been proposed (such as consolidants, water repellents and anti-graffiti coatings). What is now needed is to develop a robust methodology to test the performance of these treatments under real-world conditions. This studentship addresses this knowledge gap, through a developmental sequence of laboratory and field experiments. The student will be jointly supervised by Prof Heather Viles (University of Oxford), Dr Tom Learner (Getty Conservation Institute) and Alistair Kerrigan (TQC).

    Application deadline: 30 June 2016 (new deadline).

  • P41: Learning from nature: evaluating site-based conservation approaches to mitigating climatic risks to earthen heritage sites in N W China

    Large concentrations of historic earthen sites are found along the Silk Roads, such as in arid NW China where many heritage sites contain earthen remains (usually rammed earth with some mud brick). These ruins are deteriorating rapidly, often in response to climatic hazards such as storms, and the Chinese authorities are worried about their resilience in the face of future environmental change. Nature-based (or biometic) conservation strategies, using local plants may provide a solution to this problem. This studentship provides a unique opportunity to contribute to improved nature-based conservation methods for such earthen sites, through developing cellular automata-based modeling approaches to evaluate their performance under changing environmental conditions. The student will be jointly supervised by Prof Heather Viles and Dr Richard Bailey (University of Oxford), Dr Tom Learner (Getty Conservation Institute) and Professor Wang Xudong (Dunhuang Academy).

    Application deadline: 30 June 2016 (new deadline).

Before applying, please check the eligibility criteria. For more information please contact Professor Heather Viles ().