PhD opportunity to explore climate change through the Museum of Cambridge’s Fenland collection

The Museum of Cambridge is delighted to announce in collaboration with the London Arts and Humanities Partnership and King’s College London a fully-funded Collaborative Doctoral PhD programme, Weathering climate change: using museum collections to represent local experiences of climate change.

This project aims to explore how museum objects can be used to represent changing climate in a way that is relatable to everyday and place-specific concerns.

The Museum believes this will open a new avenue for local communities to engage with and visualise the localised impact of climate change through everyday, ordinary objects and ephemera, rather than an abstract global phenomenon requiring expertise to fully comprehend.

The selected PhD candidate will explore new theoretical approaches to representation of climate change through museum objects, through a case study of the English Fens.

The Fens are a region that is built on reclaimed land and has already suffered the loss of weather-related heritage such as fen skating. There is a strong chance that in the future, this region will face managed flooding and other changes related to the climate emergency.

The successful candidate will use the conceptual understanding they develop to explore and enrich the collections of the Museum of Cambridge, resulting in a new exhibition on Fenland weather-heritage. The project may include the collection of oral history stories of life and weather in the Fens.

The Museum believes this collaborative PhD will aid and develop our understanding of our vital collection in context of climate change and can help communities to manage loss and memorialise weather heritage that may otherwise be forgotten.

The Museum is pleased to be working in collaboration with King’s College London and Dr George Adamson, an expert on climate change and culture based in the Department of Geography, who will be supervising this project. Alongside is Dr Anna Woodham, an expert of climate change and museum studies in the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries. This project will be co-supervised by Annie Davis, Director of the Museum of Cambridge.

The Museum’s Director, Annie Davis, said:

We are delighted to partner with King’s College London in this project. This research will provide a significant boost to our institutional understanding of our own collection and its significance in the regional and national contexts. We believe it will make a significant contribution to supporting our communities in exploring and commemorating the impact of climate change to local culture and heritage.

The Museum strongly encourages potential doctoral candidates to apply to this programme. The PhD project is fully-funded for 3.5 years (full time) or 7 years (part-time), including a £20,622 per annum tax-free stipend and all fees. The awarded candidate will also be entitled to a £550 per annum stipend top-up. The project would likely suit candidate with a strong interest in climate change, and a background in cultural geography, environmental studies, museum and heritage studies, or similar. Applicants will require a good master’s degree of relevant professional experience.

Interested candidates should contact Dr George Adamson ( Applications can be made through the London Arts and Humanities Partnership website; deadline is 26th January 2024.

PhD opportunity to explore climate change through the Museum of Cambridge’s Fenland collection