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Subject: Studentship at British Museum and University of Manchester

Studentship at British Museum and University of Manchester

From: Catherine Higgitt <chiggitt<-a>
Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2008
PhD Studentship

   "Interventive conservation of black-dyed organic materials: the
    problem of metal-polyphenol complexes"

The British Museum/University of Manchester
AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme
Collaborative Research Studentship


University of Manchester, School of Materials and the British
Museum, Department of Conservation and Scientific Research

Applications are invited for an AHRC/EPSRC Collaborative PhD
studentship, to be held at the University of Manchester (Department
of Textiles and Paper) and the British Museum (Department of
Conservation and Scientific Research). The project will be jointly
supervised by Professor Chris Carr (University of Manchester), Dr.
Marei Hacke (British Museum) and Dr. Vincent Daniels (Emeritus
Scientist at the British Museum). The studentship is for a
three-year (full-time) or five-year (part time) project entitled
'Interventive conservation of black-dyed organic materials: the
problem of metal-polyphenol complexes', to commence in October 2008.

Summary of Project: The project endeavours to develop novel chemical
stabilisation treatments to address the problems presented by
organic materials suffering from severe metal-catalysed degradation
due to the presence of black metal-polyphenol dyes (where the metal
is iron or mixtures of iron and copper or iron and other metals).
Such materials are widespread in any museum containing ethnographic
and/or textile collections, their preservation presents a major
challenge and deterioration can lead to the total loss of affected
areas. Interventive conservation treatments which could effectively
halt the autocatalytic deterioration must arrest the metal ion redox
cycle. This could be achieved through the chelation of the metal
ions in a stable complex or through various antioxidant mechanisms
which act as peroxide decomposers, radical scavengers or oxidative
chain breakers. Additional potentially beneficial treatments include
the deacidification and consolidation of the substrate material.

This research project will focus on the evaluation of a variety of
non-aqueous chemical stabilisation treatments building on experience
gained from related studies in the areas of heritage science and
from the medical-, food- and textiles industries. If appropriate, as
part of the project it is intended to apply and assess the newly
developed method(s) on selected museum objects.

Funding: This studentship covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and
provides a maintenance stipend at the UK Research Council minimum
level (UKP12,940 for 2008/9) for each of the three years of study.
Collaborative Research Student award holders also receive an
additional payment of UKP500 per annum. This stipend will be
enhanced by the British Museum by an additional UKP1,000 per annum,
giving an overall maintenance allowance of UKP14,440 per year. There
is also a travel and additional expenses allowance of UKP500 per
annum provided by the British Museum.

Eligibility: Applicants must have a relevant first degree (usually a
minimum 2.1) and normally a postgraduate degree. Other experience
may be eligible in place of a postgraduate degree. This studentship
is open to all who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be
eligible for a full award (i.e. tuition fees and a maintenance
grant), the applicant must be a UK national, satisfy UK residency
requirements, or be a (non-UK) EU national who has been ordinarily
resident in the UK throughout the 3-year period immediately
preceding the start of the programme, or other national, who has
been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILTR) by the Home Office.
Non-UK EU students who do not fit these criteria are eligible to
apply for a fees-only award. For more information on the AHRC/EPSRC
eligibility criteria, applicants should consult the AHRC website at

Further Information:

For informal enquiries, please contact Chris Carr
<chris.carr<-a t->manchester< . >ac< . >uk> or Marei Hacke
<mhacke<-a t->thebritishmuseum< . >ac< . >uk>.

For further information, including details of how to apply, see


The deadline for applications is 6 June 2008

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:59
                   Distributed: Saturday, May 3, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-21-59-034
Received on Wednesday, 30 April, 2008

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