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Subject: Studentships at Centre for Sustainable Heritage, UCL and National Archives, London

Studentships at Centre for Sustainable Heritage, UCL and National Archives, London

From: Kostas Ntanos <kostas.ntanos<-at->
Date: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Preventive Conservation in Heritage Collections: from Material
Degradation to Decision Making

The Centre for Sustainable Heritage, Bartlett School for Graduate
Studies, University College London (UCL) and The National Archives
(TNA), London are seeking applications for one fully funded Thames
Consortium Studentship. Funded by AHRC, the three year PhD research
programme will be supervised jointly by UCL
<URL: home/> and TNA
<URL: care.htm>

This is a highly prestigious studentship on a challenging topic of
strategic importance to the field. In preventive conservation, it is
customary to rely on material degradation experiments performed in a
laboratory, to predict the future state of a heritage object or even
a collection under certain environmental conditions. Degradation
experiments typically lead to development of so called damage
functions, which may be more or less reliable. This reliability is
rarely assessed and as a consequence, the reliability of
conservation decisions could be questioned. As a case study, the
project will look at discolouration of particularly unstable paper
types, and critically examine the reliability of degradation
experiments and of the resulting damage functions. This data will be
compared with the reliability of long term predictions in related
fields of research, and conclusions drawn for preventive
conservation of cultural heritage. A particularly interesting aspect
of the proposal will be to gauge the opinion of preventive
conservators and their expectations about the decision making. The
particular research questions of this interdisciplinary project are:

    How reliable are material degradation experiments and how is
    this reflected in preventive conservation?

    On the basis of a case study looking at archival paper
    degradation, can the reliability of experiments be critically

    What are the expectations of the conservation community with
    respect to the certainty of preventive conservation decisions?

The student will have a good first degree in a relevant discipline:
mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, material science or
conservation science. For further details contact

    Dr. Matija Strlies
    +44 20 3108 9036


    Kostas Ntanos,
    +44 20 8392 5330 ext 2019

The AHRC Studentship (actual title: Uncertainty of Damage Functions
in Preventive Conservation) will cover home fees and a stipend of up
to a maximum of UKP15,726 per year (current rate) for UK students or
EU students who have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the award.
Overseas students may also be eligible if they fulfil a range of
residency requirements stipulated on the AHRC guidance. For detailed
terms and conditions see the RCUK Student Funding Guide

    Funding Guide.pdf>

For more information and how to apply, please visit


Application deadline 11 November 2013
Interviews 19 November 2013.

Kostas Ntanos
Head of Conservation Research and Development
The National Archives, UK
+44 20 8392 5330 ext 2019
The National Archives
Kew Richmond Surrey TW9 4DU

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:17
                 Distributed: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
                       Message Id: cdl-27-17-019
Received on Thursday, 10 October, 2013

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