Thou art a scholar: apply for our fully funded creative-critical PhD in Shakespeare studies

  Together with the University of Roehampton, we’re inviting applications for a joint PhD award on new writing from Shakespeare’s Globe

3 minute read

Please note: The deadline for applications has now passed.


We’re known across the globe for our wooden ‘O’ – the Globe Theatre – but did you know we also house a world-class Education department with our very own pioneering Research team? Our unparalleled resources and thriving community of scholars, led by Professor Farah Karim-Cooper and Dr Will Tosh, make research at Shakespeare’s Globe a truly unique experience.

We have many connections with leading institutions across the UK, and this year, for 2021, we’re proud to be joining forces with the English and Creative Writing department at the University of Roehampton to invite applications for a fully funded creative-critical PhD award. Entitled Diverse Shakespeare: New Writing from Shakespeare’s Globe, this three year project starts October 2021 and is a Collaborative Doctoral Award funded by the Techne doctoral training partnership.

A row of books sits on the wooden gallery of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, cast in candlelight and shadows.

In a first for Shakespeare’s Globe, we’re offering a fully funded creative-critical PhD award with the University of Roehampton. Photographer: Marc Brenner

We’re looking for applicants who will become experts in early modern theatrical culture, and also produce a piece of creative work (a novel, a play-script, a collation of poems, a piece of literary non-fiction) that brings new inclusive narratives about ‘the Shakespearean’ to the general reader or audience member.

Recent scholarship has transformed understandings of who, precisely, could perform early modern theatre, expanding this beyond the adult men of the Elizabethan and Jacobean playing companies to include women, girls, boys and gender nonconforming performers. In extending this research to create new narratives about what ‘the Shakespearean’ is, this PhD project will explore the recent scholarship on ‘Shakespearean theatre’ and think about the role of both archival evidence and contemporary performance culture in its construction. The precise topic and genre of new writing will be decided by the student in conjunction with supervisors, but the project will be framed by these goals. Specific topics might include the performance cultures of the boy-actor, or the performance participation of women, queer or gender nonconforming performers.

Recent new writing projects at the Globe include Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s Emilia in 2018. Photographer: Helen Murray

An actor with a red crown and wearing a golden ermine cloak reaches to kiss the hand of another woman wearing black traditional Elizabethan dress.

In 2013, the Globe saw an all-female production of Richard III, with Kathryn Hunter in the title role. Photographer: Donald Cooper

Intrigued? This project will attract students with experience of creative practice, and ideally a qualification in postgraduate early modern studies – you may also have an interest in social justice and cultural access for neglected communities. In order to encourage intersections with the lived experience of people of colour and to build capacity for future scholars of colour, we welcome applications from groups currently under-represented in academia.

For the PhD award, the supervisory team will be Professor Clare McManus, Professor of Early Modern Literature and Theatre at Roehampton and Jeff Hilson, Reader in Creative Writing at Roehampton; as well as our very own Research Fellow and Lecturer, Dr Will Tosh.

Here at the Globe, we’ll offer the opportunity to bring your research to the broader public, through public-facing events such as workshops, Research in Action events, and festivals focused on issues of social justice, inclusion and the cultural access of marginalised communities.

Will Tosh standing on the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse stage addressing the audience

Research at the Globe offers the opportunity to present findings to the broader public through events such as Research in Action.

‘I’m absolutely thrilled the Globe is building on its relationship with the University of Roehampton to offer someone the chance to produce extraordinary research-driven creative work that brings new ideas about ‘the Shakespearean’ to a wider audience.’

— Dr Will Tosh


The deadline for applications is 19 February 2021

Explore all MA and PhD opportunities at Shakespeare’s Globe.