Thursday, November 30, 2017

PhD Scholarship for 2018-19 Place-Names on the Rocks


Place-Names on the Rocks: To what extent, and in what ways, do place-names reflect underlying bedrock geology?

Keywords - Place-names, toponymy, geology, Gaelic, Scots, Old Norse, Scotland
Project Description -                                                                                               Photo - ShinyPhotoScotland                                                                                          
The project intends to test the proposition that place-names reflect, and might even be used to predict, aspects of underlying geology in the landscape. This will be achieved by subjecting Scottish place-name data to a rigorous examination underpinned by geological expertise. Fieldwork will contextualise place-name data in a geological framework to strengthen the candidate’s research linking these two features. The project proposes that the link between place-names and geology is not confined to only one language or area, and so the research will encompass different parts of Scotland, and involve investigating names originally coined in Gaelic, Scots and Old Norse. 
Project Team - 
The project is a collaboration among the subjects of Celtic & Gaelic, Earth Sciences, and English Language & Linguistics.
The primary supervisor will be Prof. Thomas Owen Clancy, based in Celtic & Gaelic, School of Humanities, joined in the supervisory team by Dr John MacDonald from Earth Sciences and Prof. Carole Hough from English Language & Linguistics. The successful candidate will be based in Celtic & Gaelic, joining a strong and dynamic cohort of place-name researchers within the College of Arts. Training in the basics of geology will be given at the start of the project and through this the candidate will be encouraged to also become part of the postgraduate cohort in Earth Sciences. 
Person Specification - 
This studentship is open to candidates of any nationality – UK, EU or International.
Applicants should demonstrate the following:
  • Academic qualifications: 1st class or good 2.1 degree in a relevant subject area (e.g., Celtic, English Language, Linguistics) and a postgraduate master’s degree in a relevant subject area.
  • Experience: Ideally, some exposure to place-name studies at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Evidence of previous engagement of landscape and geology would be beneficial.
  • Skills/Attributes: Knowledge of one or more of the historical languages of Scotland, and in particular Gaelic.
In the first instance, applicants should contact Prof. Thomas Owen Clancy ( to discuss the project and eligibility.
Once eligibility is confirmed, the deadline for formal applications is: 12noon, Friday 12 January 2018
Please submit applications to: and state the name of the project in the subject of the email.
The following documentation will be required from applicants if they are invited to submit a full application:
  • LKAS Interdisciplinary Scholarships Application Form
  • 2 references in support of your application. (The references relevant to the application for admission to Glasgow for PhD study may be submitted to this process – they do not need to be tailored to this process.)
  • Degree transcripts in English (Undergraduate and Masters, if relevant)
  • Candidates whose first language is not English must show evidence of appropriate competence in English in the form of an IELTS certificate or similar.

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