SOAS University of London

School of Arts

Doctoral Opportunities

Welcome to the Doctoral community of the School of Arts! We are proud to run seven dynamic doctoral programmes, with over 100 students. Doctoral projects are housed within one of our many fields (History of Art and Archaeology, Music, Film, Cultural Industries, Creative Arts) and cover our many regions, from Africa to the Middle East to South, Southeast and East Asia.

Please visit the School of Arts PhD Students page to get to know our Doctoral Students and their work.

Scholarships for PhD Study

Scholarships for students wishing to undertake doctoral research in the School of Arts can be found on the SOAS Scholarships page.

Doctoral Training Opportunities

See the SOAS Doctoral School page for details of our research training and skills development programme.

Other Opportunities

British Library - Doctoral Open Days

The British Council are delivering a series of webinars as part of the Doctoral Open Days series in 2022. The webinars will take place every Wednesday afternoon between 12 January and 2 March 2022. The series will begin with a general introduction, followed by seven additional events exploring more specific collection areas and resources. The complete programme, and links to registers, can be found on the British Council website

27th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium, The Courtauld Institute of Art

The Courtauld Institute of Art is hosting its 27th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium, ‘God is in the Details: The Art of Detail in the Middle Ages’, which will take place on the 29th of April, 2022. They are eager to attract postgraduate speakers working on a wide range of geographical areas and with interesting methodologies related to scale and close looking. For further details and to submit a paper proposal, visit this page of the Courtauld website.

Smarthistory Honoraria for Art Historians impacted by Covid-19

Since 2020, with funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and private donors, Smarthistory (the Center for Public Art History) has offered 75 $1,000 honoraria to early career art historians. Now, thanks to support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Smarthistory is able to offer 10 additional $1,000 honoraria to emerging scholars who have suffered financial hardship due to the pandemic. For more information and to apply online, visit this page of the Smarthistory website

Southeast Asia Luce Foundation Archives Fellowships

The University of Washington Libraries invites applicants for our Southeast Asian Studies Archives Fellowship Program funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.  We invite recent Ph.D. graduates, or finishing doctoral candidates across all disciplines in the arts, humanities and social sciences to apply for a one-quarter long full time paid fellowships in the 2022-2023 academic year.  Fellows will spend a quarter in one of the leading Southeast Asian Studies library collections in the country, and have the opportunity to learn about library and archival practice while working with Southeast Asia Librarian, Dr. Judith Henchy. Additional information about the fellowship can be found on the SEAFellows page of the University of Washington website.

Lemmermann Foundation

The Lemmermann Foundation awards a limited number of fellowships to master's students and doctoral candidates in order to support their cost of research in the classical studies and humanities. Topic of research must be related to Rome and the Roman culture of any period, from the Pre-Roman period to the present day. For further information, please visit the Lemmermann Foundation website.

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies

Launched in 2014, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies supports research and teaching in Buddhist studies. With funding from The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, ACLS offers an integrated set of fellowship and grant competitions to expand the understanding and interpretation of Buddhist thought in scholarship and society, strengthen international networks of Buddhist studies, and increase the visibility of innovative currents in those studies. Further information on this opportunity can be found on the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) website.

Monthly online lunch for PG students in Buddhist Studies

The Edinburgh Buddhist Studies network is trialing a new method for fostering community and peer support for PG students in Buddhist Studies, namely a monthly lunch in our virtual Gathertown space. The idea is to give PG students from various institutions (where, in most cases, they may have few if any peers in the field) a space to informally chat about their work, support one another and share ideas. 

The first meeting will be on Thursday 20th January 12-1 (UK time) in the Lunch room, EBS Castle, Gather.town. 

PhD or Masters students (or those in between) who would like to join this gathering should contact Elodie Pascal on the EBS email address buddhist.studies@ed.ac.uk to get the joining link.  Although the main focus is to connect UK students, those from further afield are also welcome.

The George De Menasce Memorial Trust Award, Oriental Ceramic Society

The Oriental Ceramic Society, London, invites applications for the George de Menasce Memorial Trust Award. The grant of £1,000 is intended to promote new research in the field of Asian art and to support specialized studies. The successful candidate will be required to read a previously unpublished paper on his or her research results to the Society, of a level suitable for publication in the Society’s Transactions. To apply, please email Mary Painter at ocs.london@btinernet.com.

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology is a registered UK charity that aims to advance the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music and dance, including folk, popular, classical, urban, and other genres, of all countries. The BFE is committed to funding regular events that provide forums for interested persons to share the findings of—and engage in dialogue about—their research. In addition to subsidising a growing number of events in co-operation with other international organisations, the BFE holds three yearly conferences.

The BFE Annual Conference runs for four days and is usually held in April during the Easter vacation period. It typically has a theme, although delegates may present research on any subject of interest to ethnomusicologists. The gathering provides a space not only to reflect on research, but also to hear and make music. Students are encouraged to attend and present papers, and a number of bursaries may be offered to assist them (subject to committee approval).

The BFE One-Day Conference is normally held in November. The call for papers invites proposals for presentations on a specific theme. Students are encouraged to attend and present their research.

The BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference is held each year in early January and is jointly sponsored by the BFE and the Royal Musical Association. It offers students an opportunity to present their research and gain familiarity with the conference environment in a supportive atmosphere.

The BFE also offers a range of grants and prizes, including a fieldwork grant for doctoral students and a cash prize for an outstanding paper presented by a student at the BFE Annual Conference. For more information, please visit the BFE website.