PhD Studentship in Art History – University College Dublin

The School of Art History and Cultural Policy at University College Dublin is pleased to announce a generously funded Ad Astra PhD studentship in Art History, supervised by Dr Sean Leatherbury. The award is open to both EU and non-EU candidates, and includes a full tuition fee waiver, a stipend of €18,000 per annum, and €4,000 per annum for research. The award is for a maximum of four years of full-time PhD study.

Dr Leatherbury is interested in receiving proposals within the broad areas of Roman, Late Antique, or Byzantine art. He is especially interested in PhD projects that engage with one or more of the following themes and topic areas:


  • the transformation of material and visual culture in the Mediterranean world from the Roman period to late antiquity (c. 300-800 CE)
  • cross-cultural and/or inter-faith engagements in material and visual culture (pagan/polytheist, Jewish, Christian, Islamic)
  • material-visual properties of texts, especially inscriptions
  • floor and wall mosaics
  • the so-called ‘minor arts’ in late antiquity (e.g. glass, silver, textiles, jewelry)
  • Roman and Late Antique theories of the image

 Projects focused on the art and architecture of the eastern Mediterranean (modern Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and neighbouring countries) are particularly encouraged, as are projects that engage with museum collections and cultural heritage issues, though any Roman, Late Antique, or Byzantine topic is welcome. The successful candidate will have a strong academic background in art history and/or classics, archaeology, or Late Antique and Byzantine studies.

 Should you have any questions or wish to discuss your proposal prior to application, please contact Dr Sean Leatherbury at  More information on his research interests is available at

UCD’s School of Art History and Cultural Policy is the largest art history department in Ireland, and the successful candidate will join a thriving research community closely connected with a range of national and international museums and cultural institutions, as well as with other schools at UCD (e.g. Classics, Archaeology). For more information on the School of Art History & Cultural Policy, please visit  More information on UCD’s Graduate Research programme is available here:

Application Closing date: 27 April 2020

Applications will be reviewed by a committee at School level, and applicants may be requested to conduct a Skype interview as part of the application process. Applicants will be informed of a decision in May, at which point the successful applicant may formally apply for admission to UCD. Students will be expected to be available to commence study in September 2020 or January 2021.


Application Requirements:

Please submit the following to Dr Sean Leatherbury ( by the closing date: cover letter; CV; writing sample; two letters of reference; proposal (1000-1500 words plus indicative bibliography)


Assessment Criteria:

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria: the candidate’s academic track record; the quality of the candidate’s application for entry to the University, including the

rigour and viability of the research proposal and the rationale for study; letters of reference; priority research areas detailed above.

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