Research Projects for PGR students

We Are Bristol History Commission: paid research project student opportunity (call now closed)

An opportunity to undertake a paid research opportunity with the University of Bristol’s Brigstow Institute that will contribute to the work of the We Are Bristol History Commission.  

Tasks for the project will be set taking into account the most recent advice re Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Brigstow are looking to appoint up to four postgraduate research project students to work alongside the initial work of the We are Bristol History Commission.


The We Are Bristol History Commission was formally launched in summer 2020.  Announced by the Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees in June 2020, the commission was brought together to explore Bristol’s past and initiate a city-wide conversation about Bristol’s history in the aftermath of the toppling of the Colston statue. Alongside professional historians, the history commission also includes a wide-range of academics from sectors including philosophy, trade unions, arts and culture, and law.

The work of the commission is planned around exploring a series of questions: what have we remembered (and forgotten), where have we come from, what have we made, how have we lived, what have we believed, what have we fought for (and fought over)? The commission will work with citizens and community groups to develop and delve into these questions together.

Postgraduate research project students 

The four postgraduate research project students will work with the Brigstow Institute and the co-chairs of the first History Commission theme (Tim Cole and Joanna Burch Brown) as well as with planned UWE student researchers overseen by Shawn Sobers. We would like to appoint students to conduct some initial historical research (two students) and research into digital and analogue communication platforms (two students) to support the work of the Commission.

Historical research:

We would like two students with skills and interests in historical research to develop resources to sit alongside the two opening themes/questions posed by the Commission: What have we remembered (and forgotten)? And where have we come from? These resources might range from a DIY kit for guerrilla memorialisation through to case studies of Bristol migration stories for use in schools.

Engagement and communication platforms:

We are looking to engage two students with skills and interests in digital and analogue communication to develop and experiment with methods to engage citizens in not simply sharing their stories, but also hearing and listening to the stories of others. What tools and platforms might facilitate a city wide conversation about our past?

Pay, hours and requirements 

You will be paid at an hourly rate of £13.05 plus holiday pay (equivalent of £14.63 per hour) for 60 hours of work. Hours are flexible but deliverables are due by the end of March 2021. 


Your work will be supervised by Tim Cole and Joanna Burch-Brown (who are co-chairing the first theme for the We Are Bristol History Commission).

Eligibility – Who is considered a PGR student? 

This opportunity is open to all students registered at the University of Bristol to undertake a: 

  • PhD 
  • Professional doctorate 
  • Masters by Research 
  • MPhil 

How can I apply? 

There is a short application form at this link for you to complete – please be clear about your background and why you are excited by the project. For further information please contact

Applications for research project studentships should be submitted by 1pm Tuesday 5th January 2021. 

We will notify people as soon as we can after these dates. 

If you would find it useful to download the guidelines, here is a PDF for you. 

We are Bristol history commission guidelines (PDF, 110kB)

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