UCL Anthropology


Funded MPhil/PhD Opportunities

26 July 2016

The Department of Anthropology at UCL is seeking 2 MPhil/PhD candidates to participate in an exciting ERC funded project "Citizens of Photography: The Camera and the Political Imagination" co-ordinated by Professor Christopher Pinney. Participants will be required to conduct fieldwork in one of the following locations: Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and Nicaragua. "Citizens of Photography" is an empirical anthropological investigation of the relationship between photographic self-representation and different societies' understanding of what is politically possible. Prolonged ethnographic fieldwork will study how local communities use photography to represent individuals, families, and other identities and explore whether this plays a role in the manner in which people articulate their political hopes and demands. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Christopher Pinney at c.pinney@ucl.ac.uk for further details.

The post involves working as part of a close collaborative team, as well as carrying out independent fieldwork.

Duties and Responsibilities

We are looking for persons preferably with a background in anthropology or other relevant discipline. Applicants should have, or be in a position to acquire the relevant language in which they will conduct their fieldwork. There is provision for language training and basic film-making techniques in the project. The duties and responsibilities expected of the candidates include taking part in the group's reading and writing group, completing a PhD and writing a monograph based on their research, and contributing a chapter to an edited volume based on a workshop. The project also involves an exhibition showcasing visual aspects of the research.

Person Specification

Candidates will be considered for the post on the basis of the selection criteria outlined below.


  • First degree in anthropology, development studies, geography, photography, sociology, political economy, or other relevant discipline
  • Familiarity with issues pertaining to photographic theory, politics and representation
  • Experience of and ability to carry out fieldwork
  • Relevant linguistic skills or ability to acquire them
  • Ability to contribute to and engage actively with team research
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

How to apply

Please email your application in pdf format to Pascale Searle (pascale.searle@ucl.ac.uk) who is the Project Manager for Citizens of Photography: The Camera and the Political Imagination.  Please include a full CV and a piece of work (c. 5,000 words) from your masters or a related dissertation, along with a statement (750 words) describing how you are qualified and prepared for the position and how you would approach the proposed area of research.

Please arrange for TWO academic referees to write confidentially to Prof Chris Pinney, c/Pascale Searle; to be received no later than the closing date.   References can be emailed.

The successful candidate will be required to complete a UCL research student application on-line (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply/research/how-to-apply) in order to enrol at UCL and be formally registered to receive the studentship. 

Closing date: 5pm on Monday 15th August 2016.