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CMYK PortraitTHM is delighted to announce that the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have approved funding for a collaborative PhD post to be jointly supervised by THM and the University of Wolverhampton.

The title of the research project is An Oral History of England and Team GB Women’s International Hockey Representatives, 1951-2016 and it aims to produce a collective biography of women who have represented England and GB over the last 60 years. The work will specifically look at the women who played in the 41 Wembley international matches between 1951 and 1991, the Women’s Hockey World Cups between 1974 and 2014 and as part of Team GB at the Olympic Games from 1980 to 2016. Research will include archival research as well as collected oral histories of England International players from 1951 to the 2016 Olympics and, where appropriate, their family members and the administrators, medical and coaching staff who enabled the players to travel on behalf of their national teams. This is significant because women’s work as national representatives of England and, at the Olympic Games as Team GB, used to be amateur but is now increasingly professional. This chronology evidences women’s improved specialisation as elite players and a consequent broader public recognition, as shown by the gold medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. A more detailed description of the project can be found in the "Research And Study Topics" section of THM website, here.

The academic lead for the research will be the renowned sports historian, Professor Jean Williams, formerly at De Montfort University and now based at the University of Wolverhampton. Jean brings with her the experience of many years of researching sporting heritage, particularly women’s sport and she is keen to further investigate hockey’s rich past. She commented that "This will be the first thesis of its kind on women’s hockey and it is very timely and topical with the recent success of the GB women at the Rio Olympics".

Katie Dodd, the Chair of THM Trustees commented, "The award of this significant grant is recognition of THM’s commitment to undertaking an authoritative programme of research that in time will support us being able to tell the story of the development of the world game ahead of the International Hockey Federation’s centenary in 2024".

Interviews will take place in the coming months to find a candidate for the PhD position. The grant is for a 3.5 year period starting in September 2017 with at least 6 months spent on-site at Woking supporting a range of museum activities as we dictate.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC, please go to:

For more information about the project, please contact Katie Dodd through our contact form.


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