The history of everyday life in Salazar's Portugal (1933-1974)

A fully-funded PhD studentship is available to work on the case-study of Portugal (1933-1974) as part of the research team working on the ERC-funded project  'Dictatorship as experience: a comparative history of everyday life and the lived experience of dictatorship in Mediterranean Europe (1922-1975)', under the supervision of the Principal Investigator, Dr Kate Ferris.

The project explores how dictatorships in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece were enacted and experienced in the everyday spaces and worlds of the ordinary people who lived through them, thereby uncovering the ways in which dictatorships could be constructed 'from below' as well as 'from above', and both the overlaps and gaps between the 'intended' dictatorship and the 'actually-existing' dictatorship.

The PhD studentship will begin in September 2018, based in the School of History at the University of St Andrews (with significant periods to be spent in Portugal), for up to four years. The PhD studentship offers the successful applicant the exciting prospect of combining the flexibility of shaping and pursuing an independently-researched thesis exploring a particular dimension of everyday life / the 'lived experience' of dictatorship in Portugal (that falls within the rubric of the project outlined below and decided in agreement with the PI) with the opportunity to work collaboratively within a financially-secure research team and to contribute to co-authored publications.

The PhD thesis should explore one or more (potentially even all) of the 'everyday spaces' / aspects of 'everyday life' listed below:

  • Domestic spaces.
  • Family relationships and friendship networks.
  • Consumption of everyday goods and materials (food, clothes, provision of shelter).
  • Leisure time and practices (including sport, cinema-going, travel and vacations).
  • Transient public spaces of everyday life e.g. train stations and carriages, streets and squares

The successful applicant will have a first class/ high 2.i (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in History, or a closely related discipline, and should have completed an appropriate taught-postgraduate degree (or equivalent) by September 2018. An excellent working knowledge of Portuguese, or a demonstrable ability to acquire these language skills quickly, is essential. (Some assistance with language training can be provided.) The working language of the project team will be English (and any another language common to all team members) and the PhD thesis will be written in English. Applicants whose first language is not English are asked to provide evidence of English proficiency as part of the application process.

The scholarship covers the successful students  full-time home/EU tuition fees, pays an annual stipend at RCUK rates (£14,553 p.a. in 2017-18, expected to rise to £14,777 in 2018-19), and includes a research budget allowance to cover expenses related to archival research, conference attendance and training. The studentship is offered for 3 years in the first instance, with the possibility for an extension to a fourth year, under the same financial conditions. As a first step, prospective applicants should contact Dr Kate Ferris ( for further information about the project, in order to put together a 500-word research proposal. Following this, applicants should apply for a PhD place via the University of St Andrews standard application process: listing Dr Kate Ferris as the potential supervisor.

Published on: 
3 May 2018