University of Nottingham, Department of Classics and Archaeology 3-year PhD Scholarship

Closing Date
Friday, 6th August 2021
Classics & Archaeology

The Department of Classics and Archaeology at the University of Nottingham, U.K., is pleased to invite applications for a 3-year PhD scholarship (36 months, full-time) to start in October 2021 or February 2022, generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The scholarship is part of the Leverhulme Research Project ‘Divine Saving in Greek and Chinese Polytheism’, directed by Dr. Theodora Jim. 

PhD project: The last few decades have seen a multiplicity of new paradigms in the study of Greek religion.  This PhD project will undertake a specialised study, within the broader field of Greek polytheism, of a particular instance of the neglected phenomenon of ‘special relationships’ between pairs of gods: that of Zeus and Athena. The PhD thesis will analyse the relationship between Zeus and Athena in myth and cult, and reconstruct in detail the history and development of their joint cults from the Archaic period to the Hellenistic. As they appeared particularly often in military and maritime contexts as a pair, the project will identify the epithets under which they were jointly worshipped (e.g. Zeus Soter and Athena Soteira, Zeus Polieus and Athena Polias, Zeus Boulaios and Athena Boulaia), and locate this pairing of gods within the context of military and maritime religion and the plurality of gods worshipped by those at sea and on campaign. Other potential areas of enquiry include: the spheres of competence of Zeus and Athena; how the character of their joint cults replicated, overlapped with, or differed from their own separate cults; how their power changed (if at all) over time and across the Mediterranean. The thesis will thus tackle important questions about the character of Greek polytheism: the complex working of Greek religion, the system of relations between the gods, and ways of conceptualizing the divine.

Funding: The scholarship comprises UK tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance of ₤15,609 for 3 years (full-time). EU and international students are eligible to apply but must make up for the difference in costs. 

Application process: Applicants should complete the application form, and provide (i) a personal statement indicating their potential to work on this topic, (ii) a full curriculum vitae, (iii) official transcripts, (iv) details of 2 academic referees and, (v) where English is not the first language, proof of English language proficiency. All documents should be submitted to by 6th August 2021 12.00 noon. Applicants should also ensure that referees submit their references to this email address by the same deadline. Shortlisted candidates will be notified in the middle of August, and interviews will be held on 1st September 2021. 

Further information: The Department of Classics and Archaeology at the University of Nottingham, U.K., ( has a long tradition of research excellence on ancient Greek history and religion. The successful student will benefit from the Department’s dynamic research environment, vibrant postgraduate community, rich library collections, dedicated open-plan office space, and regular research events including the weekly Departmental Research Workshop, the Work-in-Progress Graduate Seminars, and the Midlands Classics Colloquium. Depending on their research interests, they will also have the opportunity to join the leading research centres hosted by the Department: The Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies (CSPS), The Centre for Ancient Drama and its Reception (CADRE), The Centre for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies (CLABS), and the University’s Institute for Medieval Research (IMS).

Qualifications: we are looking for applicants with the following qualifications:


  • A first-class (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in Classics or Ancient History (or their joint degrees), with a specific knowledge of Classical and Hellenistic Greek history and an interest in ancient Greek religion.
  • A Master’s degree (or equivalent, completed or in progress) in a relevant subject area including (but not restricted to) Classics, Ancient History and their joint degrees, or equivalent research experience.
  • Good competence in ancient Greek language.
  • Excellent competence in English.
  • Independent research and organizational skills.


  • Knowledge and ability to work with documentary sources, especially literary and epigraphic materials.
  • Demonstrable experience of research capabilities in the area of ancient Greek history and religion. 

Further enquiries: informal enquiries about the advertised post may be directed to Dr. Theodora Jim at