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Calling all Undergraduate history students:

20 May 2013

Opportunity to gain experience of archival research at postgraduate level this summer.

We are looking for an undergraduate student to work on the following project during either August or September 2013. This Cardiff University Research Opportunities Programme [CUROP] project will give the student experience of archival research at postgraduate level.
Project Title: ‘a long tale of filth, neglect, carelessness and disease’: public health in Victorian rural Wales
Project Outline
This project explores death and diseases in Victorian rural Wales to help understand the sanitary problems encountered in non-urban environments. The first step in thinking about this is a county-level examination of the quantitative evidence from the annual reports of rural medical officer of health (MOH). Although short, each report contains a wealth of data. The project aims to mine the MOH reports for Glamorgan’s rural sanitary districts for the period 1975-1900 – the period seen as the height of Victorian sanitary reform - extracting the quantitative mortality and morbidity data. Given changes in disease terminology, judgements will need to be made about the identity of disease outbreaks as well as their causation (e.g. sewerage, polluted water, food, etc). The data collected can then be mapped and used to inform subsequent assessments of rural sanitation.
The research for this project will be undertaken in the Glamorgan Archives where the MOH reports are held. Archive staff will be on hand to provide supervision and the project lead (Keir Waddington) will be present 1-2 days per week in Glamorgan Archive to offer guidance and conduct research.
The project will give the student experience of archival research at postgraduate level. As a result, s/he will be able to demonstrate general expertise in advanced research skills; be able to show personal accountability in terms of decision making in the research process; and be able to communicate research results and problems to a supervisor. S/he will acquire specific skills in the handling of quantitative historical data; and in the analysis and evaluation of primary source material.
Person specification
· Good knowledge of late nineteenth and twentieth century British and Welsh History
· Some familiarity with using primary source material for the study of history
· Enthusiasm for historical research, particularly in the field of the history of medicine
· Ability to use a range of IT programmes, particularly MS Excel
· Ability to collect and collate relevant historical material, and maintain detailed records
· Ability to present the results of research in a clear and organized fashion
· Ability to both follow instructions and work on own initiative
Application method:
Application is by a letter which explains your suitability for the post, a curriculum vitae, and an interview.
Closing date for applications: 24 May 2013
Please send the letter and CV electronically to Keir Waddington (WaddingtonK@cardiff.ac.uk)

Payment
All CUROP posts are paid at a set University rate [£170 per week]. Total payment for this four week project is likely to be £680.