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PhD Research Bursary: The Nature of Kodak Research

De Montfort University, Leicester, is offering a  PhD research studentship within the Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC), an international leading multi-disciplinary research institute, to suitably qualified UK or EU students.

The researcher will investigate an aspect of his or her own choosing that will address ‘The Nature of Kodak Research’. The researcher will have access to our partner institutions with substantial Kodak holdings: the British Library, the University of Rochester, the Victorian Museum, Melbourne, the National Media Museum, Bradford, and the George Eastman House, Rochester.

This research opportunity is funded by DMU in 2011/12 to build on our excellent achievements in the RAE 2008 and looking forward to REF 2014. It will develop the University’s research capacity into new and evolving areas of study, enhancing DMU’s national and international research partnerships.


The Nature of Kodak Research
Kodak, the company trading variously as Eastman Dry Plate Company, Eastman Kodak, Eastman Chemical Co, Kodak AG, Kodak Pathé and Kodak Ltd, is one of the icons of globalised industry.

‘Kodak’ became an uncommon eponym – a verb as well as a noun – and its research reached the heart of the global industries of defense, medicine, paper manufacture, chemistry and leisure. The four areas of Kodak marketing, business practice, research and manufacturing that united this global company provide unique insight into twentieth century history, through the lens of a photographic company.

In 2009, the Kodak Ltd archive entered the British Library, while the research journals were given to De Montfort University. These complement holdings at the University of Rochester, NY; The Media Museum, Bradford; the Victoria Museum, Melbourne, the George Eastman House, Rochester and Ryerson University, Toronto. A networking bid is already underway from the PHRC to unite these institutions in a formal Network.

The Photographic History Research Centre seeks a PhD candidate to research a specific aspect of The Nature of Kodak Research. The Kodak Research Laboratory was founded in 1912, with the installation of the Director Dr Kenneth Mees.

Subsequent research laboratories in other territories also took up directed and blue-sky research within their own organisations. Research at Kodak was many things: Emulsion research for scientific projects; chemical industry research; medical applications of photography; defense industry research on infra-red film; and colour research, among other things. The candidate may choose one of these specific areas, or an area reflecting his or her own specialist knowledge. The successful candidate will demonstrate an interest in the history of photography and the history of science.

Utilising the full spectrum of the networked archives, the successful candidate will participate in Network activities, and will have unprecedented access to the international spectrum of Kodak research. He or she will also have access to advice from all named partners in the Network, as well as the DMU supervisory team.

The Photographic History Research Centre has a strong track record in both the history of science and research of photographic industries. Among our active members working in this area are: Dr Michael Pritchard (British Industry), Dr Kelley Wilder (science and photography) and David Prakel (PhD candidate working on Kodak).

The PHRC seeks an energetic and team oriented person to join this growing scholarly community.
Applications are invited from UK or EU students with a good first degree (First, 2:1 or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Doctoral scholarships are available for up to three years full-time study starting October 2011 and provide a bursary of £13,770pa in addition to University tuition fees.

Applicants should contact the Faculty Research Office to receive an application pack, which requires a full CV with two supporting. Applications close Monday, 11 April 2011.

Contact:  Helen Harrison e: Tel: +44 (0)116 257 7520 quoting ref: DMU studentships 2011

For a more detailed description of the studentship project please contact Dr Kelley Wilder on +44 (0)116 207 8865 or email  

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