Dr Laura Mair

Dr Laura Mair
Dr Laura Mair
Dr Laura Mair

MA (Hons), MA, PhD, FHEA, FRHistS


Accepting PhDs

Email Address
Office Address
203 Crombie Annexe
Old Aberdeen Campus
College Bounds
AB24 3TS

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School of Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History


I am a historian of modern Scotland in her broader context, with particular interests in children, disability, and religion. I undertook a Master's in History at Leiden University in 2012 and was awarded my doctorate by the University of Edinburgh in 2017. Focusing on the relationships formed within ragged schools across Britain and adopting microhistory approaches, my PhD straddled both Divinity and History.   

Between 2016 and 2018 I was the Hope Trust Postdoctoral Fellow, based in Edinburgh University's School of Divinity. After completing this project, I was Research Assistant to Professor Louise Jackson in the early stages of Gender Equalities at Work. From 2018 to 2020 I wrote and edited Impact Case Studies in preparation for REF 2021. Between 2020 and 2021 I oversaw tutor training and professional development in the University of Edinburgh's School of Divinity. In 2022 I was made an Honorary Fellow of New College.

I was appointed the Mary R. S. Creese Lecturer in Modern Scottish History in January 2023. 




  • MA (Hons) Divinity 
    2010 - University of Edinburgh 
  • MA History 
    2012 - University of Leiden 
  • PhD Ecclesiastical History 
    2017 - University of Edinburgh 

External Memberships

Conference Secretary to the Scottish Church History Society

Committee Member of the Ecclesiastical History Society

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Prizes and Awards

Hope Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship. 2016-2018.  

Residential Scholarships – Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden. 2014; 2015; 2016; 2017. 

Travel Grants – School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh. 2013; 2014; 2015; School of History, Classics, and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh. 2014. 

Scholarship from the Institut Catholique, Paris. 2013. 

Edinburgh University’s Principal’s Career Development Scholarship. 2012-2015. 

King’s College, London - Nineteenth-Century Studies Scholarship. 2011. 


Research Overview

My research focuses primarily on Scotland and is underpinned by an interest in marginal and underrepresented voices. Youth, disability, and poverty sit at the heart of my research, though I am also interested in subjects such as emigration, religion, and welfare. 

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in History.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me


Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Modern History
  • Scottish History
  • History of Religions

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

Social Christianity in Scotland and Beyond, which I edited alongside Dr Andrew Kloes, will be published in Edinburgh University Press's Scottish Religious Cultures series in 2024. I am currently writing a short monograph, due to appear in Brill's Research Perspectives on Religion and Education, which explores how religious division shaped educational provision in Edinburgh. I am in the early stages of a project considering the nature and legacy of Protestant institutions for poor children living with disabilities over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.    

Past Research

My research to date has focused on the British ragged school movement, which has proven a fruitful lens through which to explore questions of childhood, disability, gender, and poverty. My first book, Religion and Relationships in Ragged Schools: An Intimate History of Educating the Poor (Routledge, 2019), adopted a microhistory approach to consider the longitudinal impact of ragged schools. In recent scholarship I have explored the distinctiveness of the Scottish ragged schools, highlighting the complex evangelical and philanthropic networks that underpinned and connected these institutions across Britiain. I have published articles in journals such as Journal of Victorian CultureChurch HistoryScottish Church History, and Family and Community. 

Knowledge Exchange

Having acted as a consultant to a number of museums and archives, I am keen to engage with the heritage sector. Of particular note, I was research consultant to the Victoria and Albert Museum's Museum of Childhood in connection with their exhibition 'On Their Own: Britain's Child Migrants' (2015-2016).


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