This innovative scholarship programme provides an opportunity for postgraduate research students to undertake a package of training and career development, including teaching or research assistance, and to join a research network concentrated in a particular field of study.


This network will draw on the developing links of the new Research Centre for Polish-Lithuanian Studies with the Museum of Polish History (Warsaw) and the National Museum of Scotland to examine the rich political, religious, cultural and trading links between Scotland, and in particular northeastern Scotland, with the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania in the early modern period. Scotland’s links with Scandinavia have been substantially documented, but although much work has been undertaken identifying Scottish migrants to the inland provinces of Poland-Lithuania, in part carried out by RIISS, and documented in Peter Bajer’s comprehensive study, less work has been done on Scottish migration to the Polish province of Royal Prussia, where the major cities were largely German in culture, and Lithuania proper.

PhD Project: Images of a Foreign Land

Supervisors: Professor Robert Frost, Professor Karin Friedrich

One of the most intriguing aspects of the relationship between Poland-Lithuania and Scotland in the early modern period is the way in which the substantial migration of Scots to Poland-Lithuania affected the image of Poland-Lithuania in Scotland, and the image of Scotland in Poland-Lithuania. This project will chart the changing attitudes on both sides as in political and religious terms the two systems diverged in the seventeenth century. It will examine in particular the crisis years of the mid-seventeenth century, when both systems faced civil war and fundamental political upheaval, and its aftermath. It will also look at discussions of the Polish-Lithuanian union during the debates surrounding the unions of 1603 and 1707.


Applicants must be of outstanding academic merit and potential for independent research, as evidenced by the candidate’s academic record, prior qualifications, proposal and references. Selection will be based on this evidence and upon the strength of the proposed engagement with the advertised research project.

Applicants must be classified as Overseas students for fees purposes as set by the University of Aberdeen.

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold prior to commencement of studies, an undergraduate degree at UK first class or 2:1 honours level, or the international equivalent. It is preferable but not a requirement that you hold a Masters relevant to your chosen area of study. Other factors such as financial status and nationality are not taken into account.

Application Procedure

Application will be via the PhD application portal. Further information on the process may be found at this site.

You must include a detailed research proposal (1000-1500 words) which sets out how you will engage with the advertised PhD project, degree transcripts and certificates, and be supported by two academic references. Further guidance on research proposal may be found here.

You should mark your application “DHP James Beattie Scholarship” in the Intended Source of Funding.

The deadline for applications is 15 September 2020. Successful applicants will be notified in late September 2020.


15th of September 2020

Further Info

Before you apply, contact a member of the supervisory team. This is an opportunity to discuss your potential fit with the project, how your own research interests will benefit the project, and how you intend to frame your research proposal.