Find a supervisor

Once you know what you would like to study, it’s important to find a supervisor who is an expert in the area, and who can guide you through the three-year programme. This is the first step in the application process.

PhD student in meeting with two supervisors

The School of English hosts a broad spectrum of researchers with expertise across linguistics, literature (including creative writing and film), literary linguistics, theatre, and the intersections between these fields.

Find a PhD supervisor by subject area:

Literature and Creative Writing

Professor Frances Babbage

Contemporary Theatre and Performance; Adaptation;
Applied Theatre Practices; Devising and Documentation.

Dr Veronica Barnsley

Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures (particularly South Asia and West Africa), Global Modernisms, Childhood in Contemporary Fiction and Film, Children's Literature

Dr Anna Barton

Nineteenth-Century Poetry, Print Culture;
Nonsense Literature

Professor Joe Bray

Stylistics; The Eighteenth-Century Novel; Experimental Literature.

Dr Madeleine Callaghan

Romantic and Post-Romantic Poetry; 20th Century British and Irish Poetry.

Dr Fabienne Collignon

Cold War culture; technology; technologised spaces; American literature since 1900; genre fiction & film.

Dr Katherine Ebury

Modernism (especially Joyce, Yeats and Beckett); literature and science; Irish Studies; and modern and contemporary poetry.

Dr Katie Edwards

Function, impact and influence of the Bible in contemporary culture, intersections of gender, race and class in popular cultural reappropriations of biblical characters and narratives, biblical literacy and popular culture

Dr Jonathan Ellis

Twentieth-Century Poetry; Letter Writing, Contemporary Cinema.

Dr David Forrest

British Cinema; British Television Drama; Space and Place in Film.

Professor Joanna Gavins

Stylistics; Cognitive Poetics; Text-Worlds; Absurdist Literature.

Professor Jane Hodson

Stylistics; Romantic Literature; Dialect in Literature.

Dr Helena Ifill

Victorian Literature and Science Writing; Sensation Fiction; the Periodical Press.

Dr Michael Kindellan

20th century Anglo-American poetry and poetics; editorial theory; textual studies; Ezra Pound; pedagogy

Dr Agnes Lehoczky

Modernist and Postmodernist Poetry and Poetics, - particularly the Modernist Ágnes Nemes Nagy's Poetry and Essays.

Dr Hamish Mathison

Robert Burns; Print Culture; Scottish Poetry; Eighteenth-Century Literature.

Dr Robert McKay

Twentieth Century Literature; Animal Studies; Postcolonialism.

Dr John Miller

Victorian Literature and Culture; Ecocriticism; Animal Studies; Colonialism/Postcolonialism/Globalization.

Dr Marcus Nevitt

Cheap Print; Literature of the 1650s; Royalism; Seventeenth-Century Journalism; The Works of Sir William Davenant.

Professor Adam Piette

War Studies; Modernist Literature; Translation; Contemporary Poetry.

Dr Beryl Pong

Modernism; British and global Anglophone literature; war studies; short fiction; narrative; film

Dr Jonathan Rayner

Australasian Cinema; Cinema and Landscape; Naval Films; Genre Films.

Dr Amber Regis

Victorian Literature; Auto/Biography; Gender and Sexuality; Adaptation Studies.

Dr Emma Rhatigan

Early Modern Religious Writing; Sermons; John Donne.

Dr Tom Rutter

Early modern drama; Shakespeare; Marlowe; playing companies.

Professor Cathy Shrank

Early Modern Literature; Dialogue; Sonnets; Humanism.

Professor Andrew Smith

Nineteenth Century Literature, Gothic, literature and Science.

Dr Richard Steadman-Jones

Colonial Culture; Exile Narratives; History of Linguistic Ideas; Arts Practice; Grammar and Rhetoric.

Dr Charlotte Steenbrugge

Medieval Literature; Medieval Drama in Performance.

Professor Brendan Stone

Literature and Trauma; Contemporary Fiction; Literary Theory.

Dr Rachel Van Duyvenbode

American Literature; Race and Gender Studies; Whiteness in Literature.

Dr Duco Van Oostrum

American Literature; Sports Culture; African-American Literature and Film; Auto/Biography; and 1970s Culture.

Professor Sue Vice

Modern and Contemporary Literature; Holocaust Studies; Film.

Dr Meredith Warren

Gospel of John, Revelation, Meals in the Greco-Roman World, Early Judaism, Ancient Romance Novels, Pseudepigrapha, Senses in Antiquity

Dr Sara Whiteley 

Stylistics; Cognitive Poetics; Emotion; Reader Response.

Professor Angela Wright

Romanticism; Gothic; Eighteenth-Century Literature; Translation; Women's Writing.

Linguistics

Professor Susan Fitzmaurice

Historical Sociolinguistics; Historical Pragmatics; World Englishes.

Dr Kook-Hee Gil

Syntax; Semantics; Generative Second Language Acquisition.

Dr Nigel Harwood

Academic writing; English for specific and academic purposes; Materials and textbook design; Corpus-driven pedagogy.

Dr Valerie Hobbs

English for Specific Purposes, Second Language Writing, Corpus Linguistics, Language Teacher Education, Reformed Christian Discourse.

Dr Kaarina Hollo

Medieval Irish Literature; Translation into/from Irish.

Dr Gerry Howley

Sociolinguistics; sociophonetics; second language acquisition; acquisition of variation in a second language; mixed methods research; ethnography.

Dr Chris Montgomery

Dialectology, Sociolinguistics, Varieties of English, Perceptual Dialectology, Folk Linguistics, Language Attitudes.

Dr Emma Moore

Identity; Gender; Dialectology; Ethnography; Style; Language Variation and Change.

Dr Jane Mulderrig

Critical Discourse Analysis; Corpus-based CDA; Identity; Political Discourse; Ageing and the Elderly.

Dr Robyn Orfitelli

Syntax; First language acquisition; Prosody/Intonation; Experimental methodology

Dr Gabriel Ozon

Syntax of Light Verb Constructions

Dr Ranjan Sen

Phonology; Phonetics; Historical Linguistics; Psycholinguistics; Comparative Philology.

Dr Gareth Walker

Phonetics; Conversation Analysis; Phonetics of talk-in-interaction.

Dr Graham Wiliams

Historical (Im)politeness and Pragmatics; Early English Letters; Digital Corpora; Palaeography.

Theatre

Dr Bill McDonnell

20th Century Political Theatre(s): Applied Theatre: Theatre Historiography

Dr Carmen Levick

Physical Theatre; Shakespeare in Performance; Contemporary European Theatre.

Professor Steve Nicholson

Theatre & Performance; Contemporary Playwrights; British Political Theatre; Theatre Censorship.

Dr Rachel Zerihan

Experimental Theatre Practices; Contemporary Performance; Live Art.

The roles of different types of supervisors

Primary supervisors

Primary supervisors are responsible for all communications regarding the student's progress to their funding body, to faculty and to the course manager. The primary supervisor is responsible for scheduling meetings, commenting on drafts, and determining the overall pattern of work in negotiation with the student.


Second supervisors

Second supervisors are responsible for providing general support and advice as appropriate (for instance on issues in their areas of specialised competence such as methodology). In the first month of registration, the student should meet at least once with their second supervisor.

In some instances it may be appropriate for particular supervisory sessions to involve both primary and secondary supervisors. This is a matter of negotiation between the supervisors and the student.


Joint supervisors

We would normally expect supervision sessions to involve both supervisors. This is especially the case in the first semester. At the end of the first semester the supervisors and student should have negotiated how they want the supervision to be shared and the responsibilities of each supervisor.


Supervision meetings

For full-time research students, we would expect supervisory meetings to be held once per month. Allowing for holidays, this would equate to a minimum of 10 supervisory sessions per year. For part-time students, we would expect a minimum of six meetings per year.

In the first semester of registration, supervisory meetings will probably need to be more frequent and as a general rule meetings should be once every two weeks.


Next steps

Once you have found a suitable supervisor, please email them directly to ensure that they have availability. You may wish to provide some information on your proposed research as well, to make sure that it is in an area they are able to supervise.

At any step in the process, you can also email english@sheffield.ac.uk for information about the application process.

Writing your research proposal