Student and Research Prizes

Are you a student working on maritime history? Apply for our Undergraduate and Postgraduate prizes.

New Researchers Conference

Research degree students and independent scholars are warmly encouraged to share their work at our annual New Researchers Conference.

New Researchers in Maritime History Conference

At this annual conference, the British Commission supports emerging scholars who wish to share their work in a supportive environment and build relations with other maritime historians. We encourage applications from research degree students and warmly encourage participation by independent scholars. Contributions can address all aspects of maritime history in its broadest sense.

It is held in the spring of each year, and the location moves around Britain, as the conference is hosted by a variety of universities and museums and is sponsored by the Society for Nautical Research. 

New Researchers in Maritime History Conference at the University of Strathclyde 22-23 March 2024

The British Commission for Maritime History (BCMH), in association with the University of Strathclyde, warmly invite you to the twenty-ninth conference for new researchers. This annual conference organised by BCMH is supported by the Society for Nautical Research.

Join us at the University of Strathclyde in the heart of Glasgow, a city transformed through maritime trade and shipbuilding from the early modern period onwards. This is an ideal location to hold this annual conference and provides a unique opportunity for new scholars to present their work in a historic setting and in a supportive environment.
As well as papers from new researchers, the conference will also feature a keynote address by Professor Alison Cathcart, Professor of Early Modern Scottish and Archipelagic History at the University of Stirling, who will speak on “The ‘scattered isles in the polar ocean’: Scotland and the sea in the (long) sixteenth century.”


Final Programme

Friday, 22 March 2024

15:00 – 16:00: ‘Meet the Curator’ session and viewing of ‘Glasgow: City of Empire’ exhibition with Nelson Cummins, Curator of Legacies of Slavery and Empire. Meet at the Centre Hall Reception Desk, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.

17:00 – 17:45: Registration and reception, McCance 301, University of Strathclyde

17:45: Welcome, Dr Helen Doe, Chair, British Commission for Maritime History

18.00: Keynote Lecture: Prof Alison Cathcart, Professor of Early Modern Scottish and Archipelagic History at the University of Stirling, “The ‘scattered isles in the polar ocean’: Scotland and the sea in the (long) sixteenth century.”

20.15: Conference Dinner (optional) at Amore Ristorante e Pizzeria, 30 Ingram Street, Merchant City, Glasgow, G1 1EZ (2 course set menu at £24.95pp).

Saturday, 23 March 2023

8:00 – 9:00: Registration

9:00: Conference Coordinator’s Welcome, Dr James Davey/Dr David Wilson

9:15 – 10:45 Session One: ROUTES AND RESOURCES

Robert MacLean (University of Glasgow Archives & Special Collections), ‘The Glasgow Soaperie Company’s role in Mediterranean and Atlantic Trade’.

Sabrina Fröhlich & Kamil Muratov (Helmut-Schmidt University/ University of the Federal Armed Forces, Hamburg), ‘No wood, no ships’: The Royal Navy's Timber Problem from a Diplomatic and Craftsmanship Perspective

Guy Collender (University of Portsmouth), ‘From a ditch to a global waterway: How the metamorphosis of the Clyde influenced port development from London to Manchester and Chicago to Calcutta'.

10.45 – 11.15 Coffee

11.15 – 12.45 Session Two: WOMEN AND THE SEA

Hannah Gibbons (University of Exeter), ‘Maritime Matriarchs: women, credit, goods and services in the dockland communities of eighteenth-century London’.

Grace McNutt, (Dalhousie University), ‘The Failure of Victorian Domesticity? Emily J. Spicer and the Making of Home at Sea, in Port, and on Shore, 1888-89’.

Zara Money (University of Portsmouth), ‘In service of the sea: Women’s maritime roles in late-nineteenth to early-twentieth century Britain’.

12.45 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 Presentation of awards

13.45 – 14.45 Session Four ENCOUNTERS AT SEA

Laura Birkinshaw (University of Hull), ‘Disease transmission and inhibition during the transatlantic slave trade’.

Alexandra Ward (University of Leeds), ‘Living in “Constant and Immediate Proximity to the Dead”: “Liberated African” Health On Board Emigration Vessels, 1840 – 1872’.

14.45 – 15.15 Coffee

15:15 – 16.15 Session Three: THE SEA AND IDENTITY

Muskaan Gandhi (National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool), ‘HMS Trincomalee: Encounters with the First Nations People of the Pacific’.

Jane Stewart (The Courtauld Institute, University of London), ‘Elizabethan Sea Burial: the Monument to Sir James Hales in Canterbury Cathedral’

16.15: Closing remarks


Please register your place by 15 March 2024 using the following link
Note that prior to the conference, a link will be sent to all registered participants to pay the required registration fee (£30 student / £35 non-student/ Speakers, Keynote & Prize winners £0). 


Further information

Download full Programme and further details for delegates here