Creative Economies Studentships

Creative Economies Studentships

What are CES?

The SGSAH AHRC Creative Economies Studentships (CES) are a collaboration between SGSAH, AHRC, HEIs and organisations. They seek to connect HEIs, organisations and a PhD researcher on a project of mutual benefit to all involved. They present an opportunity to work on a fascinating research project, make connections with industry and access resources and expertise not normally available within a PhD.

The projects below have been identified by the industry partner ensuring that your work is fulfilling a research need already noted by an organisation in the sector. Working with an organisation outwith academia will offer unique training and development opportunities of benefit to the PhD and your own personal development.

Also, you will be eligible for the range of SGSAH training and development opportunities including our annual Summer School, Doctoral Showcase and student-led collaborative training funds as well as our entrepreneurial training for arts & humanities doctoral researchers.

Applications to these projects are coordinated and processed by the lead HEI in each project. As such the application process, form and deadlines are unique to each project.

Read through the projects on offer below. Please note applicants may apply to more than one studentship.

Transmedia Afterlives of African Adventure Narratives


Transmedia Afterlives of African Adventure Narratives


University of Dundee, University of Abertay, Biome Collective


Dr Nicole Devarenne, University of Dundee

Dr Iain Donald, Abertay University

In association with Biome Collective.


Adventure stories set in Africa have been popular in games, films, and comics, but carry the burden of colonial ideology and the imperial context in which Victorian writers created the genre. Using a transmedia approach, and drawing upon alternative narratives by Africans and female travellers held in local archives, this project combines academic research into the representation of Africa with a partnership-based methodology. Working closely with the games company Biome Collective, a model for collaboration between academics and commercial entities that addresses these problematic representations, and creates new audiences and markets across a range of platforms, will be developed.

How to Apply:

We are looking to recruit a highly motivated and skilled doctoral candidate.

To be considered for a CES studentship please complete the application form and submit it along with your application to UKPass.

You should submit two references with your application or ask your referees to send these to Claire Whelan at Enquiries can be directed to Graeme Morton at or Jenny Gorrod at

The deadline for applications and references is 31 July 2017

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview in person or via a virtual platform. Interviews will take place on 18 August 2017

Along with fulfilling the AHRC’s eligibility requirements for a +3 doctoral studentship, the successful candidate is likely to have a background in literary study and/or visual culture studies, with creative interests and excellent communication skills.

EngagePlus: Experiencing live orchestral music through technology


EngagePlus: Experiencing live orchestral music through technology


University of Dundee, University of Abertay, Royal Scottish National Orchestra


Professor Divya Jindal-Snape, University of Dundee

Professor Nic Beech, University of Dundee

Dr Kenneth McAlpine, University of Abertay


Mobile technologies have given us access to content and creativity wherever we are, in the process, creating online communities of digital bricoleurs. Those same technologies, coupled with that sense of distributed digital creativity, offer potential for cultural organisations to reach out to audiences and involve them in new ways. Working with the RSNO, and building on its existing community education and engagement work, this project will develop and evaluate innovative new software tools to explore the ways in which technology can help all audiences engage with and participate in live and recorded orchestral music.

How to Apply:

We are looking to recruit a highly motivated and skilled doctoral candidate. To be considered for a CES studentship please complete the application form‌ and submit it along with your application to UKPass. You should submit two references with your application or ask your referees to send these to Darienne Tosh at

Deadline for applications and references is 31 July 2017.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview in person or via a virtual platform. Interview will be held on 18 August 2017 in Dundee.

Along with fulfilling the eligibility requirements of AHRC for a +3 doctoral studentship, the successful candidate should have a background in coding and applications development (preferably a graduate computer games technologist) and an interest in music. Prior experience of music creation, industry or interactive music; running workshops and public engagement, and ability to work from three sites (UoD, AU, RSNO) are desirable.

Women of Words


Women of Words


University of Stirling, University of Glasgow, Scottish Book Trust


Women of Words is a PhD collaboration between Scottish Book Trust (SBT) and the Universities of Stirling and Glasgow, examining systemic issues relating to the production, reception and consumption of women’s writing in Scotland. With partners, SBT intends to create a suite of activities for the promotion and development of women’s writing in Scotland, including the possible development of a Women’s Writing Prize. The PhD will provide a research base that will inform the direction of activities and analyse their impact, through informing discussions around gender and writing in schools, public forums, and within the literary and creative economies.

Research Question:

What are the barriers to women’s equal and effective involvement in writing and publishing in Scotland, and how might those barriers be overcome?

Research Aims:

The doctoral project will undertake collaborative research with Scottish Book Trust in order to provide a robust evidence base for the examination of issues surrounding gender equality in writing and publishing in Scotland. The research will underpin the development of a new programme strand within SBT, which intends to support and celebrate the writing of women living in Scotland, and encourage its development within the literary economy. The project will therefore:

- consider the best approaches, internationally and within the UK, to supporting diversity in the writing and publishing sectors;
- analyse the impact of literary prizes on the literature and publishing ecology of a nation;
- audit existing gender and other equalities-based activities in the wider creative industries in Scotland and across the UK;
- develop a project plan for the implementation and analysis of a women’s writing prize in Scotland, and an associated suite of activities;
- provide a rich, evidence-based and longitudinal case study of diversity in publishing, contributing to knowledge in the area; and
- develop, implement and evaluate a programme of activities and advocacy around women writers and women’s writing in Scotland, run through SBT.


It is anticipated that the PhD’s primary research methods will include focus groups, interviews, statistical analysis (including of Nielsen Bookscan’s sales database), and participant observation. In doing so it will consider other prizes and award schemes (including comparative UK and international examples), creative writing groups, reading groups, libraries, bookshops, literary reviewing and publishing, and literary festivals.


Professor Claire Squires, University of Stirling

Dr Elizabeth Reeder, University of Glasgow

Amina Shah/Caitrin Armstrong, Scottish Book Trust

How to apply: 

To be considered for this CES studentship please complete the Women of Words Application Form and email with your transcripts and a 2-4 page cv to You should attach two references with your application or ask your referees to send these to

It is anticipated that applicants will have prior degrees in the areas of publishing studies, creative writing, literature, gender studies, or associated subjects.

Deadline for applications and references is Tuesday 1 August 2017, 4pm.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview in person or via a virtual platform in the week Monday 14-Friday 18 August, and will be asked to submit further written work and make a short presentation about their potential approaches to the topic.

Queries about this studentship can be sent to the principle supervisor, Professor Claire Squires ( Please submit applications for this project to

You can also find this advert and additional information on

Situating Artistic-Anthropological Research


AHRC Creative Economy Studentship: Situating Artistic-Anthropological Research


University of Edinburgh, University of Aberdeen, Deveron Projects, ATLAS Arts, Collective Gallery


Prof Neil Mulholland, School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art and Dean of PG Studies, College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, The University of Edinburgh

Dr Richard Baxstrom, Social Anthropology, UG Director of School of Social & Political Science, The University of Edinburgh

Dr Jo Vergunst, Department of Anthropology, School of Social Science, The University of Aberdeen.

In association with Claudia Zeiske (Director, Deveron Projects), Emma Nicolson (Director, ATLAS Arts) and Kate Gray (Director, Collective)


The anthropological turn has played a uniquely prominent role in the history of contemporary art in, and beyond, Scotland. It has fostered advanced artistic practices and situated knowledges that are internationally celebrated and widely replicated. This raises the following research question:

How might the anthropological turn in contemporary art improve situated, relational, material and interdisciplinary approaches to R&D, programming, commissioning and evaluation of the arts?

By situating an itinerant researcher at the heart of Scotland’s most innovative and influential arts organisations, this research project will develop artistic-anthropological methods in ways that will have wide impact upon the arts. This is a unique opportunity to pursue an original doctoral research project involving two global Universities, and three leading arts organisations - Collective (Edinburgh), Deveron Projects (Huntly) and ATLAS Arts (Portree) - to develop an ‘exploded-view’ of artistic-anthropological research (‘AntArt’).

The successful candidate will develop:

  1. Situated research
  2. Practice-as-research
  3. Inventive methods
  4. Interdisciplinary research training

Situated research

The successful candidate will be supported by three Scottish arts organisations. You may conduct fieldwork in-residence with each of our partner organisations, rotating between them up to three times annually. This will enable you to establish an iterative and itinerant approach to contemporary 'AntArt' research.


This project enables artist-anthropologists, arts programmers and curators to research and practice collectively. In both anthropological and artistic research, the project constitutes a major contribution to practice-led knowledges: how we understand and document the flows of practice and the operational agency of contemporary art. By developing anthropo-artistic practices that incorporate processes of observation and evaluation, the project will expand our knowledge of contemporary art practices in ways that can inform curating, programming and arts policy. A practice-led approach, in which processes are foregrounded, is therefore strongly encouraged. For example, you may observe each arts organisation in year one, develop a satellite/shadow programme in year two and implement your own practice-led outcomes in year three.

Inventive methods

Collective, Deveron Projects and ATLAS share an investment in social practice, situated knowledges and the anthropological-turn. Equally, the supervisory team encourage the development of ‘inventive methods’: hybrid combinations of participant observation, ethnography, new materialist and artistic research methods. Together, we aim to develop new, qualitative methods for the evaluation of the arts that engage artists and audiences as partners and participants. Blending the disciplines of contemporary art and anthropology, the successful candidate will help to develop inventive methods to conduct situated artistic-anthropological research that will make a significant artistic contribution to programming, engaging custodians, makers, scholars and audiences in the processes of creative research.

Interdisciplinary research training

You will be supported to devise and practise 'AntArt' approaches to R&D programming and commissioning, that will, inherently, inform and improve methods for evaluating and supporting contemporary art. The successful candidate will lead the collective development of methods inspired by approaches currently shared by the artists, curators and programmers associated with our partners. You will, additionally, benefit from access to artistic and anthropological research training jointly offered by Edinburgh and Aberdeen Universities (such as STAR: Scottish Training in Anthropological Research), by the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts & Humanities and through the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science. The project is supported by the network Atelier: Making Research Material Across the Arts & Social Sciences.


Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree (1st or Upper 2nd Class Degree, or international equivalent) and a Masters qualification in a relevant discipline such as art practice, contemporary curatorial practice or anthropology.

A record of engagement with, or interest in, hybrid 'AntArt' methods would be welcomed.

Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is only open to candidates from the UK/EU.

Funding Details

Funded by the AHRC through the SGSAH for 3 years full time or 5 years part time study.

Tuition fees at UK/EU rate (£4,195 in 2017/18).

Maintenance award at RCUK rates (£14,553 for 2017/18) - for UK students only.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted through the University of Edinburgh's Degree Finder system:

Applications should be accompanied by a copy of a research proposal responding to the aims of the CES project outlined above, copies of original transcripts and degree certificates, a statement of application, a CV and two references.

A covering letter stating that you wish to be considered for the AHRC Creative Economy Studentship - Situating Artistic-Anthropological Research should be sent to the ECA Postgraduate Office, by email to

Further information

If you have any queries about the application process, please contact

Informal enquiries relating to the CES project can be made to Prof Neil Mulholland and Dr Richard Baxstrom

  • Closing date for applications: 7th August 2017
  • Interviews will be scheduled for last two weeks of August 2017
  • Starting date: 18th September 2017