Collaborative Doctoral Awards

Collaborative Doctoral Awards

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AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award

Guidance Document (Word Version) (PDF Version)

Application Form Template (Word Version) (PDF Version)

Institutional Statement (Word Version) (PDF Version)

The Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDA) scheme funds projects that are developed in collaboration with external organisations across creative, heritage, third and business sectors. These provide opportunities for doctoral students to gain first hand professional experience outside the university environment whilst undertaking a PhD.

The application process for Collaborative Doctoral Awards is as follows:

  1. An application made to your chosen project. This application process is wholly run by your chosen HEI through an unique process. You should contact them as soon as possible to find out how they are selecting proposals for nomination, and their internal deadlines for applications. Those successfully nominated will not be automatically funded. Nominated students will process to the second stage.
  2. Students who are successful in being nominated by their HEI progress to the second part of the process. Applications are then made through the SGSAH AHRC Scholarship Application System in February 2019. Dates will be published along with full guidance on 1st October 2018.

We recommend that all applicants view the "How to Apply" section to be aware of the entire application process and how Collaborative Doctoral Awards are handled.

You can find the CDA projects for 2018/19 available below. All applications are handled by the individual HEIs. As such, methods of application and deadlines will vary.

All queries regarding this stage of the application process should be directed to the HEI managing your chosen project.

Close Encounters: art, presence and environmental engagement at Loch Lomond

HEI: University of Glasgow

Industry Partner: RSPB

Supervisor: Dr Emma Cardwell, Dr David Borthwick, Prof Hayden Lorimer, Dr Katherine Jones

Summary: Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded PhD studentship opportunity (3.5 years, full-time), which will examine environmental engagement through place-based artwork at Loch Lomond Nature Reserve, Scotland. The studentship will be undertaken in collaboration with RSPB Scotland and is an opportunity made available through the Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme of the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities. Due to begin in October 2019, the studentship project will be supervised by Dr Emma Cardwell, Dr David Borthwick, Professor Hayden Lorimer (University of Glasgow) and Dr Katherine Jones (RSPB Scotland).

How to Apply: Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree in Geography, Art and Design, English Literature, Environmental Studies, or another relevant discipline/subject area, and, a Masters-level degree that satisfies AHRC eligibility requirements for advanced research training; or equivalent professional/occupational experience. Preference may be given to candidates with prior experience of working on projects related to nature/wildlife/environment, though this is not essential.

First Phase:

Applicants should submit (i) a Curriculum Vitae, including contact details of one academic referee, (ii) a sample of academic writing (approx. 2000-3000 words in length), and (iii) a 2-page covering letter outlining your art practice or ethos, suitability for this particular studentship project, and for doctoral research more generally, to:

Dr Emma Cardwell, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ (Emma.Cardwell@glasgow.ac.uk) no later than Monday 17th December 2018.

Interviews are scheduled to take place at the University of Glasgow on Wednesday 9th January 2019.
Second Phase: Interviewing will enable the identification of a candidate who will liaise with the supervisory team and complete a full CDA PhD studentship application form by 13th February 2019, for consideration and final evaluation by SGSAH.

For any enquiries concerning the project, please contact Emma Cardwell (Emma.Cardwell@glasgow.ac.uk)

For further information about PhD research in Geographical and Earth Sciences at University of Glasgow go to:

http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/ges/researchandimpact/

Click here for full project details

 


DeepLandscape: Integrating Artificial Intelligence into practices of archaeological landscape interpretation

HEI: University of Glasgow

Industry Partner: Historic Environment Scotland

Supervisor: Dr Rachel Opitz, Dr Jan Paul Siebert

Summary: This PhD project aims to develop a method for integrating AI-led survey with contemporary topographic interpretation practices, and to reflect on the impact of the introduction of this new approach on professional practice.  In the context of landscape archaeology and topographic interpretation, in order to take advantage of AI-led approaches, e.g. the automatic identification of features and changes, we must develop a framework for integrating AI into practices of archaeological landscape interpretation, a practice that is currently entirely based on individual visual observation. This requires a critical examination of our interpretive practices, interrogating the influence of our individual experiences, and asking how new interpretive practices might be developed.

The PhD project will take advantage of the Arran pilot project, where a HES team has carried out AI-based automated identification of several classes of the islands archaeological features and carried out subsequent field survey on the basis of these identifications. This pilot study suggests that creating sound training sets for the identification of archaeological features in lidar topographic models is critical to the process of integrating AI-led approaches and contemporary survey practices. This task is particularly challenging because the identifications of training features are inherently highly interpretive and prejudiced by (expert) observers’ prior knowledge. To mitigate this, we must ask: How can we understand the relationship between what observers identify and what the AI identifies?

Link to apply will be posted in due course. In the meantime please direct all enquiries to Rachel.Opitz@glasgow.ac.uk


Emigrant Irishwomen and Dundee’s Textile Industry, c. 1830-1930.

HEI: University of Strathclyde

Industry Partner: Dundee Central Library

Supervisors: Dr Niall Whelehan, Professor Enda Delaney

Summary: From the mid-nineteenth century Irish migration to Dundee was distinctive because it comprised of more women than men, the majority of whom worked in the textile industry. This PhD project investigates how the predominance of working class women shaped a distinctive Irish community in Dundee. It explores their lives and reception as immigrants, situating their experiences within the broader transnational context of the Irish diaspora. A partnership between the University of Strathclyde, the University of Edinburgh and Dundee Central Library, this project offers a unique combined environment for doctoral research and the development of skills relevant to the academic and heritage sectors.

Click here for more information and to apply. Deadline 26/11/18


Music, Community and Wellbeing: researching and evaluating a large-scale SCO Community Residency programme

HEI: University of Edinburgh

Industry Partner: The Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO)

Supervisors: Dr Katie Overy, Professor Dorothy Miell

Summary: The SCO Community Residency consists of a multi-year programme of creative music workshops and performances for people of all ages. The Residency aims to empower people in an area of multiple deprivation to: a) develop their musical and artistic skills; b) develop their sense of self, self-confidence and social confidence by giving them a forum to contribute to and influence creative decisions; c) raise aspirations; and d) provide opportunities to visit the city centre to take part in cultural activity.

The Residency is currently running in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh. Regular activity takes place in all local schools. There are opportunities to engage with SCO performances within Wester Hailes and in the city centre, and projects for adults delivered in partnership with WHALE Arts. The Residency currently reaches over 800 people each year.

Residency activity is documented periodically through videography, photography, audio recording, short questionnaires and focus groups/interviews. However, due to limited staff time and expertise, opportunities for detailed evaluation is very limited. The opportunity to work with a full-time PhD student, supervised by expert researchers at the University of Edinburgh, would bring significant benefits to the development of the programme and to the SCO’s ability to communicate the value of this work. The unique challenge is thus to design a PhD research project that both evaluates the SCO work while also developing an original research question of current interest to the wider academic community.

Link to apply will be posted in due course. In the meantime please direct all enquiries to k.overy@ed.ac.uk


Mapping and Measuring The Scottish Music Industry

HEI: University of Glasgow

Industry Partner: Scottish Music Industry Association

Supervisors: Matt Brennan, John Williamson

Summary: The value of the music industry in Scotland has not been measured since Martin Cloonan, Simon Frith and John Williamson’s “Mapping the Music Industry in Scotland” report in 2003. Since that time the global music industries have faced dramatic technological, political, economic, and cultural disruptions. More recently, Creative Scotland commissioned a music sector review (conducted by EKOS in 2013) but did not have the scope to provide a detailed focus on specific challenges facing Scottish SME music businesses, nor was it able to take into account the impact of recent political disruptions such as Brexit and their impact on Scotland’s position and prospects in the international music industries.

The project aims to address these significant changes and the lack of Scottish-specific data on the music industries to map the current music industry ecosystem, measure its value and assess opportunities for growth. In addition, the student will carry out the following related objectives:

  1. assemble a dynamic online database of the music industry in Scotland.
  2. identify the key actors in the industry (e.g. Artists and Composers, Live Music, The Recording Industry, Media, Technology, Other Creative, Ancillary, Education and Retail) and analyze their relationship to one another within the wider UK and global music industries, as well as related international creative and technology industries.
  3. conduct comparative research that examines music industries in countries of comparable size and means (e.g. Sweden, Norway) and identify examples of best practice and gaps in provision in the Scottish context.

How to apply

Applicants should submit (i) a Curriculum Vitae, including contact details of one academic referee, (ii) a sample of academic writing (approx. 2000-3000 words in length), and (iii) a 2-page covering letter outlining your art practice or ethos, suitability for this particular studentship project, and for doctoral research more generally, to:

Dr Matt Brennan, School of Culture and Creative Arts, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ (matt.brennan@glasgow.ac.uk) no later than Monday 17th December 2018.

Interviewing will then enable the identification of a candidate who will liaise with the supervisory team and complete a full CDA PhD studentship application form by 13th February 2019, for consideration and final evaluation by SGSAH.

For any queries please contact Matt.Brennan@glasgow.ac.uk


Passing on the baton: Future proofing the heritage value of Scottish athletics

HEI: University of Stirling

Industry Partner: Scottish Athletics

Supervisors: Professor Richard Haynes, Dr Paul Dimeo

Summary: The project will investigate the management and ‘future proofing’ of athletics heritage in Scotland, including the material culture of the governing body Scottish Athletics (SA), the national governing body of athletics in Scotland, and its 150 member clubs. By investigating the choices made over the heritage value of the athletics archives in Scotland the research will provide valuable and critical knowledge to inform SA on its future heritage management policies and guidance to its member clubs.

The project aims to:

  • Investigate the purpose and value of sport heritage in Scotland through a case study of SA and its member clubs.
  • Develop a cultural memory project focused on past members and associates of Scottish club athletics as well as national representatives for Team Scotland and Team GB.
  • Examine the practices and processes for future proofing the heritage value of the material and digital visual cultures of SA and its member clubs.

The project has the following objectives:

  • To examine the heritage value and management of Scottish athletic clubs through a detailed audit and study of their collections - including minute books, correspondence, photographs, film, outfits, and club memorabilia.
  • To initiate, establish and interpret a cultural memory project of Scottish athletes through oral history methodologies to create an intangible heritage archive of value for future research and heritage activities associated SA.
  • To explore the future potential of the SA Archive and associated collections for future heritage and learning activities, in relation to their use in public exhibitions, digital communications, educational resources and reminiscence toolkits.

Link to apply will be posted in due course. In the meantime please direct all enquiries to r.b.haynes@stir.ac.uk


The Impact of Moving Image Education on Pupils' Short and Long-Term Leisure, Education, and Career Choices

HEI: University of Glasgow

Industry Partner: Creative Scotland

Supervisors: Dr Inge Ejbye Sorenson, Professor Philip Schlesinger

Summary: The aim of this CDA is to investigate the short and long-term impacts of organised Moving Image Education (MIE) on young people’s present and future lives, culture consumption, education and career choices.

For the past two decades Creative Scotland (formed from the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen in 2010) has provided teacher training, CPD, resources, in-class support and other MIE interventions in schools and other learning contexts across Scotland. This CDA will embed the doctoral researcher in Creative Scotland’s Film Education team under the supervision of Director of Film Education Scott Donaldson for 18 months, in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the scope and impact of Creative Scotland’s MIE initiatives, programmes and provision, and the implementation of these in schools and as CPD.

The doctoral researcher will investigate what are the immediate and short-term impacts of MIE activities on pupils in Scottish schools today, as perceived by the pupils themselves and their teachers? This will be explored through participant observation of the work of the Film Education team; a series of case studies of ongoing MIE programmes in Scottish Primary and Secondary Schools; and semi-structured interviews with pupils and teachers. The doctoral research will also evaluate pupils’ digital, visual and textual literacy and analytic skills as well as their knowledge of various roles and career opportunities within the screen industries, with control groups of classes with no MIE provision.

Further, the doctoral researcher will explore what are the long-term effects of MIE? by comparing the present leisure and cultural activities, education choices and career trajectories of pupils who were involved in the formal MIE programmes and activities in earlier MIE programmes, notably Scottish Screen’s strategic MIE programme across all Angus schools during 2004-10, compared to their peers.

How to Apply

Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree in relevant subject are or discipline including, but not limited to, Education, Film & TV, Film Making and Screen Production; Media and Communication, Cultural Policy & Creative Industries, and Art and Design.

Applicants should also have a  Masters-level degree that satisfies AHRC eligibility requirements for advanced research training, or equivalent professional/occupational experience.

Candidates with prior experience of teaching or working in Moving Image Education are particularly encouraged to apply.  

Applicants should submit a Curriculum Vitae, including contact details of one academic referee, and a 2-page covering letter outlining why they are interested in this collaborative doctoral award and what they would bring to this project.

This should be sent in an email to inge.sorensen@glasgow.ac.uk and scott.Donaldson@creativescotland.com by the 14th of December 2018.

Interviews will be held on in January 2019.The selected candidate will then  liaise with the supervisory team and complete a full CDA PhD studentship application form by 13th February 2019, for consideration and final evaluation by SGSAH.


The past we inherit and the future we shape: Investigating sustainable and creative futures for heritage organisations with social purpose

HEI: University of Stirling

Industry Partner: Northlight Heritage

Supervisors: Professor Sian Jones, Dr Chiara Bonacchi

Summary: This project aims to investigate the organisational and practical challenges facing Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) heritage organisations in realising sustainable and creative ventures with social purpose. Specifically, through collaborative research with Northlight Heritage, it will examine the changing nature of public value generated by organisations shifting from a neoliberal commercial model to a social enterprise one.

The objectives are to:

  • Map the political, policy and funding arenas in which SME heritage organisations are operating, through a literature review and survey.
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of changing organisational priorities and practices oriented towards public values, through ethnographic research.
  • Examine the risks, challenges and opportunities for creating sustainability at organisational, community and project levels, through participatory and co-design research.
  • Contribute to the development of new working models for SME heritage organisations, as well as influence policy and practical advice of relevant bodies (e.g. HES, MGS, Creative Scotland, CIfA, FAME, IHBC), thanks to the final synthesis reached by the project and knowledge exchanges.

Link to apply will be posted in due course. In the meantime please direct all enquiries to sian.jones@stir.ac.uk


The Philosophy of Safety Engineering

HEI: University of Glasgow

Industry Partner: NASA

Supervisors: Dr Neil McDonnell, Dr J. Adam Carter

Summary: Safety Engineering is the discipline which aims to establish and improve safety in engineered systems. Classic successes of Safety Engineering include airbags and seatbelts in cars, residual current devices (RCD breakers) in home electrical systems, and airborne collision avoidance systems (ACAS) in aircraft. It is easy to see that these developments improved the safety of the system question as they mitigated known and serious risks, but does the presence of seatbelts, RCDs, or ACAS establish that cars, electrical systems, or aircraft are now safe?

Notice, first, that this is not a purely empirical question. We cannot determine safety just by testing for a probability of failure, we need to work out what sort of risk is acceptable in a given context: a 2% chance of failure is acceptable for a watch battery, but not for a plane’s landing gear. Thus, the pursuit of safety is bound up with certain value judgements. Notice also that the practical task of establishing risk in complex systems is highly epistemically challenging – it is not practical to test every component, in every system it will appear. This means chains of justified inferences need to be drawn, then communicated, throughout a disparate network of engineers. For example: a new fuel line component may test well in engines of one sort, but engineers need to justify the inference from that to the conclusion that the line is also safe in systems with a different engine. What counts as good or bad justification here? What counts as a good inference? These are key challenges which contemporary epistemology is well placed to address.

With millions of components, and a low threshold for risk, aeronautic engineering is a prime example of where these epistemic challenges interact with value judgements in the practical sphere. NASA’s Formal Methods research team seeks to regiment and formalise these inferences in the aeronautic context, and to do so they need to take a stance on vexed issues of causation, explanation, evidence, justification, risk, knowledge, understanding, and value. Realising the philosophical nature of these topics, the Formal Methods team invited Dr McDonnell to visit in the summer of 2017 to explore the potential for philosophers to engage with Safety Engineers work in a fruitful way. That visit paved the way for this proposed collaborative doctoral project.

The project has three primary aims:

  • Backwards: Analyse the case history of contentious accident investigations and identify the causal frameworks being employed.
  • Forwards: Analyse the epistemic assumptions in each of the disparate methodologies that are currently employed under the heading of “Safety Cases”.
  • Policy: Apply recent developments in philosophy, and new resources in Safety Engineering, to generate policy proposals in collaboration with NASA.

The aims of this project are to shape the norms within Safety Engineering, and to shape policy at aviation regulators (UK: CAA, US: FAA, EU: EASA) around the analysis and reporting of accidents and safety cases. The targeted impact is to reduce accidents involving complex systems.

Link to apply will be posted in due course. In the meantime please direct all enquiries to Neil.Mcdonnell@glasgow.ac.uk


The Photographic Collection of E. A. Hornel

HEI: University of Aberdeen (lead), University of Edinburgh

Industry Partner: National Trust for Scotland

Summary: Applications are invited from prospective candidates for an AHRC-funded PhD about the photographic collection of E. A. Hornel (1864-1933). The successful applicant will work with the supervisory team to prepare and submit an application to the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) in February 2019 as part of the SGSAH Collaborative Doctoral Award competition. The project will be supervised by Professor Edward Welch and Dr Áine Larkin (University of Aberdeen), Professor Frances Fowle (University of Edinburgh) and Ben Reiss (National Trust Scotland). Successful applications will be fully-funded by the SGSAH and begin in October 2019.

The photographic collection of E. A. Hornel is held at Broughton House & Garden, Kirkcudbright, the artist’s home and studio. Broughton House is now under the care of the National Trust for Scotland. Hornel’s photographs have been mentioned in previous research, but almost always in passing when discussing his artwork. It has long been accepted that he effectively 'stitched' together forms from his photographs to compose his paintings, and more recent research has suggested that Japanese photography in particular was particularly influential on his forms and composition. However, there has never been any concerted research into the collection, and how it is emblematic of wider trends in Scotland and beyond.

The first aim of the PhD is to undertake research into the photographic collection to help improve our understanding of Hornel’s art. The hundreds of prints and glass plate negatives come from Japan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Scotland, and often provide demonstrable models for Hornel’s paintings. A second aim is to use the collection to illuminate photography’s developing roles and functions at the time. Key among these are the role of artistic and other social networks in stimulating the circulation of photographic images, and the ways in which Hornel’s photographs helped shaped perceptions of identity and otherness through visual culture. A third aim is to interrogate the relationship of the physical space of Broughton House to Hornel’s photography, in order to inform the Trust’s work at similar properties in the future.

Like other contemporary practitioners such as George Washington Wilson, Hornel was able to collect or take many of his photographs thanks to his extensive networks, developed especially through the prevalence of Scots in British Empire-building. Many of his photographs are of foreign people and places, collected or taken by a Scot who then produced paintings that were a commercial success because they fed into the popular zeitgeist. The sharing of photographs is a repeated theme of correspondence between Hornel and fellow artists, and offers important clues about how the increasing circulation of photographic images may have played a role in artistic practice, but needs sustained investigation.

The PhD student will also support the development of an exhibition on Hornel to be held at the City Art Centre (CAC) in Edinburgh. Talks are currently taking place with the CAC to confirm this exhibition (tentatively planned for winter 2020-21). It would examine Hornel's working practice, with photography the primary focus. The PhD student would contribute research for both interpretation and the catalogue, while supporting the development of the exhibition themes. This would be the student’s project with an industrial partner. The exhibition would then travel to Aberdeen to coincide with the third Morton international photography symposium in April 2021, which will explore themes related to the CDA project.

Research Question or Problem

  1. What light does the E. A. Hornel photographic collection at Broughton House & Garden shed on his artworks?
  2. How does this collection demonstrate how photographs were exchanged and used during the late 19th and early 20th century in Scotland?
  3. How does this collection illustrate how Scottish networks of artists contributed to the collecting and sharing of photographs?
  4. How did these shared images contribute to the perception and understanding of identities at home and abroad in Scotland, and how is this visible in the collection?
  5. What is the relationship between Hornel’s photographs and the physical space of Broughton House?

Potential impact

The project will generate new knowledge about Hornel's use of photographs, how photographs circulated, how they were used and what their impact was, all specifically in a Scottish context. It will allow the student to make a substantial contribution to the first major exhibition on Hornel, which has the potential to reach a wide audience and increase public understanding of the artist and the period. It will also inform the NTS’s practice in relation to properties containing art produced by an artist who lived there.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply you must:

  • Meet the residency criteria set out by UKRI.
  • Be prepared to live within a reasonable distance of one of the partner organisations in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. The AHRC defines a reasonable distance as follows: a student ought if necessary to be able to travel to the organisation every day to work core hours (10am to 4pm).

The AHRC also expects that applicants to PhD programmes will normally hold, or be studying towards, a Masters qualification. If you are not in this position you may be able to use relevant professional experience to provide evidence of your ability to undertake independent research. If this is the case, please ensure you provide details of your professional experience in your covering letter. We welcome applications from students intending to study full- or part-time.

How to Apply

Some understanding of photographic history will be of benefit for the project, but while preference may be given to candidates with prior experience in this area, others are warmly encouraged to apply.

Applicants should submit a single Word file, maximum length strictly four pages, with:

  1. a curriculum vitae (1 page)
  2. a letter explaining your interest in the studentship, and how your academic career or professional experience to date has prepared you for it (2 pages)
  3. a brief cover note that includes your full contact details together with the names and contact details of two academic referees (1 page).

Applications must be emailed to Edward Welch (edward.welch@abdn.ac.uk) and Ben Reiss (breiss@nts.org.uk) no later than 30 November 2018. Interviews are scheduled to be held in Edinburgh on 13 December 2018. If you have any questions concerning the project, please contact Edward Welch (edward.welch@abdn.ac.uk) or Ben Reiss (breiss@nts.org.uk).


The Politics of Small Places

HEI: University of Dundee (lead), University of Edinburgh

Industry Partner: Deveron Arts

Supervisor: Dr Lorens Holm (University of Dundee)

Summary: The polymathic botanist/planner Sir Patrick Geddes is regarded as one of the key players in the design culture of Scotland, with an entry in the new Scottish Design compendium published by the V&A to celebrate the opening V&A Dundee. Geddes argued that engagement with our urban and rural environments was the basis for strong communities, lasting local identities, and coherent political positions. Although Geddes framed these ideas initially through engagement with the land, subsequent work on Geddes – and Geddes’ own activism – has been focused on cities. This project seeks to redirect Geddes’ thought back to rural environments, where arguably it is as needed as it is in cities. 

The aim of The Politics of Small Places is to investigate the relevance of Geddes’ thought to contemporary rural environments. It aims to do this through the development of a program of practice-­‐based research projects working with the community arts organisation Deveron Projects. We expect that the research thesis will involve close reading of Geddes’ texts and the texts of relevant social and political thinkers in order to situate Geddesian activism within a wider study of individual and collective social and spatial formations, rural economies, and local resource networks. One of the longer term objectives of this doctoral project will be to frame a larger RC-­‐funded research project that demonstrates the efficacy of Geddes’ thought for community activism in small places and that puts it into practice through community arts projects.

Link to apply will be posted in due course. In the meantime please direct all enquiries to l.holm@dundee.ac.uk


Valuing Young Audiences: how children experience live theatre and dance, and why it matters

HEI: University of Aberdeen

Industry Partner: Imaginate

Supervisors: Dr Amy Bryzgel, Dr Jo Vergunst

Summary: Applications are invited from prospective candidates for an AHRC-funded PhD on the value for children of experiencing live theatre and dance as audience members. This is a new collaboration between the University of Aberdeen and Imaginate, Scotland’s national organisation which promotes, develops and celebrates theatre and dance for children and young people.

The successful applicant will work with the supervisory team to prepare an application to the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) in February 2019 as part of the SGSAH Collaborative Doctoral Award competition. If successful the studentship will commence on 1st October 2019.
The project will be supervised by Professor Amy Bryzgel (Visual Culture, University of Aberdeen) and Dr Jo Vergunst (Anthropology, University of Aberdeen) and Paul Fitzpatrick (Imaginate).
The student stipend is approx. £15,500 per annum, with access to additional funding for travel and training.

Location: The student will be expected to conduct field research with Imaginate in the Edinburgh area for at least 6 months in total across Years 1 and 2 of the PhD. There is possibility for a smaller-scale comparative study in Aberdeen or elsewhere depending on the student’s interests. Academic supervision will take place in the University of Aberdeen and supervision with Imaginate (the Industry Partner), in Edinburgh.

Project Details: This PhD explores how children’s experiences of theatre and dance as audience members can be meaningfully understood.

Our starting point is the lack of robust evidence on the value that experiences of watching live theatre and dance can have for children. However, there is considerable anecdotal evidence within the sector that such experiences can be beneficial. Scottish youth arts policy currently values theatre and dance ‘participation’ – children’s direct involvement in dance or drama workshops, classes and performances – in terms of confidence development, resilience and communication skills. By contrast, there is little research on the value of watching theatre and dance, despite the fact that this may constitute the majority of performing arts experiences for many children.

Key questions include:

  • Can a ‘one-off’ experience of a visit to the theatre be transformative for a child?
  • What is the value of repeated performance experiences and associated outreach activities?
  • How do children, teachers and parents understand the value of these experiences?
  • How can this value be communicated in terms which honour the artistic experience but can also be understood by funders and policy-makers?

This PhD will make a vital contribution to the children’s theatre and dance sector, enabling it to better reflect on its own practice, to collaborate more usefully with the education sector, and to improve its advocacy by drawing on a stronger evidence base. The research also has potential to influence arts and cultural policy in Scotland and beyond.

Conceptually, the project will build on the AHRC’s recent Cultural Value Project (Crossick and Kaszynska, 2016). However, where valuing of the arts for children is usually regarded in terms of cognitive development, social skills or educational attainment, here we wish to start from children’s, teachers’ and parents’ own experiences. We will for example build on work in anthropology and performance studies that has long recognised the distinctive roles of the audience in making a performance happen.

We offer the opportunity to work with an outstanding supervisory team on this high-impact project. Primary supervisor Professor Amy Bryzgel is a leading European authority on performance studies, and Dr Jo Vergunst brings expertise as a social anthropologist with extensive experience of ethnographic and qualitative research methodologies. With Paul Fitzpatrick of Imaginate, the PhD student will be supported to engage with children, parents and teachers through three Imaginate projects:

 

  • Inspiring Schools: a new programme working in 6 disadvantaged schools across three years in partnership with Punchdrunk theatre company. Inspiring Schools will give pupils a range of high-quality theatre and dance production experiences both in and outside of school, developing the value of these experiences in the classroom through artist residencies.
  • Theatre in Schools Scotland: a national touring programme which brings professional theatre and dance productions into schools.
  • The Edinburgh International Children’s Festival: Scotland’s world-leading Festival of children’s theatre and dance, with an annual audience of over 17,000 children, teachers and parents.

Eligibility: To be eligible to apply you must:

  • Meet the residency criteria set out by UKRI, including the stipulation that candidates must have been normally residing in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship.

The AHRC also expects that applicants to PhD programmes will normally hold, or be studying towards, a Masters qualification in a relevant discipline. If you are not in this position you may be able to use relevant professional experience to provide evidence of your ability to undertake independent research. If this is the case, please ensure you provide details of your professional experience in your covering letter.

Experience of research into the value of the arts, and/or some understanding of theatre and dance for children, will be of benefit to the project. However, this is not a prerequisite so
while preference may be given to candidates with prior experience in these areas, others are warmly encouraged to apply.

Application Process

Applicants should submit a single Word file, maximum length strictly four pages, with:

  1. a curriculum vitae (1 page)
  2. a letter explaining your interest in the studentship and outlining your qualifications for it (2 pages)
  3. a brief cover note that includes your full contact details together with the names and contact details of two academic referees (1 page).

Applications should be emailed to Amy Bryzgel: a.bryzgel@abdn.ac.uk, no later than 5pm on 30th November 2018. Applicants will be notified if they are being invited to interview by Friday 7th December.

Interviews are scheduled to be held on Thursday 13th December, at Imaginate’s office in Edinburgh. We welcome Skype interviews for candidates unable to attend in person.

If you have any questions concerning the project, please contact the supervisors: Amy Bryzgel (a.bryzgel@abdn.ac.uk), Jo Vergunst (j.vergunst@abdn.ac.uk) or Paul Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive of Imaginate (paul@imaginate.org.uk).


'You say creative, I say creative': Defining the creative industries in Scotland

HEI: University of Edinburgh

Industry Partner: Creative Scotland

Supervisors: Dr Dave O'Brien, Professor Candace Jones

Summary: There is now an extensive literature on the coherence, or otherwise, of definitions of the creative industries. Recent thinking questioning definitions has drawn attention to these questions in the Scottish context (e.g. Schlesinger et al 2016, Munro 2017). In particular the Scottish context, with a preponderance of micro-enterprises with low levels of interdependency, suggests a different set of challenges to larger, IP focused, creative organisations. The Scottish context is in contrast to UK focused work on definitions, much of which has been written by the proposed supervisor (e.g. O’Brien et al 2016, O’Brien et al 2018). At present the UK uses an adapted version of NESTA’s ‘creative trident’ (Bakhshi et al 2013), coupled with an intellectual property focus, to define the creative industries as ‘those which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent. They also include industries that have the potential to create wealth and jobs through the development, production or exploitation of intellectual property.’ This definition, and the sets of industries and occupations captured by the definition, have been subject to a variety of criticisms, not least of which is the mismatch between the definition, the policy prescriptions, and the reality of the labour markets for these industries (e.g. Pratt 1997, Hesmondhalgh 2002, Garnham 2005, Luckman 2017, Oakley et al 2017, Campbell 2019).  The PhD will focus on the Scottish policy, exploring the appropriate definition in the context of important differences between the Scottish and UK creative economies, along with the devolved policy competence of the two levels of governance.

This project will connect Creative Scotland to University of Edinburgh’s key creative economy academics, through support for a doctoral researcher. The project will examine the characteristics that make up those businesses operating in the creative sector and to help define how the motivations that are driving the business can be most effectively amplified to support growth. This will in turn examine the language and the terms on which economic activity is understood and aligned to other values and to help reframe the policy structures that are intended to provide support. In doing so this will make a valuable addition to the academic literature on defining the creative economy. In particular, whilst this field has been dominated by economists and economic geographers, the project offers the opportunity for the Arts and Humanities disciplines and approaches to be placed centre stage of this important area of public policy.

Link to apply will be posted in due course. In the meantime please direct all enquiries to d.obrien@ed.ac.uk