Jobs: PhD studentships at Royal College of Art – Innovation and Knowledge Exchange in Digital Public Space

The Creative Exchange Funded PhD Studentships

Royal College of Art
In partnership with Lancaster University and Newcastle University

The closing date for applications is Thursday 31 May 2012.

Innovation and Knowledge Exchange in Digital Public Space

The Royal College of Art is seeking to recruit four PhD students to participate in an exciting collaborative project with a range of academic and industrial partners in the creative and digital industries. The four studentships are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council via The Creative Exchange, one of four Knowledge Exchange (KE) Hubs for the Creative Economy established in January 2012 by the AHRC. The focus of the programme of project and practice-led work will be on expanding the creative economy through innovation and knowledge exchange in the digital public space. Start date: October 2012.

About the Project

The Creative Exchange brings together three interdisciplinary design innovation labs at the Royal College of Art, Lancaster University and Newcastle University. It responds to profound changes in practice in the creative and media based industries stimulated by the opening of the digital public space, which enables anyone anywhere to access, explore and create with digitized cultural content.

The aim of The Creative Exchange will be to expand the creative economy through new forms of citizen participation in the digital public space, reflecting a shift from ‘content consumption’ to ‘content experience’. It will explore new models of engagement and exchange in the broadcast, performing and visual arts, digital media, design and gaming sectors, bringing together relevant Arts and Humanities academics, practitioners and companies with a cohort of PhD researchers around particular themes related to the digital public space.

The three participating universities will act as local test beds for the development of products, services, interfaces and experiences with field trials in London, Lancaster and Newcastle prior to larger public facing field trials in MediaCityUK/Manchester, which is the primary geographic focus for the project. The Creative Exchange will support the Northwest regional strategy for growth in digital and creative media industries, whilst generating comparative research and development locally, nationally and internationally.

A cohort of 20 Doctoral researchers will be recruited in the first two years of the project in the three participating universities. They will be based in a dynamic series of Creative Exchange clusters, developing a series of projects with industry partners and contributing to new knowledge exchange practices.

Within the RCA, PhD candidates will be jointly supervised by the Digital Research Lab in the School of Communication, led by Professor Neville Brody, and by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, led by Professor Jeremy Myerson. This combination brings together communication and digital design expertise with skills and knowhow in citizen participation and user engagement. There will also be supervision or advisory support from the other collaborating universities and specialist training between the partner institutions. Professor Brody, Dean of School of Communication, brings substantial experience as a pioneer in digital design and has collaborated with many industrial partners, including the BBC on its Digital Space initiative. Professor Myerson, Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, featured in the 2011 ‘Wired Top 100’ people shaping the digital world and is an experienced Principal Investigator on funded design research and innovation projects for social inclusion.

About You

The Royal College of Art is looking to recruit four practice-based researchers with a strong desire to combine practical design project work with in-depth study, to start October 2012.

You will have a practice background in an art, design and media discipline relevant to digital public space, for example digital direction, interaction design, animation, communication design, computer science, film, innovation studies or arts curation.

By the start of the PhD studentship, you should have a good first degree and normally a postgraduate (Masters) degree in a relevant subject or equivalent experience.

You will be able to show evidence of your role as a maker and innovator – and present a profile as a digital designer who can build, test and evaluate.

You will have experience of industrial collaboration and, where possible, professional studio working. Where you have engaged in collaborative projects it is essential that you are able to clearly identify your own contribution.

You will be interested in piloting and testing with citizen groups as well as making, since it is essential that projects developed in The Creative Exchange’s clusters demonstrate wide social relevance and applicability.

You will be able to show of the ability to write and critically reflect in the context of your practice.

You will have an open mind on the possibilities of the digital public space and the projects within The Creative Exchange, as the programme model will enable PhD researchers to work across a range of projects (a minimum of three) to build the thematic content of each individual Doctoral study.

How to apply

In the first instance we want you to register an Expression of Interest by writing to us and telling us about yourself: your educational and professional background, your achievements and your outline ideas for a PhD award from the RCA. Your Expression of Interest should include a short outline proposal with bibliographical references and two academic referees.

You are welcome to submit an online or other digital portfolio (in any widely used format) to demonstrate your achievements.

Given that the Doctoral studies of each researcher will need to be dovetail with the industrially-partnered clusters of The Creative Exchange, proposals should be flexible and broad-ranging as they will be subject to some modification to fit the overall programme.

What we are looking for above all else is a sense of your interests and skills and what you might contribute as a PhD candidate in relation to the potential of the digital public space.

Generally applicants must be UK or EU citizens and be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom. In order to be eligible for one of these studentship awards, a student must meet certain conditions relating to residence. Please refer to Annex A: Residency Egilibility for full details:

To apply complete the online application, available here:

Further details on how to apply are found under:

More specific information and guidance on The Creative Exchange Doctoral Awards can be sourced by emailing:

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