South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership - student-led PhD opportunities

We are delighted to announce the availability of fully-funded Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded PhD studentships as part of the South, West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW2).

The closing date for applications is 23.59 on 27 January 2020.

Please note: Applicants need to apply to both SWW2 for funding and to UWE for a PhD place.

About the SWW2 studentship opportunities at UWE Bristol

UWE Bristol invites applications to undertake doctoral research that focuses on any area of digital culture, film and media, design, heritage and the creative economy.  All applicants should identify a supervisor with relevant expertise in the area of their proposal - please use 'UWE' as a keyword within your search to find UWE Bristol supervisors.

As well as welcoming proposals relating to individual supervisors’ specialist expertise, we also encourage applications which relate to the research of one of the following four research centres: Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR) the Digital Cultures Research Centre (DCRC); Regional History Centre (DHC) and Bristol Centre for Linguistics (BCL)   Each research centre has a track record of supervising interdisciplinary research projects and, in particular, practice-led research.

Centre for Fine Print Research

Since its establishment in 1998, the world-leading research undertaken at the CFPR has evolved from a deeply rooted understanding of historical 19th century photomechanical printing and traditional print materials, tools, process and applications, to the development and exploitation of methods that combine traditional and digital technologies using a wide range of materials. Incorporating 2, 2.5 and 3 dimensions, we undertake applied research providing innovative solutions to real-world needs.

The Centre’s strengths are embedded in the crossovers between craft and technology, science and engineering. The three overarching themes are:

  1. Industry and Transformative Technologies for Practice-Led Design
  2. Cultural Heritage, Reconstruction and Reproduction
  3. Physical Surface, Novel Materials and Tactile Printing.

Our team of researchers, designers and artists share a deep appreciation and knowledge of materials and making, and based on our design and craft skills, know-how and application, and can translate idea and communicate methodologies across many disciplines. Through art and design training, we are creative problem solvers - challenging assumptions and bridging the gap between art and technology.

For further information, please contact Professor Carinna Parraman, CFPR Director:

The Digital Cultures Research Centre (DCRC)

The Digital Cultures Research Centre is a leading hub for interdisciplinary theoretical and practice-led research in a digital age. In a context of transforming media cultures, our work seeks to interrogate, articulate, intervene in and create practical approaches to responsible technological futures. Based in the internationally renowned Pervasive Media Studio in Watershed Media Centre on Bristol’s Harbourside, we undertake our work in dialogue with a network of award-winning practitioners.

The unique character of the DCRC is our mix of criticality, creativity and application. Our researchers:

  • conduct theoretical, practice-based, and collaborative research into emerging media forms, technologies, industries and practices;
  • map and contextualise emerging digital practices, critically reflecting on their aesthetics, ethics and impacts;
  • create new knowledge about creative media applications in real world contexts, and about everyday life in today’s digital media ecology;
  • rethink the idea of cultural value and develop new creative economy models and resilient cultural ecologies.

Research interests within DCRC include: emerging documentary forms; immersive media and experience design; ambient literature; techno-civic interfaces and urban interventions; interactive heritage design; cultures of repair and re-use; automation, data and AI; creative clusters, networks and policies; cultural histories; media industries; film and television studies.

Our researchers collaborate with national and international academic and industry partners and with a broad range of community, cultural and third sector organisations. The DCRC also hosts the South West Creative Technology Network (SWCTN), a £6.5 million project to expand the use of creative technologies across the region, funded by Research England. This new network is developing collaborative research on immersion, automation and data, and is led by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), in partnership with Watershed in Bristol, Kaleider in Exeter, Bath Spa University, the University of Plymouth and Falmouth University.

For further information about research in these areas, please contact Mandy Rose, DCRC Director:

Regional History Centre (RHC)

The Regional History Centre offers supervision on any historical topic for which a South West regional case study would be appropriate. The Centre has an excellent track record of research, publication and active intervention in this area, and has established active and mutually beneficial partnerships with a large number of external institutions and cultural organisations, including Bristol Culture, the public body responsible for the city's museums, galleries and archives. We have particular strengths in:

  • museology, co-production and community partnerships
  • immersive digital media for heritage
  • environmental and place-centred histories
  • history and heritage from below
  • law, order and social movements
  • war and memory

Bristol Centre for Linguistics (BCL)

Bristol Centre for Linguistics welcomes PhD students in semantics, pragmatics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, multimodal analysis and language acquisition.

Researchers in the Centre are currently engaged on work on parliamentary discourse, British sign language, bilingualism in the Bristol Somali Community and the status and acquisition of discourse markers, fillers and filled pauses.

 You can see potential supervisors' areas of interest and areas covered by current and recently graduated postgraduate research students on the BCL webpage

Funding details and eligibility

Studentships will start on 1 October 2020 and consist of an annual tax-free stipend of £15,009 (2019/2020 rate, 2020/2021 rate to be confirmed), subject to satisfactory progress, for three years. In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for the length of the funding period.

Please see the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership Eligibility and Residency Guidelines.

How to apply

To apply for SWW2 funding:

Please find full details and guidance on the SWW2 page for prospective students, and apply via the SWW2 application system by the closing date.

To apply for a PhD place at UWE Bristol:

Please follow the link below to submit your application online. Please quote reference 2021-OCT-ACE01 when applying.

Supporting documentation: you will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application so please have these available when you complete the application form.

References: you will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references before you submit your application. 

Your application will only be considered if it is complete together with the above supporting documentation and confirms that you meet our minimum eligibility criteria. Missing or incorrect information will mean that your application will not be considered. If we need further details or additional documentation we will contact you.

Apply for a PhD research degree

Closing date

 The closing date for applications is 27 January 2020.

Further information

The start date of this PhD studentship is 1 October 2020.

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