Research Students

Research Students

The Unit has a thriving community of PGRs; it has built a strong reputation for quality of supervision, and for excellent resources for practice and research. This is evidenced by the exceptional success in AHRC BGP1, where, for the 5-year period, the unit secured 17% of all the UK’s PhD studentships in Fine Art and in Digital Media/Film. In addition we have two AHRC CDA studentships - linked to FACT in Liverpool and the North East’s AV Festival. The result of this is that of the 19 Research students currently based in the unit, 13 are RCUK-funded. The unit is now part of the AHRC-funded Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership, in conjunction with Durham and Queen’s University Belfast.

All staff in the unit are available as supervisors, and as part of a large university, we can also support those projects that cross disciplinary boundaries. Students whose projects are more digitally-oriented are based in Culture Lab with its attendant facilities; they therefore benefit additionally from working alongside researchers (Staff and students) within Computing and those attached, for example, to the RCUK-funded SiDE and Creative Exchange projects.

All students are encouraged to participate in the Unit’s research culture by involvement with research seminars, including chairing seminars with visiting artists/researchers. The unit encourages students (both MFA and PhD) to engage with research across the university so they are aware of the multidisciplinary potential of their own research. The ‘Revisiting the Beach’ conference is a good example of this Organised by Mieves (PGR), it involved numerous other UK and international institutions, and was financially supported by an AHRC award. Students regularly receive recognition for their research beyond the university, for example, Jason Dee was the 2013 winner of the AVANCA | CINEMA 2013 – International Conference prize, with his paper "Celluloid´s Digital Other": And Isabella Streffen very successfully completed a six month AHRC-sponsored period of research at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. This prestigious research residency subsequently led to the installation of an elaborate art work within the library, responding to the history of the library and items within its collection.

Research training for PGRs is provided at both faculty and unit-level; at faculty level, our students benefit greatly from working alongside research students from across disciplines, and take part in training that engages with: * theories of knowledge, explanation and enquiry

  • a broad range of methodological approaches

  • the broader research and practical skills and competencies necessary to complete their research projects – including training in ethical issues

  • the acquisition of key professional and transferable skills and knowledge about career paths.

Our subject-specific doctoral research training (to which MFA students are invited) provides a rich diversity of activities in the areas of practice-based, theoretical and historical research, including: * seminars on individual practice, and peer review

  • writing in relation to studio-based research and practice

  • appropriate methodologies for practice-based research

  • preparing papers for specialist journals and conference presentation

Further training is available through Creating a Context, an extended Erasmus/British Council Intensive Programme project led by the unit. Training is also integrated with the cross-disciplinary Connecting Principle seminars and events, which presents broad interdisciplinary and collaborative opportunities for PGRs.