STEAMhouse studentships

Midlands3Cities projects

The AHRC-funded Midlands3Cities doctoral training partnership (M3C) is delighted to have been awarded a number of doctoral studentships as part of the Government’s National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).

M3C STEAMHouse studentships comprise tuition fees at Home/EU rates and, for UK award holders, a maintenance award (£14,553 per year) tenable for a minimum period of 3 academic years. EU students are welcome to apply, but are eligible for tuition fees only. We also welcome applications for part-time studentships; these comprise tuition fees and a pro-rata maintenance award for a 6-year period.

M3C STEAMHouse students will be based at BCU and will get to work with leading creative professionals in BCU’s STEAMhouse facility, located in Digbeth, a development that will forge new relationships and partnership projects with venues, organisations, artists, festivals and conferences. Successful applicants will also be part of the Midlands3Cities doctoral training partnership and will join the M3C intake of doctoral students in September 2017.

AHRC funding is open to all UK and EU students who meet the academic and residency eligibility criteria as detailed in the AHRC Training Grant Funding Guide (PDF).

Full project details are contained below.


Project title: A critical study of the uses of big data and data visualisation in addressing young people's opportunities for contributing to cultural and social life.

Supervisors: Annette NaudinRajinder Dudrah

Cultural partners: Anisa Haghdadi (Beatfreeks Collective - Doink), Gary Topp (Culture Central

Project summary: This collaborative project seeks to address issues of inequality in disadvantaged young people's access to cultural, social and civic life. This project will interrogate and explore the challenges of using data and data visualisation tools as a methodology for communicating disadvantaged young people's cultural, social and civic engagement. Can a critical approach to both offer new insights?

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Project title: Alternative Screens, Fringe Followers: Film Festivals and Audiences at the Margins

Supervisors: Xavier Mendik, Rajinder Dudrah, Robert Sharl

Cultural partner: Flatpack Film Festival

Project summary: Over the last decade, there has been a range of independent film festivals with distinctive strategies and affiliations. Often described as 'cult', 'niche' and 'alternative', these events are often organised through 'pop-up' or fan/community/event-based forums. A range of theorists have suggested alternative structures of prestige/award-giving, distinct strategies of programming, engagement with new modes of film technology and entrepreneurial streams as templates for further research into this emergent scene. This project aims to offer the first Midlands-based application of this current trend of research into the alternative film festival circuit.

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Project title: Art and Cultural Impact - Exploring Alternative Models for Creative Practices, Policy and Sustainability in Contemporary Urban Space

Supervisors: Kirsten Forkert, Paul Long

Cultural partner: Mohammed Ali MBE (Soul City Arts)

Project summary: This project will examine the role of arts and cultural spaces which exist outside the standard models of the UK creative sector, including emergent models for cultural funding. Soul City Arts is an intercultural, interfaith organisation based in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, but is also connected to a global network of artists, organisations and commissioning bodies.

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Project title: China Dream - A Curatorial Study on the Artistic Interpretations of Contemporary China for the World

Supervisors: Joshua Jiang, Jonathan Harris

Cultural partner: Sarah Fisher (Director of the Open Eye Gallery)

Project summary: This collaborative project focuses on the artistic interpretations of China Dream, which has been promoted as a slogan since late 2012 under Xi Jianping's regime in China. It will investigate the political and cultural significances of the notion of 'China Dream' - which represents a specific political agenda, and at the same time forming a romantic and artistic distance - and to analyse the interpretations through a variety of forms of creative arts and design.

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Project title: International Responses to Shakespeare in the Collections of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Supervisors: Islam Issa, David Roberts

Cultural partner: Rev. Dr Paul Edmondson (The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust)

Project summary: This proposed research will mark out The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's under-researched part of collections, as well as develop a critical and historical approach to its holdings. The project will construct a scholarly, analytical overview of the range of the Trust's international collections (artistic objects, translations, creative writing, souvenirs and commemorative items) in addition to the Trust as an archive of international cultural responses.

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Project title: The role of multilingual songs, music and performance in the creative industries of Black British and/or British Asian popular music in collaboration with Punch Records, Birmingham, and the Creative Multilingualism project, University of Oxford.

Supervisors: Rajinder Dudrah, Katrin Kohl, Julie Curtis (University of Oxford)

Cultural partner: Simon Redgrave (Head of Creative Development, Punch Records)

Project summary: This doctoral project will be conducted within the context of the Creative Multilingualism programme, a major AHRC-funded research project based at the University of Oxford. It will connect community languages across Black British and/or British Asian popular musical cultures, as well as other related creative industries. The project, which will work closely with Birmingham-based Punch Records, will examine the role multilingualism plays in the development of the UK's creative industries, as well as the ways in which music technologies and instruments are used by artists.

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Project title: The visual arts in urban regeneration - A Tale of Two Cities: Comparative Analyses of Birmingham and Liverpool

Supervisor: Jonathan Harris

Cultural partner: Lindsey Fryer, Head of Learning, Tate Liverpool

Project summary: This project presents an outstanding opportunity for you to develop and articulate key insights into the role cultural institutions have played and can play in city regeneration strategies in the Midlands and North West. You will construct a historical, theoretical and practical thesis on the convergent and divergent circumstances of these two cities that both face continuing major societal and global change.

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Project title: The Artists House - Expanding the role of the artist-run space

Supervisors: Lawrence GreenSian Vaughan

Cultural partners: Gavin Wade, Director of Eastside Projects

In this project, you will undertake a comparative examination of examples of artist housing – self build, artist designed, artist client, artistic use of houses. You will also situate Eastside Projects’ housing activities in relation to histories of artist housing and their long term usage and management, exploring the potential of the designation of artists as key workers in relation to housing opportunities.

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