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PhD Bursary in Arts or Design Based Participatory Research

Our flourishing research and scholarship culture celebrates and enables original investigation; extending knowledge fields and developing new understanding within the arts.

PhD Bursary in Arts or Design Based Participatory Research

Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) is pleased to offer one part-time fees only bursary for the above PhD opportunity to outstanding applicants seeking to begin a programme of research with AUB in September 2023.

Emphasis on participatory research undertaken with and for communities or particular groups of individuals is expanding as it highlights the importance of knowledge generated for and about communities and/or particular groups to be informed by their needs and voiced through their experiences.

Design and arts-based research has a role to play in this development of empathetic participatory approaches as engagement with materials, tools and creative processes can both illuminate and inform interactions with people, spaces and technologies.

Bursary details

Qualification type




Funding for

UK/Home Students

Funding amount

Home Tuition Fees paid for up to five years



Application deadline

30 May 2023

Research proposal

The successful candidate could be seeking to develop creative technologies within a community arts-based practice; wanting to initiate a creative arts-based or design enquiry within a public health or education context; or any combination of these. They will contribute to interdisciplinary participatory research activity at the Arts University Bournemouth that embraces design, textile making, digital/craft cultures, creative technologies, interactive/digital systems programming, human computer interaction (HCI), user-centred design, data visualisation, music technologies, and immersive and performing arts. The PhD project will be undertaken with and for communities or groups of individuals building both substantive and methodological expertise in this area of participatory research.

Proposals are invited for a PhD project that aims to explore questions relating to the following areas of interest:

  • histories, theories and practices of participatory research methodologies for creative arts-based and design practices
  • interfaces between digital and physical spheres of practice in participatory research
  • product focused participatory design exploring novel uses for creative technologies
  • process based participatory research that examines modes of participant engagement in and access to creative activities (as outlined above)
  • locally or regionally relevant tools and/or practices for particular groups of individuals
  • embodied knowledge sharing within a particular community or group of individuals
  • spaces and environments for participatory making

The candidate will have experience in the creative arts and design fields outlined above. They may also have experience working with communities and/or particular groups of individuals including, but not limited to: special educational needs, visual impairment, dementia, restricted mobility. The candidate may consider working with a group or community with whom they have already built connections.

Supervision will be led by Dr Emma Shercliff, Associate Professor in Textiles and Participatory Making, and co-supervision will be provided by colleagues who share expertise in participatory research methodologies for creative practices across the disciplines of textile making, co-design, e-textiles, HCI, architecture.

  • Candidates for a PhD studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in five years (part-time).
  • Applicants should hold a first or 2:1 Honours degree and typically a Master's degree in an appropriate subject
  • Applicants with alternative qualifications/experience will be considered if they can demonstrate relevant achievement. Applicants whose first language is not English will be expected to have an IELTS score of at least 7.0 with 7.0 minimum in writing.
  • In addition to satisfying basic entry criteria, AUB will look closely at the research potential and academic qualities of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful and timely completion.
  • Applicants are also invited from students who wish to self-fund their studies.

    Please refer to the bursary terms and conditions for further details. We particularly welcome applicants who self-identify as being from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME/Global Majority) background.

How to apply

  • All applicants should apply via AUB's online application portal.
  • As part of the application, you'll be required to submit a 1,500-word proposal that follows the guidelines available on the website; and two academic references. You should also upload a copy of your CV.
  • You should clearly state in your proposal that you wish to be considered for this bursary.
  • Closing date for applications is 30 May 2024. Interviews will take place in June/early July.

Further information

AUB’s Research Degrees are awarded in partnership with University of the Arts London.

Enquiries regarding our PhD programmes and the admissions process, please contact the AUB Research Office:

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