We are extremely excited to announce a fully-funded PhD opportunity with Alchemy Film & Arts. Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and University of Glasgow invite candidates to submit for an Applied Research Collaborative Studentship (ARCS) in partnership with the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities and Alchemy Film & Arts.

A fully-funded* PhD studentship, along with a stipend of approx. £15,000 per annum at UKRI rate (specific rate TBC).

*Fees are at Home/EU rates. Interested international students should contact the supervisor listed below to discuss their eligibility.

Applications must be received by 4pm on Friday 26 June. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by Friday 10 July and interviews will take place online on Friday 17 July.

The studentship will commence September 2020. The date can be negotiated but must be within the 2020-21 academic year.

Please click here for further details about the supervisory team and how to apply.

The Challenges of Professionalisation: The Case of Alchemy Film & Arts

This study will examine a rural arts organisation during a key period of development and transformation. The successful candidate will have exceptional access to the partner organisation, Alchemy Film & Arts, which over the past four years has undergone a period of significant growth, curating the Scotland + Venice exhibition at the 2017 Venice Biennale and gaining Creative Scotland Regular Funded Organisation (RFO) status in 2018, which has allowed it to develop a longer-term vision and a more integrated year-round programme to complement its annual film festival. Now, Alchemy commissions and curates experimental film at the highest international levels and also works with local partners to deliver adventurous community filmmaking programmes in the Borders throughout the year. In order to satisfy multiple funders and stakeholders, attract wider audiences and ensure it has continued relevance in a precarious economic landscape, while keeping its artistic mission central, Alchemy Film & Arts needs to negotiate the challenges and opportunities of professionalisation with care.

The successful candidate can expect to draw on theories of cultural management, place-making and community engagement in order to explore how an arts organisation operates within insecure contexts. The impact of the project should be twofold. It should offer Alchemy the chance for organisational reflection, enabling them to critically challenge their current position, in order to reimagine how they are currently operating and develop new structures of cultural management that will better support the organisation. The study should also make an original contribution to our wider academic knowledge about precarious arts organisations, how they are situated within rural contexts and policy landscapes, the particular pressures they face, and the ways this can best be managed for the benefit of the organisation, and the local community and its cultural life. In addition, the project is expected to provide insight to policy makers and bodies, specifically Creative Scotland, who have themselves in their April 2019 Sector Review document identified a need to find better ways of supporting rural arts organisations (2019). Methodologically, the supervisory team welcome, and can support, traditional social-sciences and humanities research (including, but not limited to, Document Analysis, Interviews, Surveys, Focus Groups, Case Studies and Ethnography) as well as Practice led/based and/or Creative Practice approaches, depending on student’s project and interest.

Please click here for further details about the supervisory team and how to apply.