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Assessing arts-based interventions for sustainable practice


College of Arts

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Dr T Bartlett , Dr R Williams No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Tackling the climate crisis requires deep-rooted cultural change at all levels of society. Creative practitioners have begun to devise ways of using arts-based interventions to stimulate cultural and social changes with respect to environmental concerns, but there is as yet no common framework by which we can evaluate their longer-term effectiveness.

This project will observe a range of creative interventions, critically reflect upon them as both artistic creations and mechanisms for change within an Energy and Environmental Humanities framework, and develop a portable qualitative framework for the design and assessment of arts-based interventions.

To this end, this project embeds a researcher within Creative Carbon Scotland, (www.creativecarbonscotland.com), a leading organisation in the field, in order to analyse arts-based interventions from a critical Energy and Environmental Humanities perspective and to monitor integration and investment into the interventions.

The overarching question behind our research is:

What makes arts-based interventions effective in realising sustainable cultural and social changes at the local, institutional and regional level?

The project will investigate the purposes and design of two or more artistic interventions; the relationship between the project and the existing social and expressive structures in the target community; the evaluation of the artistic intervention by the target community; and any changes in sustainable cultural and social practices arising from the intervention, including reflective and practical mechanisms for promoting further initiatives.

In order to generate a rich set of data for analysis and comparison, two or more interventions operating in communities with distinct demographic and physical profiles will be selected. The researcher will undertake fieldwork within these target communities and as a participant observer within CCS. They will familiarise themself with: climate change and environmental policy; existing target community and institutional practices; relevant debates in Energy and Environmental Humanities; and previous arts-based interventions in the sector.

The researcher will be expected to carry out interviews and focus groups in order to assess community perceptions of the interventions; to document short-term changes in practice and evaluate procedures for stimulating organic development beyond the timespan of the intervention. Additionally, they will be expected to report findings for both academic and practice contexts that can form the basis of a portable toolkit for future interventions.

The ideal candidate will therefore be someone with knowledge of policy, social research and cultural and artistic practice. Please note that this is not a practice-based PhD.

The successful applicant will have:

- a Master’s degree, or equivalent professional experience, in a field relating to at least one of the following areas: climate change and environmental policy; climate change adaptation; environmental humanities; social anthropology; creative arts
- a broad grasp and awareness of current debates in energy, environmental and climate change policy
- a broad grasp and awareness of the role of the creative arts in promoting cultural and social change
- experience of, or demonstrable aptitude for, undertaking collaborative fieldwork and conducting interviews and focus groups within an anthropological/social scientific perspective
- experience of working with, or demonstrable ability to work with different communities and a range of partners from different sectors
- a demonstrable ability to undertake a comprehensive review of relevant literature and of existing cultural outputs and practice
- excellent analytical and writing skills
- a demonstrable ability to synthesise and translate technical research into practicable terms
- an ability to identify training needs
- a commitment to addressing climate change.

Desirable criteria include:
- experience in organising a high-quality academic event
- understanding or experience of co-design of artistic projects

Applicants should apply by submitting the following information, or by downloading an application form from our website, and sending it to [Email Address Removed]

*Contact details
*Residence eligibility
* Qualifications
* Name and contact details of two referees

And the following in no more than 300 words each:
* Relevant professional experience
* A statement explaining why you are applying and a note about your research proposal in response to this opportunity
* A statement about your preparedness for proposed doctoral project
* A statement about your training needs

Funding Notes

To be eligible for a full award a student must have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK AND not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education.

To be eligible for a fees-only award, a student must be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK.


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