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Bridging the e-gap: enabling the digital curation skills of Tees Valley residents

   School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law

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  Prof M Chamberlain  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Digital curation is the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets. Although traditionally the purview of archivists, the age of digital citizenship requires we all be e-enabled to proactively manage our personalised cloud-based informational assets. In the age of big data and algorithmic governance, being unable to securely manage one’s online identity brings a danger worse than any traditional cyber threat: we run the risk of being “uncounted”. A situation known to marginalise economic opportunity, negatively affect health and wellbeing, as well as lead to lower levels of civic involvement and political engagement. Equally, global threats to economic resilience, public health, and social order - such as Covid19 and greenhouse CO2 emissions - reinforce how essential it is that all members of society possess a broad range of digital skills. Not least of all given current gaps in such skills are often mediated by long-standing inequalities related to key social markers; including, age, gender, geographical location, employment, education, welfare, and access to social justice.

In this PhD Project, the researcher will; firstly, undertake a mapping exercise to identify need across the Tees Valley region; and secondly, innovate across public and private sector partnerships utilising collaborative co-production methods and suggest possible pathways to close the digital skill gaps present. Working with key stakeholders, including schools, colleges/ILPS, housing, welfare, and business sector partners, they will utilise mixed-methods - surveys, narrative interviews, and documentary approaches – and focus developmentally on three key scoping areas: education, employment, and health. The goal being to ensure Tees Valley residents have the digital curation skills needed across a range of key contemporary “uncounting” threats: including, telemedicine and access to health and wellbeing services; business, enterprise, and home working; and finally, distance learning and knowledge-economy skills training. In doing so, this workplan will enhance the technological and digital literacy of the local population and promote more resilient and connected e-communities across the region. The supervisory team and researcher will work in collaboration with partners in the Tees Valley Combined Authority who will provide input on the direction of the project aligned to their Digital Strategy, as well as support for the stakeholder engagement.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold a good undergraduate and master's degree in a cognate social science or digital- technology based discipline, as well as a demonstrable understanding of the research area. Further details of the expected background may appear in the specific project details. International students will be subject to the standard entry criteria relating to English language ability, ATAS clearance and, when relevant, UK visa requirements and procedures.

How to Apply

Applicants should apply online for this opportunity at:

Please use the Online Application (Funded PHD) application form. When asked to specify funding select “other” and enter ‘RDS’ and the title of the PhD project that you are applying for. You should ensure that you clearly indicate that you are applying for a Funded Studentship and the title of the topic or project on the proposal that you will need to upload when applying. If you would like to apply for more than one project, you will need to complete a further application form and specify the relevant title for each application to a topic or project.

Applications for studentships that do not clearly indicate that the application is for a Funded Studentship and state the title of the project applied for on the proposal may mean that your application may not be considered for the appropriate funding.

For academic enquiries, please contact [Email Address Removed].

For administrative enquiries before or when making your application, contact [Email Address Removed]. 

After an application has been made, please contact [Email Address Removed].

The online application portal and all document templates required for an application can be accessed at:

Selection process

All applications received by the closing date will be considered. Successful applicants at the application stage will be shortlisted and contacted to arrange an interview. All interviews will be held online. Unsuccessful applicants will be contacted to confirm that the application will not be progressed. After interview, all interviewed applicants will be contacted to inform them of the outcome. Successful applicants progressing to an offer of a place, to commence in either May or October 2022.

Key Dates

Closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 28 February 2022.

We envisage that interviews will take place in April 2022.

Successful applicants will be expected to start May or October 2022.

Funding Notes

This Fully Funded PhD Studentship covers tuition fees for the period of a full-time PhD Registration of up to four years and provide an annual tax-free stipend of £15,000 for three years, subject to satisfactory progress.
Applicants who are employed and their employer is interested in funding a PhD, can apply for a Collaborative Studentship. More details here.
Applications are welcome from strong UK, EU and International students.
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