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Creative Data Tools. Ethnographic and code level study of creative workflow to enable the development of tools and services attuned to the cultures of production.

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  • Full or part time
    Prof J Ellis
    Dr G Koutsoukos
    Dr Carlos Matos
    Dr Claude Heath
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

An opportunity to join a cohort of six PhDs on the AHRC funded StoryFutures - an innovative project aiming to define and develop next generation storytelling approaches in the creative industries, with a focus on virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Partnered with a world-leading cluster of creative companies to the west of London, there is ample scope for the studentships to be shaped by the candidates as their research develops. Please see:

StoryFutures PhDs will be supported through an extensive range of training and other opportunities to grow networks, teach, and share research, including the Researcher Development Programme provided by Royal Holloway, contributing to your programme of continuing professional development (CPD) (please see ). Students will also have access to an exciting programme of cohort activities provided by Royal Holloway to the TECHNE AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership (please see ), with lively postgraduate communities, and access to the latest VR, AR equipment at the StoryFutures audience engagement labs.

Our partners span film, TV, gaming, VFX and immersive and include: BBC Studios, Pinewood Studios, National Film and Television School, Immerse UK, Resource Productions, BFI, Connect TVT, Imaginarium Studios, The National Gallery, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Creative Engine, Screen South, BSAC, BTVLEP, and nDreams.

Application form reference: StoryFutures PHD 4/Theme 3 – Data in the collaborative workflow.

The project will focus on the requirement to organise and integrate the metadata produced during the film and TV production and post-production process - including metadata for assets developed as part of the process and in the contexts in which assets are used. This is a challenge as the process is becoming more elaborate and the amount of data used is increasing exponentially. Metadata schema currently used in the film and TV production workflows are often incompatible and are used inconsistently. As a consequence, much valuable metadata does not reach those who need it, causing significant inefficiency.

This PhD project will work with and build on current StoryFutures ethnographic studies of metadata and workflows with the project’s commercial partners. The PhD project will analyse metadata schema and the bridging of them, and potentially be involved in implementation.

The successful candidate will have undergraduate and Master’s degrees which offer a foundation for work on metadata schema, which may be computational in nature and/or include discipline areas such as philosophy and/or linguistics. A knowledge of (computational) ontology is required, potentially covering both domain and foundational aspects. In addition, the ability to implement schema (e.g., via OWL) and ontology-enabled database management systems is desirable.

Candidates will be comfortable working within a highly interdisciplinary team and demonstrate problem solving and critical thinking skills, project time-management, organisational and communicational skills, and flexibility, addressing clear creative industries business challenges, and identifying potential commercial returns.

The PhD is supervised by Professor John Ellis (Department of Media Arts, Royal Holloway/University of Bergen), Dr Georgios Koutsoukos and Dr Carlos Matos (Department of Computer Science), and Dr Claude Heath (Department of Media Arts). For an informal discussion of this PhD please contact Professor John Ellis: [Email Address Removed]

Theme 3 partners: Double Negative, Evolutions, Imaginarium Studios, The Pinewood Group.


Submit, no later than midnight GMT on Sunday 5th May 2019, here:

Select ‘PhD Media Arts’ as the course name, and ensure that at the head of your Expression of Interest document you state the title and reference number of the PhD. Outline your qualification for the studentship, describing how the PhD would be approached, as well as the interests, experience and skills that would be brought to this. Please submit CV, writing sample, and creative sample (if applicable).

Form tips:

Section 6 Supporting Statements:
• ‘Research Proposal’ area, upload Expression of Interest (max 2 pages, Arial font, size 10, single spaced).
• ‘Personal statement’, select ‘Enter details’, enter “Not applicable.”
• ‘Pre-written Research proposal’, select ‘Enter details’, enter “Not applicable.”
• ‘Upload documents’, select ‘Upload’, select ‘Portfolio/practical assessment sample’, upload:
1. Writing sample.
2. Link to creative sample/s, if applicable.

Section 7 References:
• Enter details of academic referee.

Section 8 Additional Information:
• ‘Upload’, category ‘CV’, upload Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 A4 pages, Arial font, size 10, single spaced).

Shortlisted applicants will be notified shortly thereafter. Interviews will be at Royal Holloway’s Egham campus on Monday 20th May, 2019.

Funding Notes

An annual tax-exempt stipend of £17,009 (plus fees at home/EU rates) for three years. Study support funding is available, with claimable expenses reimbursed up to a total of £1,000 per year. Start in September 2019 or as close as possible thereafter.

How good is research at Royal Holloway, University of London in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 13.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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