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Emergent Story Forms (practice-based). Challenges of NextGen storytelling content and methods especially as they inform aspects of directing, devising, and performance-making.

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  • Full or part time
    Prof J Parker-Starbuck
    Dr A Ganz
  • 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.

PhD Details: Application form reference: StoryFutures PHD 1/Theme 1- Next Generation Story Lab.

The PhD might explore theoretical or practice-based approaches to emerging story forms and storytelling within immersive and VR/AR dramatic and media based practices. The project may focus around new forms of digital performance, immersive drama, site-specific media performance and intersections across digital, immersive, and dramatic forms. The PhD will be a part of the StoryFutures project and may assist with StoryLabs and Student challenges and work with StoryFutures partners. The project might be focused on how technologies such as VR/AR/Animation/360 becomes a method of research.

The candidate will have will have an undergraduate and MA degree or equivalent experience that offers a foundation for continuing work in story forms as they intersect with media and performance practices. Experience in immersive and/or technological performance and knowledge of AR/VR/Immersive technologies desirable.

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

The PhD is supervised by Jen Parker-Starbuck and Adam Ganz (Department of Media Arts). For an informal discussion please contact Professor Jen Parker-Starbuck.

Theme 1 partners: Analogue Theatre, BBC World Wide, Focal Point VR, HTC Vive, National Film and Television School, Plexus, Punchdrunk, Resource Productions Ltd, Sky VR, VR City.


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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