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Micro Machines - Transforming Games’ networking practices. Social network analysis to create best practice for networking, business growth and new product development.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr O Mould
    Prof M Lycett
  • 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 3/ Theme 2 - Emergent value networks and business models.

The PhD project asks how freelancers and micro-businesses in the computer games industry connect and collaborate within very complex networks of production, and how this helps or hinders their growth. Focussing on the computer games industry, the PhD will develop an understanding of how networks (social, collective and commercial) aid in the development of value of computer game companies for micro-businesses (with less than 10 employees), and freelancers. The PhD will study how the notion of ‘growth’ potentially crosscuts with deeper working relationships and emotional labour involved in ‘creative’ freelance work.

The candidate will have an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in social science and a deep understanding of network methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative. Ideally, the candidate will have an MA or MSc in a social science with relevant research training in advanced methods. Working with project partners and UKIE, the UK’s computer games trade body offers the opportunity to work collaboratively, producing new quantitative and qualitative datasets for Theme 2. Working knowledge of Gephi, UCInet, SocNet or any other social network analytical software is 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, flexibility in approach, while addressing clear creative industries business challenges, and identifying clear potential commercial returns.

The PhD is supervised by Dr Oli Mould (Department of Geography) and Professor Mark Lycett (School of Management). For an informal discussion of this PhD please contact Dr. Oli Mould: [Email Address Removed]

Theme 2 partners: Business South, Connect TVT, Figment Productions, Frames Collective, Immerse UK, Screen South, Spelthorne Council, The Accelerator Networks.


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.

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