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Re-presenting Industrial Skills in Heritage Museums


   School of Art and Design

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  Prof T Fisher, Prof P Breedon, Prof D Brown  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Many museums in the industrial heritage sector have working displays that give visitors insights into the experience of workers. While museums may be able to provide visitors with a theatrical experience that gives an impression of the past, often the exhibits themselves, machines, buildings, materials, are relatively static. This PhD project seeks to take visitors beyond the look and feel of the past, to help them get close to the embodied engagement of skilled workers with the machines and materials that they used every day, for both engagement and knowledge transfer. The PhD is part of an international, cross-disciplinary project at NTU that draws on psychology, computing and humanities to address this challenge by establishing and testing principles through which such skills can be captured, analysed and represented in museum environments. Drawing on empirical work conducted in the wider project, the candidate will work with three leading researchers to design, prototype and test elements of museum displays that can connect visitors with workers’ experience through a range of media. These may combine proprioceptive engagement with designs that simulate the feedback from historical objects and processes as well as prototyping artefacts that have screen-based interaction. The English textile industry has a central place in the industrial history of the UK. It provides the subject matter for the study, and the candidate will work closely with museum and industrial partners in the Midlands and North of England. We welcome applications from a wide range of academic domains providing the candidate has interest or experience in one or more of the following: Design engineering, task analysis, visualisation. They will be able to demonstrate that they can bring out the connections between their research and its historical and cultural context.

Supervisory team

Director of Studies, Prof. Tom Fisher

Prof. Philip Breedon

Prof. David Brown

Entry requirements

For the eligibility criteria, please visit our how to apply page.

Fees and Funding

This project is fully-funded by the Cultural Heritage Research Peak Studentship Scheme.

How to apply

The application deadline is Friday 18 February 2022.

We are looking for motivated, engaged individuals to join our doctoral community. If you are interested in applying for one of the proposed Studentship projects, follow the apply button to access our application portal: please note, you will need to use the ‘NTU Doctoral Application 21/22’ form.

As you are applying for a project, your application should clearly outline which of the projects advertised you wish to apply in Summary of Proposed Research Topic. In Research Proposal and Personal Statement, please give up to 1,500 word statement of why you are interested in the project you are applying for and how you would engage with the research proposed. Think about the outline and research aims for the project and how you would approach them, as well as showing your understanding of the field and how the project will contribute to or challenge existing research. Your statement should focus on the framework of the project, to give the panel a clear idea of your understanding of the research project/topic. You will also need to include a bibliography or reference list for any work you cite.

Your skills, experience, motivation for pursuing doctoral study, and interest in the field should be included as part of your 500 word Previous Experience and Personal Statement.

Please note that only applications to the advertised projects will be accepted as part of this funding call; do not use your application to propose your own research project.

Please see our application guide for prospective candidates. You can also find a step-by-step guide and make an application on our how to apply page.


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

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