Funded PhD studentship: New strategies for engagement with collections

Closing date:

Teesside University

A fully-funded studentship opportunity via Teesside University for project proposals to work with Teesside Archives and/or with the Middlesbrough Collection at MIMA,

Teesside University is looking for innovative approaches to public engagement within a focused area of an archive or collection or for a specific methodology. It is inviting PhD proposals that explore one or more of the following concerns:

• reimagining and non-traditional approaches to exploring archives and collections, and exploring hidden parts of these and/or connections between the two collections
• public engagement methods and activities with archives and collections
• new forms of presentation, digitisation and other tools for museums and galleries
• issues of diversity, disability and access in relation to archives and collections
• innovative curatorial strategies.

Teesside Archives collects, catalogues and preserves records and documents relating to the areas of Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool, and Redcar & Cleveland, and makes them accessible for research. They hold a vast range of records and documents relating to the Teesside area on themes such as: Internationally renowned businesses and companies such as British Steel, ICI, Head Wrightson and Cleveland Bridge as well as many smaller local firms, Estate records including the Pennyman Family of Ormesby Hall, workhouses including Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Guisborough, local organisations including charities, sports clubs, political parties, and entertainment.

The Middlesbrough Collection comprises over 2,350 works of art and craft made by British and international artists from the mid-1800s to today. It was established by Middlesbrough’s local authorities and managed by the Middlesbrough Art Gallery, the Cleveland Gallery and the Cleveland Craft Centre until the foundation of Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art in 2004 (MIMA, opened in 2007). The collection strengths are post-Second World War British painting, contemporary American drawing, 20th century British ceramics, contemporary European jewellery and 21st century international installation. The collection is at the core of the MIMA programme, and a changing proportion of the collection is on permanent display.

Both are a key resource for constituent groups, schools, making workshops, the local arts community and returning visitors. We are interested in how collections hold notions of care and relevance, and how they can be instigators of innovative ecosystems from the hyperlocal to the international.

Funding eligibility
The 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 £18,622 for three years, subject to satisfactory progress. Applicants who are employed and if their employer is interested in funding a PhD, can apply for a Collaborative Studentship. Applications are welcome from UK, EU and international students.

Entry requirements
Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline. A masters level qualification in a relevant discipline is desirable, but not essential, 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.

Budget £18,622 p.a. tax-free stipend (3 years)

Deadline 5 February 2024

Middlesbrough TS1 3BX

Successful applicants will be expected to start October 2024.

Applicants should apply online for this opportunity using 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. To apply for more than one project, you 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 queries, contact George VaseyFor administrative enquiries before or when making your application, contact After an application has been made, please contact

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