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GTA-PhD Scholarship in Film - Practice based Research - Sonic Landscape of a Documentary Form

School of Computing and Digital Tech

Location:  Stoke campus
Tenure:   3 Year Fully Funded PhD Scholarship
Release Date:  Friday 05 June 2020
Closing Date:   Friday 31 July 2020
Reference:  CDT20-GTA1

Staffordshire University is pleased to announce a 3-year fully funded PhD scholarship in the School of Computing and Digital Technologies, to commence in September 2020 or January 2021. The successful candidates will receive an annual stipend of £15,285 with PhD tuition fees waived for three years. You will be expected to take up to 250 hours of teaching or teaching related activities per academic year in the School of Computing and Digital Technologies. The posts are located on the Stoke-On-Trent campus.

UK, EU and international candidates are eligible for this scholarship.

Project title: Sonic Landscape of a Documentary Form - Practice-Based Research


Dr. Agata Lulkowska, Lecturer in Film Production, Staffordshire University

Dr. Sharon Coleclough, Senior Lecturer in Film Production, Staffordshire University

Dr. Marc Estibeiro, Associate Professor in Music, Staffordshire University

Applications are invited for a 3-year fully funded PhD scholarship in the areas of Film as Practice-based Research. Grounded in the wider context of practice-based research in arts and media, this project explores visual, narrative, and creative research methods in documentary film, with a specific focus on sound. It will be undertaken in the form of a documentary film production, supported by a thesis.

In this project, you will look into creative and experimental possibilities of using sound in a genre traditionally associated with objectivity and realism. Breaking from these conventions and restrictions, you will examine the benefits of developing an audio world which contributes strongly to the overall visuals of the final product, not just as naturalistic reflection but as artistic and experimental medium in its own right.

You will explore the potential of the sonic landscape which has been a traditionally impoverished and overlooked aspect of the storytelling possibilities of the documentary film format. This will be achieved by challenging the conceptions of the visual with the auditory as well as the potential of the sound environment to support or enhance the format. It invites further explorations of the ways in which traditional documentary might be reimagined using sound as a primary or foregrounded aspect of the storytelling. It will look at the rich documentary filmmaking traditions, including anthropological film, and it will respond with an experimental formula which can open a new pathway for practice-based research. The collection, analysis, and the interpretation of data will rely heavily on ethnographic methods. Effectively, this project aims to demonstrate the creative potential of audio-visual media and ethnographic methods in strengthening cognitive values of practice-based research and the way it can be applied and utilised within academia. 


* You will have or expect to have a UK Honours degree at 2.1 (or above), a Masters degree, or equivalent qualifications in Film Production

* International applicants whose first language is not English are required to achieve IELTS 6.5 with a minimum score of 6 in each element

* Familiar with basic film technologies (cameras, lighting, sound) and video editing software

* Strong background in sound

* Proven record with modern recording, editing and mixing hardware and software systems

* Strong academic background in sound and the aesthetics of sound in different contexts

* Experience of documentary filmmaking is beneficial

* Able to adapt to unpredictable nature of documentary filmmaking within given deadlines

* Strong research ethics

* Able to travel to relevant shooting locations, as required by the nature of the project

* Able to teach either music production or sound design

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr. Agata Lulkowska (

How to apply 

Please submit your application to Dr. Agata Lulkowska ( by the deadline, with the following documents.

  1. Your CV

  2. A PhD research proposal based on the project description above (Proposals on other projects will not be considered for the scholarship). Your proposal should include the information given below and not exceed 2 pages. (What problem you plan to investigate? Your motivation for carrying out this research. Why is it important? How will it contribute to existing knowledge? Why do you consider a practice-based research to be relevant? A literature review, an outline of how you intend to carry out the your research, any special equipment, hardware and software required for your PhD project.)

  3. Your digital portfolio or a link to your online portfolio.

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position



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