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9th January, 2018

Guildhall/SIMM doctoral studentship: the social impact of music making

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Applications are invited for a funded doctoral Studentship beginning September 2018 to support research into the social impact of making music.

This collaborative doctorate is being offered by the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, a world-leading conservatoire based in the City of London, and the SIMM Platform (Social Impact of Making Music), an independent international scholarly association founded with support of the University of Ghent and the Baillet-Latour Fund of Belgium.

Research Area: the social impact of music making

The studentship seeks to encourage outstanding research into the practice of making music with specific communities with the intent to improve their own social position.

This is a burgeoning field of practice across the globe, encompassing projects of international scale and reach (such as El Sistema), outreach programmes of established arts organisations (such as the Barbican public events programme) and local grass-roots activities that have yet to be documented.

Such projects are proliferating, providing new opportunities for systematic and targeted research into current and historical practices and their implications in terms of the social impact of the arts. This studentship is a step towards grasping these opportunities.

This remains a relatively underexplored area in terms of research so the remit of the Studentship is broad: applicants are invited to propose projects on any aspect in line with the broad remit of the SIMM Platform.

Priority will be given to strong proposals that make a convincing case for the contribution they will make to existing knowledge in this field.

Please also bear the following in mind:

  • The focus should be on social impact (rather than other intended benefits) and on participatory practices of making music (rather than listening to music). Given existing scholarship in music therapy and in the impact of music making on wellbeing and health, proposals relating to these areas are less likely to be successful.
  • The doctoral programme at the Guildhall School is exceptionally well-placed to support practice-based research. Proposals from applicants with professional experience and ongoing practice in socially-engaged music making are warmly invited. We also welcome applicants with professional expertise in evaluating social impact, particularly those proposing longitudinal studies of significant music-making projects.
  • Applicants are encouraged to take account of the global reach of the field, while also capitalizing on the opportunities afforded by Guildhall’s situation within the UK’s cultural capital and our relationship with the Barbican Centre.

The programme

The successful candidate will be registered as a doctoral student at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and will receive a full fee waiver (EU or OS) plus a stipend of £13,000 per annum for a maximum of three years. Strong candidates who are not offered the full studentship may be offered a self-funded place on the programme with an opportunity to apply for a fee-reduction.

The studentship holder will follow the doctoral programme at Guildhall, with further support and opportunities provided by the SIMM Platform.

Guildhall School doctoral programme provides:

  • a weekly series of research training, including guidance on all aspects of doctoral study and research methodologies, and opportunities to share work with a community of fellow doctoral students in the performing arts.
  • a supervisory team that includes a leading scholar in socially-engaged music-making.
  • a rich research culture, including the ResearchWorks series of public lectures and seminar on research into the performing arts.
  • links to Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning, the major learning and participation programme from the Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School.

Deadline for application is Wednesday 28 March 2018. Short-listed candidates will be invited for interview during the last two weeks in April and the first week in May and the successful candidate notified by the end of May.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to consult the guidance available online, to attend the doctoral open day on Wednesday 7 February 2018 and to submit a draft proposal for feedback in advance of formal application.


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