Developing a long- term partnership with the College of Arts
Shared studentships are facilitated to encourage and develop collaboration and partnerships between Universities and non-academic organisations and businesses.
These highly competitive studentships encourage and establish links that can have long-term benefits for both collaborating partners. A studentship will not only provide access to resources and materials, knowledge and expertise that may not otherwise have been available, but also provide social, cultural and economic benefits to wider society.
It’s not only the non-university partner that benefits: shared studentships provide opportunities for doctoral students to gain first-hand experience of work outside an academic environment. The support provided by the academic and non-academic supervisors enhance the employment-related skills and training a research student gains during the course of their award.
A specific funder of shared studentship, the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) is keen to see innovative applications that build diverse relationships with the non-academic sectors. There have been many awards made for collaborations with larger museums and organisations however the AHRC would like to encourage further proposals to work with businesses, regional museums, regional arts organisations and community groups.
The College of Arts has engaged with numerous organisations, via shared studentships, over the past few years including (to name a selection) BBC Scotland, Glasgow Life, The Arches, Shetland Amenity Trust, Mull Theatre, Glasgow Film Theatre, National Museums of Scotland, National Theatre of Scotland.
Lesley-Ann Dickson (pictured below) has found the ideal combination of academia and industry through her CDA on film-festival audiences with the Glasgow Film Theatre. "I was drawn to the CDA because I knew that Film Studies really nurtured links with industry," she says.
Lesley’s research is focusing on how our cinematic activities form around specific venues and how that might link to identity and cultural capital. Not much is currently known about how people use cinema or what it means to them, and Lesley’s research aims to fill the gap. This will ultimately provide invaluable information for programme-planning and for increasing the number of people that come through the doors.
Alison Eales is currently in her first year of a project with the Glasgow Jazz Festival. "The Jazz Festival first sprung up as part of the bid to make Glasgow a European Capital of Culture," says Alison. "Over time, it has gravitated towards an area in Glasgow known as the Merchant City, and it’s now very firmly linked to the bars there, as well as venues including the Fruitmarket and City Halls. There have at times also been some strong connections between the Board of the Jazz Festival and Glasgow City Council.
"I’m really interested in uncovering what role, if any, the Jazz Festival has had in the development of the area. In Glasgow, it seems to be the same small number of people taking one hat off and putting another hat on involved in making a lively cultural event like this happen.
"I’m also keen to learn what might come out of my research that could be of help to festival directors and the people staffing festivals." Alison continues. "Particularly at the moment, with the massive cuts to arts funding, I’m keen to understand how you go about getting a festival off the ground. How then do you secure it? And how do you make it sustainable over a long period? I hope that there are lessons to be learned in identifying the key people necessary in the process."