Two PhD Studentships in Information Studies

Published: 9 January 2018

1 October 2018 start

M Economou POEM studentships

The European Training Network “Participatory Memory Practices. Concepts, strategies, and media infrastruc-tures for envisioning socially inclusive potential futures of European Societies through culture” (POEM) invites applications for 13 PhD fellowships with international focus to be funded by the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie ITN Action as part of the H2020 Programme of the European Commission. POEM is a consortium of high profile universities, acknowledged memory institutions, civil society organizations, and SMEs located in Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and the UK. 

Two of these PhD fellowships will be based at the University of Glasgow.

Programme description

Diverging forces across European societies, most visible in both the contemporary nationalist movements and Islamist radicalization, demand a socially inclusive public memory. Its implementation calls for new strategies, practices, and infrastructures for staging and empowering membership and contribution of people from diverse social and cultural backgrounds for past and future development in Europe. To reach this goal, research needs to develop a comprehensive understanding on concepts, practices, and media infrastructures that facilitate the partaking of people from various backgrounds in the heritage building work of memory institutions (libraries, archives, and museums). The Innovative Training Network “Participatory Memory Practices. Concepts, strate-gies, and media infrastructures for envisioning socially inclusive potential futures of European Societies through culture” (POEM) will provide this comprehensive knowledge by studying in practice theoretical approaches on how connectivities are built by 1) institutions, 2) people and groups, and 3) media infrastructures for a socially inclusive, participatory heritage work and what facilitates or hinders collaboration. Therefore, a new generation of professionals will be trained through an innovative training programme and supervised by peer networks of transdisciplinary knowledge to act as change agents, brokers, and problem solvers in this contested field of heritage work. The comprehensive transdisciplinary composition of the consortium involving universities, memory institutions, civil society organisations, and SMEs from public and private sectors will therefore provide the POEM fellows with transdisciplinary knowledge on cultural and social analysis as well as on transferrable skills with respect to the changing socio-technical, organisational, legal, economic, and ethical issues to ad-dress future challenges for participatory memory work.

Key dates

15.03.2018: Deadline for online application for PhD fellowships
18.05.2018: Recruitment event at the University of Hamburg, Germany (travel expenses will be covered for applicants from EU countries; shortlisted candidates from overseas will be invited to join by videoconference)
01.10.2018: Start date of PhD projects

Host for PhDs

  • University of Hamburg (Germany)
  • Aarhus University (Denmark)
  • Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus)
  • University of Glasgow (UK)
  • Uppsala University (Sweden)
  • Ashoka UK (UK)
  • Museum Europäischer Kulturen in Berlin (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Germany).

Career Stage

Early stage researcher, i.e., postgraduate with 0-4 years of academic experience

Research Fields

Critical Heritage Studies, Critical Data Studies Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Design Anthropology, Digital Cultures, Digital Anthropology, Digital Heritage, Digital Humanities, Digital Museology, European Eth-nology, Human Computer Interaction, Information Behaviour, Information Studies, Media Anthropology, Media Studies, Memory Studies, Museology, Museum Studies, Participatory Design, Science and Technology Studies, Social Anthropology, Software Studies, Visitor Studies, Visual Anthropology, Visual Sociology.

Benefits and salary

The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for early stage researchers. The exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on the country correction factor (to allow for the difference in cost of living in different EU Member States). The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if applicable - see MSCA regulations section 5.3). The guaranteed PhD funding is for a 3-year full-time contract (i.e. EC funding, additional funding is possible, depending on local supervisor). In addition to their individual scientific projects and the excellent institutional environment, all fellows will benefit from continuing measures for career development, which includes secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses, and active participation in workshops, conferences and public events.

Eligibility criteria

  • Recognized master’s degree in the above-mentioned research fields or other related subjects. To be eligible for admission to the programme students must have a high-quality master’s degree or an equivalent academic degree from an internationally recognized university. 
  • Early-stage researchers are those who, at the time of employment by the host university, are in the first four years (or full-time equivalent) of their research careers and not in possession of a doctoral degree. Research experience is calculated from the date they obtained a degree which formally entitled them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate was envisaged.
  • Conditions of international mobility of researchers: Researchers are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. At the time of employment by the host university, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host university for more than 12 months in total during the last 3 years. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account. Please also answer the questions under the heading “Application” on the POEM website.
  • English language: Applicants must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and oral English is sufficiently advanced for them to fully benefit from the network training. Recognized English language certificates (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS) must be submitted along with the application - further information

The ETN-POEM is explicitly committed to the principle of equal opportunities. Qualified women are especially encouraged to apply. Severely disabled applicants will be preferentially considered in case of equivalent qualifications. Please note that individual host institutions may have their own additional application requirements. Further information

Recruitment Procedure

Candidates apply electronically in English until 15 March 2018 and are requested to send their application as a PDF file (max. 5 MB) to  Applicants can apply for one to maximum two positions and are requested to indicate their preference with the reference number POEM PhD No (see below) in the e-mail’s subject line and justify their choice in the motivation letter, also answering the questions: For how long have you been working in a field of research? In which countries have you lived since 1 October 2015? The application shall comprise all requested information including:

  • a letter of motivation,
  • detailed up-to date CV 
  • relevant documents and copies of diploma such as verified Bachelor’s and Master´s transcripts of rec-ords with diploma supplement,
  • proof of sufficient English language skills (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS) - check the University of Glasgow requirements
  • two nominated referees that can be contacted,
  • master thesis and sample of academic writing in English (if applicable, e.g. paper, essay, publication, etc.), and
  • project samples like exhibitions, designs, and other portfolio materials or links to external sources (if applicable).

The POEM Recruitment Committee will select and invite shortlisted candidates for a recruitment event which will take place 18 May 2018 at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Travel expenses for candidates from EU countries will be reimbursed. Shortlisted applicants from overseas will be invited to take part by videoconfer-ence. The selected candidates may have to work on a case study, provide a 15-minute presentation of their results and be examined by the POEM Recruitment Committees. The starting date for the selected PhDs will be 1 October 2018.

In the first instance, interested applicants are strongly advised to contact the relevant lead supervisor for the specific PhD positions in advance to ensure they are able to meet local prerequisites and application proce-dures.

Please send your applications to

Please state max. two preferences, i.e. indicate the two PhD topics (see further below) you have most interest in and justify your choice.

Further information about the application 


  • Strong interest in interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Strong motivation to work in a cooperative and flexible team environment.
  • Be prepared to travel and fulfil all secondments.
  • Preparedness to contribute to the to the outreach of the project, especially by:

1. participation in publi-cations in high ranked journals, the development of the POEM toolbox and the POEM model,
2. Active participation at scientific conferences, policy workshops, public debates and panels, etc. at national and EU-level to address scientific communities, memory institutions, cultural industry, IT sector, and the broad public,
3. Participation in media communication (Twitter account, POEM blog and website) as form of research-reflexivity and spreading project information on EU level using European Commission’s communication tools.

  • IT knowledge (basic communication skills).

Key Duties

The post holder will be expected to undertake the programme of work as detailed in the work section of the POEM consortium agreement and MSCA-ETN grant programme.

Key duties include:

  • Progress the research theme with diligence, independently and as part of the wider POEM consortium, with constant reference to innovation. 
  • To work closely with other researchers in the collaborating network. This will include travel to other sites for short-term research visits, in addition to the planned longer placements. 
  • Attend and present at POEM training activities and meetings as outlined in the wider programme, including at national/international conferences relevant to the research. 
  • Undertake secondments as indicated.
  • Report on progress regularly to the network and the rest of the research group.
  • Document their research findings for publication in leading peer-reviewed international journals and conferences.
  • Help plan regular meetings between the network partners and present updates at these meetings.
  • Engage in outreach activities and public dissemination of knowledge. 
  • The post holder will also be expected to undertake such other duties, commensurate with the grading of the post, which may be assigned by the grant holder.

The Innovative Training Network POEM takes a relational research approach on the practices through which, institutions, people, and groups as well as memory modalities are building connectivities in memory work. An emphasis will be made on inclusive and empowering practices for groups on the margins, refugees, migrants, colonial groups, disadvantaged young people under consideration of gender questions, and contribute to a new understanding of how a socially inclusive public memory for future possibilities can be created. The connectivity building practices will be studied from three perspectives, memory institutions, people and groups, and memory modalities, each organised in theme assembling complementary perspectives in the single PhDs research projects.

PhD 2 Users’ motivations for crowdsourcing cultural heritage digital collections
This sub-project will examine the use and the potential of diverse types of crowdsourcing for encouraging par-ticipation and co-creation of diverse users in cultural heritage. It seeks to understand what type of engagement with cultural collections crowdsourcing and gamification can support. The project will be testing and evaluating the effectiveness in encouraging user participation and how the user-generated materials can help open up the collections to new audiences and uses. The project creates new knowledge on how professionals frame participation in heritage work and on the organisational changes this way of working requires.

Host: University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Lead Supervisor: Dr Maria Economou (

PhD 3 The role of museums’ social media for the engagement with arts and culture
The project will research the role of different social networks within museums’ communication activities and analyse the nature and type of interactions on social media with stakeholders and users for understanding the motivation of users engaging with museum social media about cultural experiences and the impact and quality of this engagement in relation to the offline museum experience. The project creates knowledge on the online social interactions and the quality and impact of these on the cultural experiences of users and stakeholders, as well as the impact on the cultural organisations.

Host: University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Lead Supervisor: Dr Maria Economou (

General contact

Further information on the POEM website

First published: 9 January 2018

<< 2018