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Evaluating Cities of Culture: A case study of Leeds 2023


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Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Monday 6 June 2022
Project start date
Thursday 1 September 2022
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
University of Leeds
Professor Ben Walmsley
School of Performance and Cultural Industries
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

The Centre for Cultural Value is delighted to announce a fully-funded Faculty PhD studentship from September 2022. Through an in-depth case study of Leeds 2023, the city&rsquo;s dedicated year of culture, this doctoral research project will explore the policy, management and methodological issues involved in capturing the value and impact of a city of culture programme.<br /> <br /> The Centre for Cultural Value is looking to host and supervise a PhD that critically investigates the following research questions:<br /> <br /> What are the opportunities and challenges of using mixed-methods research to capture the value and impact of a city of culture programme?<br /> <br /> What are the practical and ethical considerations of not only capturing a diverse range of participant and audience voices but ensuring differences of opinion are heard?<br /> <br /> Who are the key stakeholders and audiences for evaluations of cities of culture and what are the implications of this for developing a suitable evaluation framework?<br /> <br /> What roles should reflective practice and the acknowledgement of failure play in evaluating cultural events?<br /> <br /> What are the mechanisms by which evaluation can contribute to learning that leads to change?<br /> <br /> This project will be jointly supervised by Professor Ben Walmsley (Director of Centre for Cultural Value) and Dr Leila Jancovich (Director of Research and Innovation in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries). The successful candidate will be integrated into the Centre for Cultural Value as part of its research and evaluation of Leeds 2023, led by The Audience Agency.<br /> <br /> Cities of culture come in many shapes and sizes, but they all offer extraordinarily rich sites for research into cultural value. The Leeds 2023 team describe their venture as follows:<br /> <br /> &ldquo;2023 will be a transformational year like no other. 12 signature events and a multitude of creative experiences are happening all over our city. From dance to design, art to architecture, poetry to pop, sculpture to sport, grassroots community theatre to performances on our world-class stages, there&rsquo;s something for everyone [&hellip;]. We&rsquo;re working with local, national and international artists and communities to create a celebration that&rsquo;s for Leeds, with Leeds and inspired by Leeds. LEEDS 2023 will be an explosion of colour, noise and brilliance that will show the world in our city and our city to the world.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> N.B. Because of the requirement for fieldwork to be conducted during the year of culture in 2023, this studentship can only be studied full-time<br />

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>This PhD will be supported by the <a href="">Centre for Cultural Value</a> &ndash; a national research centre based in the <a href="">School of Performance and Cultural Industries</a> at the University of Leeds. The Centre for Cultural Value works alongside cultural practitioners and organisations, academics, funders and policymakers to:</p> <ul> <li>Summarise existing evidence to make relevant research more accessible;</li> <li>Support the cultural sector to develop skills in research, evaluation and reflective practice;</li> <li>Convene discussions around questions of cultural value;</li> <li>Shape policy development;</li> <li>Offer funding for research partnerships through its dedicated Collaborate fund.</li> </ul> <p>At the <a href="">Centre for Cultural Value</a>, we recognise that there are diverse perspectives about culture and cultural values. Everyone values culture, even if they don&rsquo;t always have equal opportunities to take part in the cultural activities they value the most.</p> <p>Collaboration and partnership underpin our work and help us draw on a rich range of insights, evidence and practice. We co-produce our work in partnership with others and we bring people together to further understanding of cultural value. We are committed to diversifying the voices and viewpoints heard in discussions about cultural value. We?are independent, objective and clear about what evidence there is and where the gaps lie.</p> <p>The scholarship is funded by the <a href="">Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures</a>, one of the largest arts and humanities faculties in Europe. The Faculty houses nine Schools, including the School of Performance and Cultural Industries which will provide the academic home of this PhD.</p> <p>Leeds is recognised as a global centre for research in the arts and humanities,&nbsp;with a consistent record of performing exceptionally in UK measures of quality, excellence and impact. As one of the largest and most diverse arts and humanities faculty in the UK, our research projects range widely by period, geography and theme but are united by their focus on innovation, academic rigour and global reach.</p> <p>With world-leading researchers, and world-class archives and facilities, we generate innovative, intellectually and socially significant research within a wide spectrum of disciplines, and across an exceptionally strong range of interdisciplinary strengths.</p> <p>We conduct interdisciplinary and impact-orientated quality research to address challenges at regional, national and global levels. To achieve this our research is user-led and solutions focused, driven by the needs of our partners and stakeholders.</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university,&nbsp;we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education.&nbsp;Within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+; and people with disabilities.&nbsp;Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Please note to be considered for the scholarship you must complete both <strong>Stage One</strong> (submit an application for research degree study) and <strong>Stage Two</strong> (submit an application for the Scholarship) as outlined below.</p> <p><strong>Stage One</strong>: Formal applications for research degree study should be made online at&nbsp;<a href=""></a>. Please state clearly in the &lsquo;Residency and Funding&rsquo; section of&nbsp;the application form that the funding you wish to be considered for is the &lsquo;Leeds 2023 scholarship&rsquo;.</p> <p><strong>Stage Two</strong>: The Scholarship application form can be found at the following address:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>Further information can be obtained by contacting the Graduate School Office at <a href=""></a></p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the School&#39;s minimum English language requirements (please see the relevant section below).</p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to PhD programmes should normally hold at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline and a master's degree (or be predicted to hold a master's degree). If you do not have a Masters degree relevant work experience will be taken into consideration. Applicants who are uncertain about any aspect of the entry criteria are advised to contact prior to submitting an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent (please contact the Graduate School Office for information about alternative English language qualifications accepted by the School). The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. A degree from a country in which English is the primary language can be considered valid evidence of English language qualifications provided that it is no more than two years old at the time of the proposed start date.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p>Award holders will receive fees at the UK rate of &pound;4,596 and a maintenance grant &pound;16,062 full time (scaled pro rata for part-time applicants).&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>Further information can be obtained by contacting&nbsp;the Graduate School Office at <a href=""></a></p>