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Performing Arts: Music, Drama, Dance – Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) PhD Studentship

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All postgraduate researchers (PGRs) are registered in the University’s Graduate School and housed in the faculty or department that is most appropriate for the project on which they are working. PGRs working on Performing Arts projects are usually housed in the Department of English and Creative Arts.

In REF2021, 75% of English outputs and 66% of our overall profile in Communications, Cultural and Media Studies was judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent. Our research covers a diverse range of subjects. Research specialisms in the department include themes and performance practices which engage with areas such as: autobiography; autoethnography; arts activism; creative writing and aesthetics; commemoration, memory and performative practices; community; choreography; devised performance; dramaturgy; environmental theatre and sustainability; feminist theatre and performance; the gendered body in performance; human-computer interaction in music making; live and performance art and/or installations; ludomusicology; multi-channel acousmatic and/or audio-visual work; participatory and socially engaged performance making; popular music and music industry studies; queer cultures; sited and site-specific performance; synthesised music composition. Researchers in the department interrogate themes using innovative practice-research methodologies as well as more traditional research methodologies.

Our research is supported by a range of funders that include the British Academy, UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council, Leverhulme Trust, and Wellcome. Our research collaborations with external partners include Liverpool Museums and Galleries, Atkinson Gallery, Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, Shakespeare North Playhouse, Chapel Gallery, Lime Arts Studio, Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Leigh Film Festival, Natural England, National Autistic Society, Ofcom, Lime Pictures and Burscough Community Farm.

The department is home to: Culture, Power and Inclusion Research Group; Practice Research Group; Centre for Human Animal Studies; and EMERG – Emergent Media & Entertainment Research Group, among others. We also work closely with Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing.

GTAs are encouraged to join one of the research groups or centres and there are opportunities throughout the year to get involved with our conferences and seminar series. Postgraduate researchers are supervised by experienced academics, and we have an excellent record of GTAs securing academic positions after completing their PhDs. Please see the University’s research repository for further information on the research outputs of each member of staff in the department.

In the first instance please direct all enquiries about proposed projects on topics related to Performing Arts to with Dr Lena Simic, Graduate School Research Degree Contact for the Department of English and Creative Arts, cc’d (

The University particularly welcomes applications for studentships in the project areas outlined below.

Research themes

Centre for Human Animal Studies

  • Animal performance, animal stars, animal celebrity
  • Multispecies storytelling
  • Animal advocacy and activism
  • Climate change, media, communication and culture

Culture, Power and Inclusion Research Group

  • Politics of popular culture
  • Media, migration and diaspora
  • Film, history and memory
  • Arts, health and wellbeing
  • Arts activism and advocacy
  • Postcolonial, civic and political theatres
  • Climate crisis and the arts
  • Environmental theatre and sustainability
  • Creative writing and aesthetics
  • Theatre, literature and psychological perspectives

EMERG – Emergent Media & Entertainment Research Group

  • Biotech art
  • Generative art and artificial intelligence
  • Human-computer interaction in music
  • Immersive performance and media
  • Interactive installation art, storytelling, video and performance
  • Ludomusicology
  • Social media
  • Transmedia storytelling
  • Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Extended Reality (XR)
  • Wearable art

Practice Research Group

  • Commemoration, memory and performative practice
  • Decolonising theatre and performance
  • Devised performance
  • Feminist theatre and performance  
  • Installation art
  • Live art
  • Participatory and socially engaged performance making
  • Popular music and music industry studies  
  • Queer cultures
  • South African theatre