York St John University are pleased to invite applications for the following PhD studentship

Funded PhD Studentship

Staging Change: Leadership, Engagement and Advocacy in Learning Disability Theatre

York St John University in collaboration with Mind the Gap theatre company

The School of Performance and Media Production is seeking applications from candidates interested in pursuing a full-time PhD research project starting 1 October 2018 under the title: ‘Staging Change: Leadership, Engagement and Advocacy in Learning Disability Theatre’. The PhD studentship is offered in collaboration with Mind the Gap (MtG), one of Europe’s leading learning disability theatre companies.

Staging Change

Over the last two decades, learning disabled art and artists has progressively gained greater prominence, not least through the work of companies such as Mind the Gap. Learning disabled artists seek to work in mainstream venues, to reach broad and general audiences, and to develop the skills and opportunities to have leadership roles in the arts. Yet while there has been significant movement, barriers and obstacles still exist to these ambitions.

Staging Change (funded by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation) and Engage (funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation) are parallel three-year programmes run by MtG in collaboration with venues and learning disabled artists that aims to increase the visibility of learning disabled theatre and theatre makers, and offer skill development and advocacy opportunities for learning disabled people.

This PhD studentship runs alongside, contextualises and seeks to research the impact of this programme of activity. We anticipate the PhD research will:

Undertake research into organisation change and development in the partner venues in relation to the programming and perceived value of learning disabled theatre.
Undertake life narrative interviews and analysis with learning disabled artists across the course of the programme, exploring questions of access, leadership and career progression.
Contextualise the programme in relation to wider questions of learning disability advocacy and leadership, both in the arts and beyond.
Develop theories of change that can be utilised beyond the scope of the research.
Develop approaches to communicating the research process and research outcomes effectives, including to learning disabled audiences.
Application process

For further information and details about the application process, visit

https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/ research/research-degrees/ degree-funding-opportunities/

To discuss the project informally email Matthew Reason: m.reason@yorksj.ac.uk

Closing date: 15th June 2018. Provisional interview date: 25th June 2018.