Director of Studies: Patrick Crogan
Other members of the proposed supervisory team: Mandy Rose
Professional partner: Bristol VR lab, BBC, Guardian
Project details:
The Digital Cultures Research Centre at the University of West of England Bristol invites applications for a three-year full-time Doctoral studentship, fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), to undertake practice-based research into the non-fiction media application of spatial imaging techniques.
Recent developments in computation and photography – photogrammetry, volumetric capture – now allow the creation of experiences which involve encounters between users and interactive 3D versions of people from the historical world. ( Often promoted as breakthroughs in the capacity of media to provide users with authentic experiences that overcome obstacles to empathising with the real lives of real people, these techniques nonetheless offer constructed representations of reality whose nature, status and impact this research will interrogate. The student will probe the social and cultural implications of the encounters that 3D imaging techniques allow, asking:  
• What are the potential forms and applications of virtual, 3D human recreations for non-fiction experience design?
• How can their effects and their contribution to non-fiction media – documentary, journalism – be understood and evaluated?
• What are the ethical implications of virtual encounters with people from the historical world?
The studentship will be linked to Virtual Realities : Immersive Documentary Encounters – an EPSRC Content Creation & Consumption in the Digital Economy research project – 2.5 years commencing July 1 2017 (University of Bristol, University of Bath, University of the West of England). Partners on this grant include Guardian, BBC, Aardman Animation. The student will work alongside the research team in Bristol’s newly launched VR Lab.
The Digital Cultures Research Centre has a strong track record of successful PhD completions and offers access to an exciting creative and intellectual community, and students researching aspects of emerging storytelling. The Centre is home to the i-Docs research group ( We expect research students to take a full and active role in the Research Centre and to take part in regular workshops, conferences and seminars. The studentship commences October 2017.
Applicants will be expected to attend an interview and demonstrate:
• imaginative and viable preliminary ideas for research into this subject area
• an appreciation of the nature of PhD study and of both independent and collaborative research
• evidence that he/she has, or can develop, the skills required to start the proposed research
For an informal discussion about the studentship contact