Photo Credit: Creative technologies at UWE Bristol

UWE Bristol

For the 2016/17 doctoral studentship competition, UWE Bristol invites applications to undertake practice-led research that focuses on any area of digital design, digital media or digital arts.

Your Director of Studies (DoS – your lead supervisor) may be based in any of the research groups in the Departments of Arts and Cultural IndustriesArt and Design  or Film and Journalism.
However, we particularly encourage applications to one of the following three research centres: Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), the Digital Cultures Research Centre (DCRC) and the Centre for Moving Image Research (CMIR). Each research centre has a track record of supervising interdisciplinary practice-led research projects in creative design, creative media and creative arts and have a particular focus on digital practices, digital culture and engagement with digital technologies. You can work across (i.e. have members of your supervisory team located in) two of these and also other research groups in the departments listed above and indeed across the University.


The Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR) 

Research in CFPR is based on the production of the physical artefact, primarily predicated in print, understanding digital and new media technologies in relation to physical output and creativity. The CFPR has built a world-wide reputation for research excellence. Our focus is on the close relationship that exists between technology, ideas and craft skills as understood in a visual environment.


Although our research is primarily initiated from a visual perspective, it is inexorably linked to industrial development and new technologies. We have one of the most comprehensive sets of 2D and 3D printing, cutting, machining and fabrication hardware in the country. We also work collaboratively with high profile artists, studios, contemporary makers and galleries and our CFPR Editions studio functions as a publishing studio of limited edition prints and multiples.


The Centre for Fine Print Research has an outstanding track record of working with industry. Collaborative projects include undertaking contract research to solve tricky problems for industry, consultancy projects and supporting start-up businesses. We are currently working a range of companies (please see ‘Partners’ section below). In addition to collaborating with a range of universities nationally and internationally, CFPR also collaborates with local organisations including Arnolfini and Spike Print Studio.


By adapting to changing demand in the marketplace and the requirements of the user, we are able to conduct research that has direct application to industry, creative design, science and art. Our key research areas are 3D rapid prototyping, colour, 2.5D print, artists books and the role of materials and craft skills in the digital design arena.


CFPR particularly encourages applications for practice-led doctoral research in the following areas:

  • experimental printmaking
  • experimental artists’ books
  • 2.5D printing
  • 3D printing in ceramics


Details of CFPR staff can be read here.


For further information, please contact Dr Carinna Parrman ( or Joanna Montgomery, CFPR project manager (



The Digital Cultures Research Centre (DCRC) 

The DCRC is an internationally recognized centre for research into interactive and participatory documentary and home to the i-Docs Symposium. The Centre hosts the AHRC Creative Territories (Video Games) Research Network and is publisher of the Pervasive Media Cookbook.


DCRC research examines the processes and politics of digital creative technologies. It maps and contextualises emerging creative practices, reflecting on their aesthetics, ethics and impacts. Founded in 2009 by Professor Jon Dovey and now led by Associate Professor Mandy Rose, the DCRC pursues a dynamic interdisciplinary agenda through a unique mix of criticality, creativity and application.


DCRC is particularly interested in receiving applications for practice-based doctoral research that address:

  •  Documentary approaches to Virtual Reality (Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard)
  •  LARP identities and cultures
  •  Collaborative gaming, from tabletop RPGs to board games
  •  “Ambient Literature” (situated literary practices)


We would also like to hear from potential PhD students who are interested in undertaking practice-led research that investigates a variety of interests within the DCRC network, including the future of the book; new cinema history; robotics and AI; and themes of value, data, creative citizenship, co-creation and the creative economy.


Details of DCRC staff can be read here.


For further information, please contact Associate Professor Mandy Rose ( or Nick Triggs, DCRC project manager (



The Centre for Moving Image Research (CMIR) 

The Centre for Moving Image Research, led by Terry Flaxton, Professor of Cinematography and Lens Based Arts, focuses on practice as research within the production and display of moving images in cinema, television and in gallery exhibition. CMIR explores the histories, theories, technologies, cultures and politics of moving image production, interaction and reception. We have 4 Core Research Streams. These are: Digital Cinematography: Technical and Physiological, Moving Image Art and Practice, Hybrid Reality and Culture, Film and Television Studies. We have three permanent professors (Flaxton, Spicer, Cook) and an increasing number of visiting professors to assist CMIR, such as academic and artist Chris Meigh-Andrews (A History of Video Art); Roberto Schaefer (cinematographer on The Kite Runner and Quantum of Solace), Geoff Boyle (cinematographer and originator of the Cinematography Mailing List) – see Personnel Page. Affiliates of CMIR are working artists and practitioners who exhibit their work internationally.


CMIR has access to 3 x 4k Ursa Cameras and 5 x Red 4k cameras plus a 4k edit suite to aid our work with 8k capacity. Together with BBC Research and Development and the Bristol Vision Institute, Flaxton helped capture and display the world’s first HDR, HFR movie in April 2013 – Flaxton now sits on the AMPAS sci/tech committee. CMIR runs a festival of cinematography every September, and we are setting up a Festival of Digital Aesthetics for Spring 2017.


Professor Spicer has a keen interest in the ways in which digital processes are transforming the film and television industries, aesthetically, culturally, industrially and ideologically. He is a member of a European Research Project – Success in the Film and Television Industries –  and a project examining the cultural ecology of the film and television industries in Bristol.


Professor Cook has an interest in design research, augmented reality and designing for digital media: .


For more information, please contact Professor Terry Flaxton:



Other staff with a particular interest in topics and themes within 3D3:

  • Oral history, crafts, museology and curating. Contact Dr Matthew Partington
  • The creative application of mobile technologies to the interpretation of historic landscapes and heritage sites. Contact Professor Steve Poole
  • Socially engaged photography and media; Community/Alternative/DIY Media and Creative Practices; Visual Anthropology; Black British/African and Diaspora Media Cultures. Contact Dr Shawn Sobers
  • Visualising media history; practice-led explorations of the role of media in shaping politics and history. Contact Dr Katie Davies
  • Urban culture and everyday life; studies of perception, attention and experience; neuroscience, psychology and psycho-physical models of subjectivity; robotics and cyborg culture; humanness, human rights and ethics; and cultural activism and environmental politics. Contact Dr Gillian Swanson




UWE research centres have excellent collaborative relationships with a range of partners. Applications that align with the interests of one of the following partners would be welcome. If successful, your PhD stipend might be extended for 1-2 months to take into account a period of work placement during your programme of study.


The Centre for Fine Print Research undertakes collaborative and consultancy work with a range of industrial partners an institutions. These include: Hewlett Packard, Denby Pottery, Burleigh Pottery, Bits from Bytes, Renishaw PLC, Viridis 3D, the Society of Dyers and Colourists, the British Museum and the National Gallery.


The Digital Culture Research Centre is a partner in The Pervasive Media Studio, a multi-disciplinary lab located in Bristol’s Watershed, where a unique community of artists, creative companies, technologists and academics share expertise exploring new experiences for new audiences. We collaborate with local, national and international bodies including the Bristol Games Hub, the BBC and MIT OpenDoc Lab.


The Centre for Moving Image Research works with BBC Research and Development unit and with Encounters Film Festival, University of Bristol’s Vision Institute, Aardman Animations, Creative England, CineLab London, VMI, Viual Impact, Skill Set, Floating Motion, Solid Grip Systems, Arnolfini, RWA, Spike Island, BEEF, Bristol Museum, Knowle West Media Centre, Films at 59 and Panalux.


Other partners with which UWE staff collaborate include: