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The Unit provides a rich environment for ambitious practice-based and critical/historical/theoretical postgraduate research which is closely aligned with our cross and interdisciplinary research expertise and our commitment to partnership-working and collaboration with stakeholders. 

From 2013, the Unit led the AHRC consortium, Centre for Doctoral Training in Arts and Design (CDT) with the University of Sunderland and our partners BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the National Glass Centre, Sunderland; one of just seven CDTs then funded by AHRC nationally. The CDT has forged vibrant and enduring networks and collaborations for both the PGR and our staff community. The spirit of these collaborations has continued in our membership from 2019 of the AHRC Northern Bridge Consortium (DTP) along with six other University partners in North-East England and Northern Ireland. In addition to RCUK funded studentships such as these, the Unit benefits from a yearly allocation of University Research Development Fund (RDF) studentships which help ensure the sustainability and vigour of our research culture and contribute to new and emerging areas of research strength. 

Across Arts and Design all of our PGRs are aligned and actively involved with those research groupings most relevant to their and their supervisors’ areas of expertise. Beyond their participation in and across research group seminars, symposia, exhibitions, performances and events, specifically PhD-led initiatives include, for example, James Bell’s 2019 series of screenings of LGBTQ+ artist moving image, documentary and film and Louise MacKenzie’s 2019 ‘Black Box’ cinema programme developed in collaboration with the Institute of Genetic Medicine at University of Newcastle. Other examples include the five OpenDott Design Research Fellows who in collaboration with Mozilla are looking to explore how to build a more open, secure, and trustworthy Internet of Things and Nantia Koulidou’s work on participatory digital jewellery to support a sense of self for people living across multiple countries.

Fine art PGRs are allocated professionally equipped studio space and those Design PGRs specifically associated with the CoCreate research group are located in dedicated spaces along with the staff and post-doctoral researchers aligned to that group.  

To see the profiles of our PGR community visit:


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