Fully Funded PhD Research Studentship: ARCS

University of Abertay Dundee
June 09, 2024
Offerd Salary:£19,600
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Contract Type:Other
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Job title

Fully Funded PhD Research Studentship: ARCS

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A stipend of around £19,600 per annum plus fees at UKRI rate

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Job category/type

School of Design and Informatics



Job description

Fully Funded PhD Research Studentship

Project Title: Bridging the gap between Virtual & Physical Film & Television Production: Virtual Production and Real-Time pipelines in the studio environment.

PhD Studentship: Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities: ARCS: Applied Research Collaborative Studentships. Our ARCS-funded PhD projects will be markers of excellence and originality, enabled by environments where excellent research is supported and conducted.

Our prestigious 3½ year ARCS studentships offer:

  • Fully funded PhD studentships with a stipend of around £19,600 per annum plus fees at UKRI rate • Partnership with a non-academic organisation and cross-institutional supervisory team including a minimum of six months working within the non-academic organisation • Access to additional funding to cover travel between partner organisations • A core training programme to develop the doctoral researcher's skills as a future research leader
  • Project Description: Virtual Production volumes, studios and working environments encompass a unique convergence of technologies and expertise and working practices in film and television production: digital ‘game engine' infrastructure interfacing with physical and traditional film and television production techniques. Working in these emerging, and immersive spaces can be a challenge to seasoned professionals and recent graduates alike. This practice-based PhD will explore the complex artistic and logistical challenges of and solutions to work in such an emergent environment. This exploration will synthesise game engine knowledge, film production pipelines (both digital & physical), VFX, optimisation, tools development, art, and animation pipelines. Our industry partner is Axis Studios, a multi-award-winning animation and VFX studio. Specialising in diversity, they have built a global reputation for creating commissioned and original entertainment experiences in Film, Television, Games and Theme Parks. https: // axisstudiosgroup.com/

    The PhD student will work on innovative research and development projects that can lead to technological advancements. This can help Axis Studios stay ahead in a competitive industry by adopting new technologies or methodologies that enhance their animation capabilities, potentially leading to the development of unique storytelling techniques, animation styles, or workflow optimisations. Collaborating with universities through PhD studentships can provide Axis access to state-of-the-art research facilities (such as our Virtual Production Volume and our Vicon Motion Capture system), software, and academic expertise. This can be particularly beneficial for projects that require specialised knowledge or equipment. Being associated with academic research can enhance the reputation of Axis as a leader in technological innovation within the animation industry. This can attract more clients, projects, and talented individuals to the company. Studentships can also foster a stronger relationship that can lead to further collaborative opportunities, including joint research projects, internships for students, and guest lectures or workshops by industry professionals. By leveraging the benefits of a PhD studentship, Axis Studios cannot only contribute to the advancement of knowledge in animation and visual effects but also significantly enhance its own capabilities, creativity, and market position.

    Supervisory Team: Phillip Vaughan - Senior Lecturer/Programme Leader, Abertay University

    Dr. Brian Hoyle – Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, University of Dundee

    Dana Dorian – Director, Axis Studios

    Entry Requirements: Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a first class or upper second-class masters degree in a related subject area, or a closely aligned equivalent industry discipline. Our procedures for candidate selection meet the requirements of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education. Candidate selection is based on a) the academic suitability of the candidate; b) the quality of the proposed project and its suitability for a research degree and c) the ability of the university to offer adequate research facilities and appropriate supervision for the project. Selection involves the assessment of a written application and a student interview. Candidate selection is undertaken by a minimum of three suitably trained or experienced staff. All staff involved must have undertaken training in: Diversity in the Workplace; Unconscious Bias; Recruitment and Selection. Responsibility for final assessment of Research Degree Student applications lies with Deans of School. All our student recruitment and selection processes comply with our Equality & Diversity policy and framework. We will advertise our studentship through our usual channels. Importantly, we will advertise via our CoSTAR consortium that comprises multiple universities and industry partners and will have its own communications channel.

    Applications and closing date: 09 June 2024 at 23:59. Please submit a covering letter that outlines your interest in theis studentship opportunity, 500 word maximum, along with your CV.

    Abertay University is one of six universities across the UK, and the only one in Scotland, to receive a nomination for “University of the Year” in 2016 Time Higher Education (THE) Awards. According to the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014) published on 18 December 2014, Abertay was part of the leading group of modern universities ranked highest in the UK for 'research intensity'. Abertay was the first University in the world to offer a degree in games and in March 2017 and was top ranked in Europe for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses in 2019. Abertay was lead of the multi-million InGame project in partnership with Dundee University and the University of St Andrews. The aim of the project is to establish a dedicated research and development hub for the Dundee video game cluster and to drive services, products, and innovation in the industry. Abertay is also the network Realtime Lab and partner on the National Lab for CoSTAR: Convergent screen technologies and performance in realtime, which will support the design, development and creation of state-of-the-art facilities, resources, and expertise to underpin the long-term competitiveness of the UK's screen and performance sectors. Established with £75.6 million of funding and delivered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the CoSTAR national network comprises a National Lab, three Network Labs and a Foresight Lab.

    Entry requirements

    Essential requirements:

    Desirable requirements (but not essential)

    Masters Degree: First class or upper second-class (or equivalent industry experience)

    Film production experience

    Experience of working in Film & TV

    Visual Effects work/showreel

    Realtime game engine experience

    Practical film or TV work

    Research assistant role in HE

    Director of Photography experience

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