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Researcher in the Archives: A Residency in UAL Archives and Special Collections Centre

Published date
10 Apr 2018

Following the success of last year’s Screen Archives Residency, University of the Arts London is pleased to announce a new residency opportunity. The Researcher in the Archives Residency is an opportunity for a post-doctoral researcher from the wider UK university community to be in residence at the University Archives and Special Collections Centre (ASCC) over a nine-month period.  The selected researcher will receive a total sum of £8,000 and will be supported in their use of the archives in the University Archives and Special Collections Centre, Elephant and Castle.

Proposals are invited from post-doctoral researchers to produce new research outputs in any medium or practice, including digital, inspired by the archives held in the ASCC.  It is anticipated that the Resident will research for up to six months, and create their research outputs during the last three months.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 9am on Tuesday 15th May 2018.

Purpose of the Residency

The Residency supports the University’s vision:

We ask original questions and arrive at new insights through the creativity and rigour of our practice and research.

UAL Medium Term Strategy 2015-2022

We aim to create and apply knowledge that develops our disciplines and makes a positive contribution to society and the economy, to develop world leading research. We will strengthen both physical and digital resources to support new research initiatives and expand audiences and impact for research outputs and activities.

The Residency is part of a planned development of research activities in relation to our collections and archives which celebrate their research potential.

In the context of this landscape, the Residency will:

  • Encourage new interrogations of our Archives relating to design, media, screen, communication and social commentary, which are held at UAL ASCC.
  • Raise the awareness of these archives amongst the research active community and inspire further provocations, interrogations and creative responses from others
  • Encourage collaboration between the Archives and Special Collections and the research communities at UAL and beyond, targeting post-graduate students who may want to frame future doctoral research around these collections
  • Disseminate the outcomes beyond UAL and across the wider research community
  • Promote the importance of preserving the legacy of key and influential archive collections

Who is eligible to apply?

This Residency at UAL is open to a Post-doctoral researcher from any other UK- based University, who would like this time-limited opportunity to participate in the work of the UAL research community.

PhD students registered at any other UK- based University will be considered for this Residency if it aligns with their research.

The applicant must be able to work in the UK and remain resident until 31st December 2019.

What do we expect from the successful Researcher in Residence?

We expect that the Resident will produce one or multiple outputs to demonstrate their research findings.  These will include:

  • New interrogations of the archive which may take any form, eg. Discussion or provocation; practice or theory based.
  • New research outputs: the Resident will make one or multiple responses in any form of practice: publication; fine art; film; sound; performance / live events; animation; games; photography; creative writing; etc. These can be produced in analogue or digital forms.
  • Providing regular updates on their progress through the Residency, posting to the ‘Into the Archive’ blog and UAL social media
  • Working within the opportunities and constraints of the Intellectual Property Rights of the archives in the Archives and Special Collections Centre
  • Capturing these outcomes in a form that can be cited in UAL’s REF return, eg. In the research environment statement and the UAL Research Online repository
  • Delivering one or more public events to generate the findings and disseminate the outputs to UAL and the wider research community.
  • Providing feedback to the University on the value and benefit of the Residency

What will the Resident receive?

  • A fee of £8,000 to cover expenses, and all materials to produce the outputs from the residency.
  • Mediated access to the range of archives, held at the UAL Archives and Special Collections Centre. This will be supported by the staff of the Centre who will guide the Resident in the use of the discovery tools and the archives.
  • Mediated access to other facilities at London College of Communication or UAL.

Accommodation and living expenses are not part of the residency fee and the Resident is expected to support themselves during the nine-month period. Secondments from other Higher Education Institutions will be considered.

The Residency is supported by the HEFCE Museums, Galleries and Collections Fund.

The Archives at University Archives and Special Collections Centre

Details of all our Archive and Collections can be found here:

and on this blog.

The University Archives and Special Collections Centre (ASCC) holds unique and diverse archival materials, which provide a rich resource for research. The Centre holds archives and collections with particular strengths in screen, printing history; graphic design, media and sound arts, including the Her Noise, London Musicians’ Collective and the Lindsay Cooper Archive.  As well as the Stanley Kubrick Archive, it holds the papers of journalist Phillip Knightley; screen writer Clive Exton; a highly regarded and comprehensive collection of the graphic work of Robert Crumb; as well as the institutional history of UAL.  Recently accessioned collections include collections of social commentary, including the work of photographer Dick Scott Stewart and artist Jo Ann Kaplan; mediated access to these collections can be arranged.  It has the collection of textile weaver Barbara Sawyer, and items associated with the Ballet Russes, as well as object collections of tools reflecting functions and craft practices and pieces of work generated by selected students who have successfully completed their courses.

This diverse set of collections invites interdisciplinary interrogation by the Researcher in Residence, who will be encouraged to investigate across their breadth.

The ASCC is open to members of Higher Education Institutions and the general public.

How to make a submission

The successful proposal will demonstrate forward-looking interrogation, creativity, cutting-edge imagination and measured risk-taking, leading to new interpretations or perspectives on these collections.  The research outcomes must be achievable in the nine-month residency.

Submission format

All submissions should be presented in the following format

  • Name and organisation of applicant
  • Project title
  • A summary of your proposed project (no more than 100 words)
  • A more detailed proposal of no more than 500 words containing your project aims and rationale

Project aims and rationale (500 words)

What are you hoping to achieve (aim)?

  • Where are you situating your project in terms of scholarship and/or good practice in your field?
  • How does the project meet the purpose of the Residency?
  • How does the project engage the University’s archives and special collections?
  • Please provide an indication of the outcomes of the Residency and the medium in which your works might be produced.
  • The technical facilities that you are likely to require to realise your outputs
  • A proposed budget outline

A CV or portfolio including evidence of past work relevant to this proposal, through links to your web pages or other online presence.

Shortlisted candidates may be asked to supply further items of work in any media, supplied to the selection committee as links to the candidate’s website or as file transfers to a specified account.

Submissions should be sent to with the subject line:

‘Researcher in the Archive Residency Submission’


The deadline for applications is 5pm on Tuesday 15th May.

We aim to hold interviews in May and begin the residency in June 2018.

Further information

For an informal discussion about the residency or your application, please contact:

Sarah Mahurter; Manager, University Archives and Special Collections Centre,


Georgina Orgill, Assistant Manager, University Archives and Special Collections Centre,


Further details of the Archives can be found by searching the online catalogue

 Image credit: David Vintiner