Application deadline 17 Feb 2020: AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award

Posted on 24 January 2020

Castlefield Gallery is pleased to announce that we will working with Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University to offer a new Collaborative Doctoral Award funded research studentship opportunity available to students from the UK and European Union.

This AHRC NWCDTP Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) will provide funding for a doctoral (PhD) studentship with the university, to begin in October 2020. This offer is made by a partnership with Manchester School of Art and Castlefield Gallery.

The title of the research will be

Castlefield Gallery and the Curatorial Project: uncovering process and the impact of contemporary art practices in the city

The project will investigate curatorial process with the partner organisation, Castlefield Gallery – the research question is to consider how the exhibition history of a ‘small to medium’ sized visual art gallery can be ‘mined’ to reveal less visible histories of artist development and deferred value? The research will feed a series of outcomes where curatorial process is brought to the surface and integrated into the exhibition and event programme. By making curatorial process visible the contribution to knowledge would provide insights not only into the working practices of the gallery but into the wider impact contemporary art practices and production have on a city, a region and beyond.

The researcher for this Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) would involve themselves in curatorial process in order to consider the position of the gallery within wider cultural practice, and delineate some of the strands of the complex gallery condition in order to reveal its importance to Manchester, to the region, and as a part of national and international debates. Part of the purpose of this CDA is to raise questions that have a significant importance in the shifting landscape of contemporary culture, the pressures of diminishing funding, and the precarious role of the artist within an active city culture. Once identified, the questions will inform the programme in order to more carefully reflect on the contemporary condition.


–        To research the Castlefield Gallery archive, marking out key moments of development in its history and to consider notions of influence and importance that go beyond the exhibition – to include artist development and cultural impact.

–        To uncover curatorial process and its operation in order to raise questions that reflect on the condition of contemporary art in Manchester, the region, and its contribution to national and international debates.

–        To develop a curatorial practice in relation to the Castlefield Gallery programme culminating in a research exhibition and related event, that would form the practice-based element of the PhD.

–        To contribute to a publication and related events which reflect on the history of the gallery, its programme of contemporary art practices, and its place within contemporary curatorial discourse (the level of contribution could be adjusted in relation to other curatorial commitments).


The successful candidate will have a minimum 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in art theory/practice/visual culture, (or related area), and a Masters level qualification, ideally in Curating/Art Gallery and Museum Studies (or a related area), or equivalent professional experience relevant to the proposed study.

More information on the skills and experience that we are looking for from candidates are available on the attached document.

Deadline: Monday 17 February 2020

Please Note: Interviews will take place on Tuesday 3 March.

For further information contact:

Director of Studies: Dr Steven Gartside


Full Application details, including the funding, are available on the Manchester Metropolitan website.