Research Associate in the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries
The Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries (CMCI) seeks to appoint a Postdoctoral research associate to work with Professor Jeanette Steemers (PI) and Professor Andrea Esser (Co-I) on the 30-month AHRC-funded project ‘Screen Encounters with Britain: What do young Europeans make of Britain and its digital screen culture’.
The project seeks to understand how video-on-demand services are affecting the nature and extent of overseas audiences' digital encounters with the UK through analysis of: (1) How young Europeans define, find, access, value and experience screen content from the UK, and what motivates them to do so; and (2) how they understand the UK and British culture based on their screen consumption and wider UK-related experiences, and how this impacts their attitudes about the UK. The research focuses on young, digital audiences (aged 16-34) in four case study markets (Denmark, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands) and across three work packages (markets; cultural intermediaries; young audiences). The mixed-methods approach combines document analysis to assess market trends with quantitative (survey, digital methods) and qualitative methods (digital activities, online interviews, participatory workshops) to illuminate viewing behaviours, preferences for and views about UK screen content, and the role that cultural intermediaries from industry, education and social media play in in shaping these behaviours. Research findings will be shared widely with industry, policy and academic communities.
The successful candidate will work as part of a team and will be involved in all research and research-related activities. They will lead the “Markets” work package; and work closely with project investigators on the “Cultural Intermediaries” and “Audiences” work packages. Applicants will need to have experience in industry document analysis to determine viewing trends, and preferably be competent in digital research methods to track online marketing, SVoD landing pages and programme catalogues. Ideally, they should also have experience in the distribution and analysis of online surveys, and in conducting and analysing interviews. As part of the team, they will be involved in data collection, analysis and evaluation; archive maintenance, project events, and the co-authorship of outputs. The successful applicant will also oversee data transcriptions and the website; maintain a field diary to document progress, issues and solutions; and co-ordinate both research and knowledge exchange activities with academic and industry partners.
The successful candidate will benefit from working as part of an enthusiastic team in an international research environment and with significant opportunities to receive further research training and establish networks both within academia and the screen industries. Our industry partners include the British Film Institute (BFI), the BBC, BBC Studios, the Producers’ Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact), All3Media, and the British Council.
The Research Associate will be based at the Strand campus in Central London. Some limited foreign travel is required for workshops and conferences. Unsociable hours may be required from time to time.
Start Date for this role would be as soon as possible or 3 October 2022.
This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract until 30th September 2024. This is a full time post - 100% full time equivalent.
The successful candidate will work under the supervision of Professor Jeanette Steemers (Principal Investigator) and Professor Andrea Esser (Co-Investigator) to deliver the aims and objectives of the project. Principal accountabilities include:
- Updating of literature review material at relevant points during the project.
- Leading Work Package 1 (WP1) across 4 markets (Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands) to collect evidence on how UK content is promoted and disseminated on key broadcast and video-on-demand outlets. Tasks will include collecting and comparing viewing trends among 16-34-year-olds at the start of the project through document analysis. For each market, tasks also include tracing and ascertaining online marketing of UK content by top SVoD platforms; online advertising by VoDs and channels; levels and types of UK content in VoD and broadcast catalogues (through sales data and secondary sources); and types and most-viewed UK content on YouTube (through data mining) ahead of audience research. Some training will be provided, using methods piloted in Denmark in 2020.
- Managing assistants who will document landing pages of key VoD services in each country ahead of audience surveys and interviews (WP2).
- Managing assistants for survey recruitment, and translations of the survey, digital activities, and interview questions (excluding Germany).
- Identifying and creating video stimulus material for digital activities and interviews with audiences (WP3).
- Working together with the Co-I to administer online audience surveys, digital activities, online audience interviews and student workshops (WP3).
- Participating in the analysis and evaluation of project data.
- Working as part of the team to set up, coordinate and publicise 5 online expert roundtables and 2 Webinars with project partners; two workshops for early career and postgraduate researchers, co-hosted by our partners in Aarhus and Bologna; and an end of project symposium; 6 workshops with school students.
- Working with the project investigators to draft and contribute to the project's outputs including: four open access country reports/briefings, an end of project report, an edited book, journal articles, a co-authored project book.
- Assisting the PI and Co-I to liaise with the Project Steering Committee and Academic Advisory Board, setting up and coordinating meetings of these groups (online and in person) and implementing action points.
- Overseeing the project website for posting project documents/outputs.
- Maintaining an archive of research data/transcripts.
- Meeting at least weekly (virtual and face to face) with the PI and Co-I to discuss completion of milestones.
The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, knowledge, and experience
1. PhD in a relevant area of media, communication, digital humanities, film, cultural studies, sociology or related fields.
2. Ability to work as part of a team, undertaking tasks jointly, receiving and providing feedback, and producing jointly written outputs
3. Mixed methods research skills. The successful candidate will have experience with either digital research methods (e.g. in mining social media or tracking online advertising) and/or carrying out qualitative audience research (interviews) and/or quantitative survey-based research.
4. Ability to communicate clearly and convincingly both orally and in writing to a wide range of individuals and groups, including academics, industry professionals and professional services colleagues.
5. Excellent interpersonal skills to develop and maintain effective working relationships within the research team and with academic and industry partners.
6. Ability to organise roundtables, workshops and events of various kinds (both online and in person), inside and outside the UK, demonstrating excellent organisation skills, ability to work on own initiative with varied workloads, ability to plan ahead, and undertake problem-solving under pressure.
7. Developing record of high quality publications as evidence of analytical skills and scholarship (achieved or potential) appropriate to career stage.
1. Language skills in Italian, Dutch or Danish in addition to English language.
2. Knowledge of current cultural, economic and policy developments in the screen media industries.
3. Good knowledge of British screen content.
4. Experience in managing a basic website.
5. Experience of organising events for academic or industry participants.
Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.
Interested candidates should submit a Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages), a publication list (maximum 1 page) and a cover letter outlining their interest in the research project, how they meet the eligibility criteria and what they might bring to the project (maximum 2 page). Shortlisted candidates will be asked to submit two letters of recommendation and a writing sample. The selection process will include a short presentation and panel interview. Interviews will be likely to take place on September 9 or 12, and successful candidates will start on 3 October 2022 or as soon as possible before then.