New PhD Studentship – Toward A Digital Commons for Supporting Creative Practitioners’ Journeys through the Technology Ecosystem

Applications open for a fully funded AHRC SGSAH CDA PhD Studentship: “Toward A Digital Commons for Supporting Creative Practitioners’ Journeys through the Technology Ecosystem”

PhD studentship in Design Informatics


One fully funded PhD position is available to work with Dr Susan Lechelt and Professor Melissa Terras in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, on a project titled “Toward A Digital Commons for Supporting Creative Practitioners’ Journeys through the Technology Ecosystem”.  The project will be supported by an industry partner; CodeBase.

There is a need to better understand what specific support structures are needed to enable creative practitioners to engage and upskill with technology. This PhD research will explore whether and how a “digital commons” can be a promising approach. Information commons are a way of supporting knowledge sharing and digital commons are an instantiation of these: typically online, community-run repositories of shared information and resources[1]. Digital commons are known to support community building, knowledge exchange and education. This research will address whether and how they can also support digital skills and practical, industry-specific skills.


Full details of this project are available here.

The anticipated start date is 01 October 2023.


Candidate’s profile

Candidate must meet the PhD entry requirements as stated here:

The AHRC also expects that applicants to PhD programmes will hold, or be studying towards, a Master’s qualification in a relevant discipline; or have relevant professional experience to provide evidence of ability to undertake independent research.

Experience in the fields of human-computer interaction, interaction design or creativity studies, prior experience working with digital tools and methods, and the use of qualitative research methods including thematic analysis will be of benefit to the project. Experience of the creative industries, or an interest in creative practice, would also be beneficial.


Studentship and eligibility

The studentship from the SGSAH provides a tax free stipend of £18,622 PA for 3.5 years, PhD tuition fees and nominal budget to support research and professional development activities.


Application Information

Applicants must submit:

  • Copies of all degree transcripts and degree certificates (and certified translations if applicable) for all completed and in progress degrees.

Applicants must also submit a single Word or pdf document which:

  • Details your full contact details together with the names and contact details of two referees (max 1 page); and
  • Explains your interest in the studentship and outlining your qualifications for it, as well as an indication of the specific areas of the project you would like to develop, and what area of the creative industries you are interested in focussing on (max 2 pages).
  • Provides a sample of their writing – this might be an academic essay or another example of writing style and ability.
  • A full CV (max 2 page)
  • Copies of two academic references, which are on letter headed paper, signed and dated within the last 12 months.

All required documents should be submitted in one email to no later than 17:00 GMT on Monday 12th June.


[1] De Rosnay, M. D., & Stalder, F. (2020). Digital commons. Internet Policy Review9(4), 15-p.