AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award Opportunity

For a PhD on “New Visual Economies: Art, GIS and the Geographic Imagination,” supervised by Prof. Deborah Dixon in partnership with Environment Systems.

Project Summary:

This is one of three interlinked PhD studentships that, in collaboration with three organisations in different sectors — a scientific site (UNESCO’s Dyfi Biosphere, Wales), a geovisualisation business (Environment Systems, Wales and Scotland), and a leading cultural producer (The Arts Catalyst, London) — explore the production and audience engagement of art/science projects.

The “New Visual Economies” Studentship will explore the creation and experience of immersive, engaging visualisations that communicate the nature of landscapes to a diverse array of audiences, including state agencies, creative industry businesses and the lay public. Analysing the place of aesthetics in developing the geographical imaginary of these visualisations, research will explore how high-fidelity, high-resolution, data-driven, 3-D scientific visualizations are developed by artists, computer specialists and earth scientists working collaboratively. Research questions can include:

  • What recent developments in creative geovisualization software have taken place, and how have these been applied to visualisations of people, place and landscapes?
  • How, where and in what form have past and present art/GIS collaborative ventures emerged?
  • How do audiences respond, conceptually but also viscerally, to such geovisualisations?

The studentship will be animated by ethnographic work, as well as by practice-based research during which the student will create, explore and work with a prototype landscape geovisualisation. Following an investigation of the aesthetic dimensions of geo-visualisation, as well as art/GIS collaborations specifically, the project will focus on ethnographic analysis and participant observation of three selected, current art/GIS projects. This will be supported by in-depth interviews with key participants, as well as academic and industry experts within the emerging field of ‘creative GIS.’

The awards are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the studentship pays post-graduate fees and an annual maintenance grant.Please note that the usual AHRC eligibility rules apply to these studentships. UK residency is normally required. EU citizens may also be eligible for fees-only awards. Further details on basic eligibility requirements are available from the AHRC web-site see:


Further enquiries can be sent to the lead supervisor: Deborah Dixon: dxd@aber.ac.uk

Applications should be made by following the link: http://www.gla.ac.uk/colleges/scienceengineering/graduateschool/prospectivestudents/essentialinformation/