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Potential Placements

Potential Placements

The opportunities listed below will give you a sense of the different types of placement and different organisations you can do a placement with. They are current vacancies and can be applied to but the list is not exhaustive. You are welcome and encouraged to explore opportunities at other organisations that may be more relevant to your research.

Please contact us if you are interested in any of the opportunities below or have a different organisation in mind for your placement.

Contact – Dr Steven Colburn,

CHASE DTP Placements and Partnerships Officer:

+44 (0)1273 873673

BBC Archives

The BBC Archives contain a wealth of material covering a the full spectrum of the BBC’s output since it began broadcasting. There should be material of interest to all PhD researchers. Placement opportunities are primarily available working on cataloguing the vast BBC archives but other opportunities are potentially available. See this guide for an overview of the BBC archives.

See this guide for further details of archival projects available.

Bloomsbury Publishing

Bloomsbury Academic is offering two part-time placement opportunities to CHASE students, with one in its editorial department and another in its marketing department.

Editorial Placement:

We are looking for organised, hardworking and meticulous candidates to provide editorial and administrative support to our humanities and social sciences team. You’ll be an enthusiastic team player with good time management and excellent communication skills, as well as a demonstrable interest in academic publishing. You will receive experience of implementing contract and publication procedures, preparing cover copy, administering the peer review process, preparing manuscripts for handover to production, attending meetings and conferences as required, and much more.

Full editorial placement description can be found here. 

To apply for the editorial placement, please send a cover letter and CV to Rhodri Mogford:

Marketing Placement:

We are looking for organised candidates with a ‘can do’ attitude and good attention to detail. We publish across the humanities, including literary studies, history, philosophy, film, design and fashion and you will be working on anything from marketing trade crossover titles to research monographs.  As well as providing us with essential support across many marketing functions, you will get the chance to shadow members of staff, attend meetings and work closely with editors, authors, and a number of other departments.

Full marketing placement description can be found here.

To apply for the marketing placement, please send a cover letter and CV to Vivien Quick:


There are 4 opporunities for placements at the BFI, listed below. The placement 'working on development of evidence for Future Film Policy offers a range of areas which might interest students and has the potential for more than one student.

BFI placement application form

Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre

A medical practice that utilises complementary care to support its core health services. The centre is keen to host PhD students and is open to exploring any project that would be of mutual benefit to the student and the centre. There are a number of projects potentially available at this innovative centre that is working in a fast-moving field. See their website for an overview of the centre.

British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC)

The BUFVC is beneficiary of an extensive archive of film and video content. They work on archiving uncatalogued materials, digitising content and offering training in the use of film and video for teaching and training purposes. They have worked with PhD students on archiving and digitising projects and welcome proposals for projects that utilise their content. You can see examples of previous projects on their website and are welcome to arrange to visit their offices in central London to explore their archives and discuss potential projects with their team.


Glyndebourne, an independent opera house in Sussex, is happy to discuss a range of placement projects. Whether ‘front of house’ in the creation of content or contributing to shows or ‘back of house’ working with the team that manages the opera house. Students are invited to find out more about Glyndebourne and are happy to discuss potential placement opportunities that would be beneficial to the student and the organisation: Glyndebourne website.

The ICA (The Institute of Contemporary Art

The ICA has a fast moving programme of exhibitions and events that will be of interest to PhD researchers. They welcome students interested in their work to develop and propose projects that could contribute to their forthcoming programmes. For example:

The ICA Talks programme, which has an ongoing engagement with contemporary digital culture and its engagement with the arts. The ICA has collaborated with Rhizome and Lunch Bytes, and a new talks series around this subject is entitled ‘Technology Now’. Another series entitled 'Artists: what is your value?', looks at the effects of the constant demand on artists to define their own worth and the creative responses to this demand.

The ICA Cinema programme, which shows a great diversity of independent films from around the world, with a special focus on documentaries and social engagement.

The ICA Reading Room exhibitions programme, which consists partly of small-scale exhibitions through archival research into the legacy of the ICA and its social context. Themes for this year include punk, Detroit techno music, design and the history of artist’s film at the ICA.

The ICA associates programme explores the intersections between experimental music, sound and visual culture, as well as those between poetry, performance and the visual arts.

More information about the ICA’s programme highlights for 2016 can be found here: ICA 2016 programme highlights

Intel Labs

Intel Collaborative Research Institutes (ICRIs) are Intel-funded, jointly-led research collaborations between Intel and the academic community. There are Intel Labs in London and Dublin with Manchester and Peterborough labs to launch soon. Intel Labs are looking for arts and humanities PhD researchers interested in the impact of information technologies on everyday life. Their website showcases the themes they are working to but they are happy to discuss potential projects with any CHASE funded students and are also happy to welcome students to their London lab to find out more about Intel Labs.

The National Archives

Potential Activities for CHASE Students on Placement at The National Archives

Medieval and Early Modern Teams

  1. Checking of cataloguing work on private deeds and evidence abandoned in the Court of Wards and Liveries (c. 1150-1642)
  2. Summarising for TNA’s catalogue the decisions recorded in the Privy Council registers of the 1630s
  3. Cataloguing transcripts of medieval and early modern English and Scottish letters held in European archives
  4. Contributing to multiple projects taking shape within a programme that will commence with the 2017 anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation
  5. Helping to develop funding bids and activities relating to the crown’s executive function in the royal and privy council
  6. Converting the text of medieval charter roll calendars into a form suitable for TNA’s catalogue
  7. Checking the manuscript key to the Letters and Papers Henry VIII against original documents to identify missing referencing information
  8. Contributing to conversion of published calendars of letters and papers of the British commanders in chief during the American Revolutionary War
  9. Cataloguing of the papers of the Exchequer during the Civil War and Interregnum
  10. Surveying obsolete and antiquarian lists, indexes and publications for descriptions that are suitable for conversion into data for TNA’s catalogue

Modern Records Teams

1.       Assisting with various projects to mark the centenary of the introduction of Cabinet Office minutes and the history of No. 10 Downing Street (including researching and assembling physical exhibitions; preparing text for an online exhibition, helping to convene an academic discussion event at TNA).
2.       Involvement in cataloguing of Foreign Office personal and ministerial private office papers
3.       Contributing to various cataloguing and research activities relating to nineteenth century poverty and public health
4.       Helping to scope work on how born-digital records and data can be used more effectively by researchers in the humanities

General Activities

1.       The option to write a blog for TNA’s website
2.       Attendance at team and departmental meetings within TNA’s Advice and Records Knowledge Department; shadowing on advice points and observance of key roles such as the Enquiry Service Manager (reading room service supervision)
3.       Visits to other TNA departments to help with their day-to-day business activities and to speak to staff about their work: notably Education (school group visits), Collection Care (document preservation and conservation labs), Document Services (archival storage and retrieval for researchers), Catalogue and Taxonomy (management of catalogue information), Press and Marketing, Research and Engagement (coordinating academic activities).

The National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery welcomes placement enquiries from CHASE funded students interested in working in any area of the gallery. Students interested in a placement at the National Portrait Gallery are advised to research the gallery collections and identify a particular area that matches your interests. Contact the CHASE Placements and Partnerships Officer if you would like to pursue a placement at the National Portrait Gallery:

The National Portrait Gallery is also happy to arrange tours for groups of up to 15 students who would like to visit the gallery archives. You will receive a guided tour from the Archive Manager and the opportunity to explore the gallery’s holdings not currently on display. This is a good opportunity to find out more about the work of the gallery, its holdings and how they might benefit your research. Contact us if you would like to sign up for a tour:

Open Library of Humanities (OLH)

OLH is an exciting project, led by Birkbeck, to make humanities scholarship available free of charge through open access publishing. Placement opportunities are available in a range of functions of the organisation:

1. Editorial work
2. Copyediting
3. Proofreading
4. Digital preservation
5. Understanding new business models for digital content dissemination
6. Financial accounting
7. Charitable law and governance

A placement with OLH will enable you to gain experience in several of these areas. Please contact the CHASE Placements and Partnerships Officer for further details:

University of East Anglia

Film Cataloguing Assistant - BACW-EAFA

The University of East Anglia recently launched the British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW) an exciting, innovative and growing collection of manuscripts, working papers and correspondence from some of our greatest writers. A key collection within the archive is that of our UEA Literary Festival video recordings - some 300 interviews with world renowned writers from across its twenty-five year history. Masters of these recordings are held at the East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA) 

We are seeking a PGR student with an interest in literature, film, cultural heritage and archives, to undertake a short term project at EAFA under direct supervision from Archives staff. The objective will be to create an inventory to prepare for future digitisation projects. 

This is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience within a film and literary archive environment. Although the main objective of the project is to create a data inventory, the placement student will also see first-hand how material is selected for academic teaching and research. They will contribute to our blog and social media presence and gain valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing cultural heritage organisations.

The placement is full time for three months but there is flexibility regarding the timing of the placement and it is possible for the placement to run for longer but on a p/t basis.

To apply for this placement and for an informal discussion  please contact Angela Graham Archive Manager, EAFA –  tel 01603 592156 with a covering letter and CV. The deadline for applications is Friday 19th May 2017.

V&A (Victoria and Albert) Museum

The V&A provides a range of training and support for PhD researchers working on their collections. They are happy to consider proposals for placements working with any of their collections. Given the range of collections and the number of curators you are advised to research the V&A website, visit the museum and identify the collection you would like to work with.

Please contact the CHASE Placements and Partnerships Officer when you are know which area of the museum you are interested in.

South Downs National Park Authority

The Research Team at the South Downs National Park (SDNP) Authority offer a number of opportunities to develop your research skills whilst contributing to the effectiveness of the national park authority. The following are examples of projects and areas you could work on. The list is not exhaustive, however, and you are welcome to develop a project in any aspect of the authority’s work that is of benefit to you as a researcher and the South Downs National Park Authority.

Please see the South Downs National Park Authority website for further details on the organisation and the projects referenced below:

•    Access 2026 – paths usage. Discovering lost ways (mapping of Rights of Way). 
•    Ageing infrastructure in communities and impact on communities – audit of what is there, what should be there / should be provided.
•    Assessment of the impact of dogs on sheep and cattle: we get reports of sometimes horrific incidents but how significant are they in the bigger picture of farming? How many sheep are lost compared to how many reared? What is the business/economic impact? Are there Health & Safety figures? Are there insurance claims for losses? How big an issue in real terms are attacks on livestock? Affects on farmers of allowing their land to be accessed by the general public.
•    Attitudes of younger people to the countryside and the National Park as a whole. Level of interest in volunteering and perceived and actual barriers.
•    Collating all the Section 34 agreements across the SD and plotting the boundaries on a composite GIS map: to provide a vital tool for the Planners when evaluating planning applications. Also investigate the effectiveness of Section 34 agreements.
•    Community-led plans: review of current community-led plans regarding the relevance to the South Downs National Park. Analyse the level of engagement in community-led plans. Consolidate the guidance relating to community-led planning and look at the effectiveness of the plans. This will involve liaising with each planning authority.
•    Different approaches to stakeholder engagement in reaching goals in the land management community – possible case studies: Water vole project, stewardship/NIA/ranger liaison.
•    Environmental impact of increased visitor numbers
•    Evaluating the outcomes of the new agricultural Countryside Stewardship schemes (CAP) 
•    River fly monitoring initiative: compare and contrast readings and monitoring sites.

Turner Contemporary

At Turner Contemporary, we believe in the power of art to transform people and places, doing things differently to achieve our vision that “art and creativity are at the heart of a vibrant, healthy and equal society.” Our mission, “pioneering change by making the arts more vital and connected to daily life” informs everything that we do.

Since opening in 2011, Turner Contemporary has become one of the most successful galleries in the UK. We’ve achieved more than 2.3 million visits and the gallery has been a catalyst for the social and economic regeneration of Margate. Located in a building designed by David Chipperfield Architects, on a site overlooking the North Sea, our programme of exhibitions of historical and contemporary art and our innovative learning programme have fast earned the gallery an international reputation.

With free admission, great art is accessible for all. We are committed to challenging traditional practice to make ourselves more accessible; repositioning art as more relevant to society. Our distinctive, audience-focused approach is integral to our success and inspires interest from our peers, nationally and internationally.

Turner Contemporary is a charity governed by a Board of Trustees. The organisation receives revenue funding from Arts Council England and Kent County Council and the whole team works creatively to raise significant amounts of additional income.

The following are broad areas of work that are open for placement applications.

  • Curatorial
  • Education and Learning
  • Research – curatorial, data capture and analysis
  • Strategic management and planning
  • Operations/customer care/visitor experience
  • Marketing and PR
  • Fundraising/development
  • Income generation/business development


Vitae is the professional body for Researcher Developers, based in the UK but with a global reach. If you are interested in the policies and structures that shape the Higher Education research landscape this will be an ideal placement. You will have opportunities to conduct meaningful research designed to shape the Higher Education research agenda. You will also gain experience in event management and administration and have the opportunity to develop contacts with people working in every facet of Higher Education. Please contact the CHASE Placements and Partnerships Officer for further details: