Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Music Futures grants to conduct music-related research at UCL PEARL

Pearl Fellowships 2023: Call for Expressions of Interest. Deadline for applications, 20th January 2023.

UCL Music Futures is offering two grants of £5,000 to conduct music-related research at UCL PEARL (Person-Environment-Activity Research Laboratory). This is a unique opportunity to make imaginative use of the marvellous facilities and expertise at PEARL to pioneer new ways of working with music. Music Futures/PEARL are looking for research projects in which PEARL’s facilities are used creatively to pursue enquiry in ways that would not otherwise be possible. Although PEARL can work as a performance space, these Fellowships are not intended for it to be used in that way. We are looking for exciting, open and innovative projects, with the potential to continue and build. Projects should be collaborative and inter-disciplinary, to be carried out by small teams of researchers.

Professor Nick Tyler, Director of PEARL, explains what is offered there:

PEARL is an exciting research facility where people, environments and activities come together to explore how to make the world better. We can create worlds there, including their light, sound and smell as well as their physical characteristics. We can see how people respond to these worlds, with brain scanners, physiological sensors, observation systems and so on. Our offer to Music Futures is for you to use the facility to explore how music - creation, performance, listening, understanding ... - enters those future worlds.

How the grants are spent will inevitably vary according to the projects selected for the Fellowships, but we envisage that the funds would probably go towards materials and/or participant costs, e.g. for PEARL staff to work beyond their normal hours.

For further information about PEARL see: https://www.pearl.place and https://www.ucl.ac.uk/person-environment-activity-research-laboratory/welcome-pearl

For a summary of the Music Futures initiative, please see https://www.ucl.ac.uk/institute-of-advanced-studies/music-futures

Criteria and Eligibility

  • Projects must be interdisciplinary and collaborative, involving teams of 3-7 people, from at least two disciplines
  • One (or more) of the disciplines should be from arts, humanities or social sciences
  • Each research team must be led by a named convenor who is a permanent member of UCL academic staff
  • At least one other member of the team must be a permanent member of UCL academic staff
  • The team may also include UCL postdoctoral researchers or professional services staff
  • The team may include up to two external partners
  • The award will be paid to the convenor’s home department, which must provide administrative support for financial processing
  • A brief project description for the Music Futures website must be submitted before the work starts
  • A full report of 1,000-2,000 words on the Fellowship must be submitted to the Music Futures team after completion
  • Acknowledgement should be made of the PEARL Fellowship in any project publication
  • The work should be carried out between March and July 2023.
  • The project must be in line with UCL’s Expenses Policy https://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/policies-procedures/expenses-policy

Application Process

The Fellowships will be awarded by a panel of representatives from PEARL and Music Futures (Nick Tyler, Steve Mayo, Claudia Sternberg, Nicola Miller). The process is as follows:

  1. Expressions of interest by Friday 20th January 2023 (5pm).
    Please send a one-page proposal to Claudia Sternberg (c.sternberg@ucl.ac.uk). It should include an outline of your idea, who would be involved in the research, what you hope to achieve and how the work might continue after the end of the Fellowship.
  2. Selected applicants will be invited to a workshop, to be held at PEARL, either w/c 30 January or w/c 6 February 2023 (date to be agreed by Doodle poll). This event will enable applicants to discuss their ideas with PEARL staff who will be able to advise how best to develop the work using the facilities.
  3. Two weeks after the workshop, i.e. mid-late February (exact date to be advised when the workshop date has been agreed: deadline for full applications for the Fellowships. You will be asked to complete an application form, which will be made available in due course, and send it to Claudia Sternberg (c.sternberg@ucl.ac.uk).
  4. Successful applicants will be advised early in March 2023, with a view to starting work soon thereafter.
  5. The main work should be completed and the Fellowship grant spent by the end of the UCL financial year (31 July), although some activity might take place afterwards by mutual agreement.

Timetable summary

  • Expressions of interest: Friday 20 January 2023
  • Workshop held at PEARL:  w/c 30 Jan OR 6 Feb (by agreement with applicants)
  • Full application: Two weeks after the workshop date
  • Outcomes notified: Early March
  • Work done: March to July