Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


UCL 2023 Creative Fellowships open - Encounters: Creative Practice as Research Method

30 January 2023

The Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at UCL’s Bloomsbury campus, together with the recently created School for the Creative and Cultural Industries (SCCI) at UCL East, is seeking to appoint two Creative Fellows to work with us in 2023.

Creative Fellowships

The Encounters programme of Fellowships, which has been running since 2019, offers creative practitioners the opportunity to explore new directions in their own practice in partnership with UCL academics. This year - besides an open-ended exploration of the relationship between creative practice and research - these grants also invite practitioners to work with UCL academics in setting the agenda for ARIEL, a new research centre in this field, based jointly at IAS and SCCI, and launching in 2023. ARIEL aims to open up a space for dynamic new interactions at the intersections of creative practice and academic research

The Creative Fellowships award

This year we are offering two grants of £10,000 each to work on a project titled ‘Creative Practice as Research Method’.

The Encounters programme aims to unpack creativity and the creative method, and to explore how creative practice operates as a form of knowing, exploring or discovering as well as doing, seeking to recognise the value of creative practice as knowledge creation and knowledge disruption. For our Fellowships, we are looking for creative practitioners who are excited about exploring, through their own creative practice, one or more of the following questions:

  • What is the value of creative practices as forms of knowing, exploring or discovering, and how do these forms relate to more conventional modes of research?
  • How might creative or artistic practices be used to transform or amplify more conventional modes of research in the humanities?
  • How can academic research learn to speak more clearly to the needs of creative practitioners and to the Creative and Cultural Industries?
  • How can creative practice map the future?  How can it help map the future of research both at UCL and more widely?

The programme is broadly focused on the fields of performance, creative writing, visual arts or media. This year, we are especially keen to allocate one of the fellowships to a musician, to complement our UCL-wide initiative Music Futures, a cross-disciplinary research network exploring the potential of music as a research method.

The appointed Fellows will be asked to respond creatively to the questions posed above and then to plan and deliver at least two events aimed at staff or students at UCL, and, as appropriate, a wider public. These could be seminars, creative workshops, performance events or any other encounter that allows people to collaborate in exploring creativity.  

What we are looking for

We are looking for creative practitioners from any field who are interested in working within a university context for a period of time, to explore with researchers and students at UCL their shared interests in the value of the ‘creative humanities’.

We are particularly interested in working with practitioners who may not have any prior experience of working with a university, and are committed to providing support to help the Fellow to navigate our university ‘walls’ and engage meaningfully with our communities.

I think the openness and willingness to get involved is key; taking part in IAS seminars was the thing that I found most daunting, but it was the biggest surprise to me, how beneficial that was. The close scrutiny and attention of fellow researchers to one's work, was/is challenging at first but ultimately a really special experience.  Nicola Baldwin, Playwright and UCL Creative Fellow 2019-20

As someone who usually operates adjacent to or on the fringes of academia, the opportunity work closely with faculty for a sustained period of time has extended the parameters of my practice in an exciting way. What has been of particular benefit has been collaborative encounters with academics who don't just have a different way of working, but a different way of thinking, encouraging me to approach problems from different conceptual starting points, rather than just different formats or contexts.  Simon Farid, Creative Fellow and Visiting Research Fellow 2022-23


Completed applications should be submitted by Sunday 5 March 2023. You will be informed as to whether your proposal has been shortlisted by Friday 17 March, with short interviews taking place thereafter. Fellowships would be expected to start on 24 April.

To apply

Please complete and submit an Expression of Interest Form along with your CV to the IAS Administrator and Executive Assistant to the Director by midnight on Sunday 5 March: Catherine Stokes: c.stokes@ucl.ac.uk.  In addition, you may also send a link to your digital portfolio/website.

Find out more about UCL Creative Fellowships:

The 2023 Creative Fellowship programme is funded by UCL Faculty of Arts and Humanities from the generous bequest of Professor the Lord Charles Randolph Quirk, 1920-2017, linguist and life peer, who began his academic career as a lecturer at UCL and was Professor here from 1960 to 1981. Professor Quirk was renowned for his pioneering Survey of English Usage, which resulted in a series of publications that became standard works of reference on the English language. We hope that he would have approved of the Creative Fellowship programme’s focus on diversity of practice and on communication between different communities, which echo his own approach to linguistic analysis.