Postdoctoral Researcher, Contemporary Art Practice - School of Arts and Humanities (0.4FTE, FTC)

Date advertised

4 August 2022

Closing date

18 August 2022


School of Arts & Humanities


Contemporary Art Practice

Required hours

Part Time




£37,910 - £41,171 per annum pro rata

Fixed Term / Part Time

The Royal College of Art is the UK’s only entirely postgraduate institution of art and design, dedicated to teaching, research and knowledge exchange with industry. The RCA has been ranked the number one university-level institution for art and design, internationally, for the eighth consecutive year according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2022.

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher, Contemporary Art Practice in the School of Arts and Humanities.

School of Arts & Humanities

The School of Arts & Humanities bridges research and study in the fine and applied arts together with curating, writing and the history of design. We pay attention to the arts within the everyday, and to the everyday as site of practice, and as archive and technological advance. We maintain close and productive links with numerous organisations, world-renowned theatres, galleries, libraries and museums that depend on the Arts & Humanities, and which are central to our cultural and economic future; these links ensure that our work is relevant and public facing.

Purpose of the Post: 

This AHRC-funded project aims to diagnose shifts in emergency signal communication and to speculate new siren sounds in collaboration with musicians, academics and specialists. It identifies ‘Preemptive Listening’ as an ear tuned to emergency and the prevention of danger. The project expands our understanding of who listens and how, informed by deaf studies and auraldiversity. The practice-led research will manifest as a documentary essay film and exhibition, an audio archive, a symposium and a journal article.  The postholder will work closely with the PI (Dr. Aura Satz), team members and project partners across culture, industry, and community to deliver the research outcomes of the project. Working as a key member of the project team, the successful candidate is a talented early-career researcher with a proven knowledge in sound studies, auraldiversity, experimental film, and artistic practice.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct research to deliver the project outcomes under the supervision and direction of the PI.
  • Support the PI in the design and development of the research activities for the project.
  • Conduct critical literature review and primary research e.g., interviews and workshops where required, and analysing research findings to contribute to the overall research outcomes.
  • Contribute to the creation of a research archive for the project, made available through the RCA library.
  • Participate and attend meetings with project partners and, where necessary, visit labs, studios, and workspaces that support the research enquiry and delivery of outcomes.
  • Write project reports and participate in project meetings and activities.
  • Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research under the supervision of the PI. Support communication of research outcomes to a wide variety of audiences, including through public engagement, tailoring content and style to a broad range of specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of the School and College. Contribute to the RCA Academic community through presentations or teaching in appropriate forums and participation in RCA-wide activities as appropriate.
  • Act as an effective and collaborative member of a broader team.
  • Carry out administrative and management work associated with the research project and other tasks as part of the project work, as required.
  • Working with the project team, ensure that project outputs and project deliverables are properly documented and disseminated to key audiences, via reports, papers, exhibits, publications, the website etc.
  • To contribute to project updates on a regular basis, working with other team members, project partners and relevant stakeholders.
  • Support the development of proposals for further research funding.
  • To ensure confidentiality on all matters and information obtained during the course of employment.
  • To conduct all research reflecting best practice in ethics, integrity, research data management, and research governance, ensuring compliance with RCA policies and external funding terms and conditions and sector standards.
  • To respect the confidentiality of data stored electronically and by other means in line with the Data Protection Act.

Person Specification:


  • Hold a recent doctorate, or are very close to acquiring a PhD, in a relevant field to the project including sound studies, experimental/documentary film, cultural studies, artistic practice. 
  • Have interest in and (proven) experience with a multidisciplinary approach to sound, societal and political themes related to the project.
  • Demonstrated experience of contributing to and reporting on projects and managing resources.
  • Have an excellent track record in research, preferably with a focus on research through practice; evidence of producing quality research outputs relevant to the career stage and discipline.
  • Demonstrable understanding of good practice in research conduct (including in research ethics, research integrity and handling research data).
  • Demonstrable ability to be a collaborative member of a broader team.
  • Evidenced flexibility and confidence to tackle a wide range of tasks, with an open, proactive, creative and problem-solving approach.
  • Evidenced excellent writing, communication and presentation skills, able to adopt an appropriate style for a range of specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Evidenced strong interpersonal and team-working skills.


  • Relevant / relatable professional experience in a related sector (such as curating art/music, film-industry, etc.).
  • Evidenced experience of working on collaborative projects, preferably involving HE and industry collaborations in a relevant field.
  • Evidenced experience of addressing auraldiversity and neurodiversity from a sound perspective in relevant professional practice.
  • Evidenced experience of generating a digital audio, visual and text research archive within a HE context, that can additionally be used as a teaching resource. 

This role is 0.4 fte (14 hours per week) fixed term contract for up to 2 years.

Closing date for applications is midnight on 18th August 2022

Interviews are likely to be held end of August 2022

Further details:  Information Pack  
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The Royal College of Art is an equal opportunities employer. The College particularly welcomes applications from all sections of the community and would particularly encourage members of minority groups to apply.  

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