PHD Opportunity

SET is looking for an individual who is interested in applying for PhD funding to undertake a collaborative archival project between SET and the School of Arts at Oxford Brookes University. We are looking for preliminary expressions of interest in this opportunity, prior to a funding bid.


In 2026 SET will turn 10 years old. Before the organisation reaches this milestone, we would like to undertake the first in-depth interrogation of the work we have done: the people we have sought to benefit, Associate Members, local communities and the wider public; the buildings we occupied; the artwork produced; the public programme developed. This interrogation of our work is essentially both an archival and a curatorial project.       

The project aims to further understand the needs of artists communities and communities in London, and how they relate to one another, by looking at the work SET has done in the past, focusing on our public arts programme which is predominantly artist and community-led, the artists who hold workspace at SET, and the wider communities who contribute to our public programme and interact with SET.

Working alongside SET’s current curatorial researcher, the proposed PhD would contribute to this project by focusing on the following aspects: 

1. To help provide a theoretical framework for the project; and  

2. To work with the material gathered to build on the research aspect of this archival project.

The potential candidate would be supported to develop their PhD application, and the studies would be due to begin in September 2023. The position would require some time in Oxford for mandatory PhD training. 

Full details are yet to be announced, but the bursary is likely to be £17,668 (for 3 years), plus Home tuition fees covered. Full eligibility also to be confirmed shortly, but the candidate must have an MA in a relevant subject. SET will also pay for any additional work, which is not within the remit of the PhD (this can be discussed further; pay-rate would be London Living Wage).

If you are interested in discussing this opportunity, please send expressions of interest, including: 

  • CV 
  • A short statement (max. 300 words) explaining why you would be interested in this opportunity.  

Please send expressions of interest to [email protected] by the end of the 8th June.