Engaging with employability is critical to develop a strong programme, especially in diversifying the potential paid employment Artistic Research PhD students can aspire to and realistically achieve. An Artistic Research doctorate requires a more distinct set of skills than traditional PhDs, particularly related to artwork production and project management. Some students begin their studies with significant professional experience and well-honed skills in multiple aspects of creative practice. Other students have significantly less. Developing skills can be a serendipitous process for each student, dependent on supervisors’ networks and on how the student finds opportunities for themselves. Whilst generic skills modules are helpful in providing support with academic processes, the specific needs of each candidate means that often students would benefit from unique training opportunities, which can be articulated in discussion between the candidate and the supervisor.
Consider how you can offer:
- Resources and strategies for students to apply their knowledge and skills beyond academia. Consider how the skills that students are developing can be applied within industry, in near fields, and in alternative careers to help students explore career opportunities outside the academy.
- Field-specific employability training. Institutions provide a good offer of generic skills training, however, specific training to navigate the creative professional environment could be enhanced. For example, targeted grant writing seminars and fostering more involvement with industry partners. This is particularly relevant for international students and those with short professional experience. In addition, skills learned in the field can often be embedded into academic training. A common lack of skillset in film is grant writing, funding pitching and budgeting, which could, for example, be taught in partnership with a screen training organisation.