PHD Callout, The Incidental Artist Approach: Contemporary re-workings of the methods and legacies of the Artist Placement Group 1966-1989

A black and white archive image looking down Small Heath High Street. Lorries, vans and a bus are driving on the road and we can see someone waling into shot on the bottom left of the image. Overlaid over the photo is a flow chart with a series of short texts in oval and square bubbles - the texts on oval include 'Little Green Questionnaire', 'Small Firms Study', 'Social Survey' they all point towards texts in square frames which include 'Environment', 'Small Heath Profile' and 'Residents and Users Attitudes'.

In partnership with Flat Time House and Eastside Projects, Birmingham City University are looking for a PHD candidate to undertake an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award on the subject of The Incidental Artist approach: contemporary reworkings of the methods and legacies of the Artist Placement Group 1966-1989 as part of the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnerships.

The project will examine how the ideas and models developed by Artist Placement Group (APG) (1966-89) are both relevant today, and to future possibilities for the role of artists in society. Working with Flat Time House in London, Eastside Projects, and Birmingham City University, this project will evaluate contemporary experimental art projects, generating new understandings of APG’s legacy.

This comparative and critical study will combine art historical and archival research into APG with being an embedded researcher alongside live projects using qualitative methods of participant observation, interviews, and focus group activities. Whilst it is expected that the postgraduate researcher will nominate appropriate theoretical frameworks for their approach to the project, it is anticipated that the research will be theorised through contemporary art and cultural theory. Envisaged primarily as a critical and qualitative project, FTHo and the supervisory team are open to proposals that embed practice research through artistic and/or curatorial approaches that meet the research objectives.

It is anticipated that the postgraduate researcher may come from an art-historical, cultural studies, or related art practice background with the related knowledge, skills, and experience. Experience in archival research as well as interviewing and focus groups would be desirable, however additional training can be accessed at Birmingham City University and supported by supervisory expertise. Key to the project will be a critically informed passion for the potential of artists to make a difference in the world.

How to Apply

Applications open 16 October 2023 for an October 2024 start date.

Deadline: 10 January 2024, UK time 12:00 noon

More information on the project can be found here:

Information on the application process can be found here:

Anyone interested in applying is encouraged to contact the lead university supervisor, Dr Sian Vaughan, Sian.vaughan[at] in the first instance.


Help Eastside Projects Grow – be a Cultural Citizen!

We are looking for up to five new Cultural Citizens to help us shape Eastside Projects over the next year.

Cultural Citizens are members of our audience who meet four times a year to feedback on their experiences of Eastside Projects and reflect on what we do. They are paid £50 for each meeting.

When we meet we talk about whatever feels most important, which might include offering responses to exhibitions and events, feeding back on strategic developments or thinking about ways to invite more people in and improve our communication.

If you would like to support us to develop, please get in touch – we are looking for people with a range of backgrounds and experiences and would especially like to hear from people who are based in the West Midlands and who work outside the visual arts.

Interested? To apply send an email introducing yourself and (briefly) explaining why you would like to be a Cultural Citizen to by 23 July 2023

Find out more about everyone who helps make Eastside Projects HERE. If you have any questions feel free to drop us an email on the same address, or call 0121 771 1778