Doctoral Award (PhD)

 Applications invited for Cittaslow UK AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (PhD)

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (PhD) – Realising the potential of co-creation in the convivial politics of Cittaslow (slow cities) UK

Studentship code GPS08

Supervisors: Dr Helen Jarvis (Reader in Social Geography), Ms Georgia Giannopoulou (architect and urban designer), in partnership with Cittaslow (Slow Cities) UK.

Sponsor: AHRC

Duration of the award: 3 year PhD

Project description:

The project will critically analyse the concept of co-creation which remains under-developed in existing academic literature. Co-creation can be understood along similar lines to co-inquiry strategies which are gaining popularity in the specific field of public service delivery as a means of cultivating equal and reciprocal relationships between service users and service providers. The project translates this concept to social and cultural situations where the object of ‘reimagining’ is not a product or public service- but in effect an alternative way of life.   The main objective is to investigate the poorly understood characteristics of civic engagement in small towns and cities where the concern is to improve the quality of life of all citizens, focusing on the landscape and cultural practices of heritage and hospitality.


Cittaslow was established in Italy in 1999 as an ambitious ‘sustainable communities’ spin-off from the popular Slow Food movement. It operates through localised interventions that are loosely held within a transnational movement (145 towns across 23 countries). Cittaslow UK was established in 2004: there are currently six member towns. The research involves immersive participatory methods, working with two member towns and four projects/activities.


Value of the Award and Eligibility: The studentship will cover the cost of tuition fees for home or EU students, plus an annual maintenance award for home students (£14,140 in 2011-12). The studentship is tenable from September 2012 for up to three years (full-time), subject to academic progression. Students must also meet the AHRC’s requirements for UK residence. Candidates from other EU countries may be eligible for a fees-only studentship.


Person specification

Candidates will normally be expected to have a good first degree in a relevant discipline (arts/humanities/social science) and a Masters degree with basic grounding in qualitative (participatory) research methods.  Applicants must demonstrate interdisciplinary scholarship and a willingness to learn and develop new techniques.

How to Apply

You must complete the University’s postgraduate application form, quoting reference number GPS08. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) but you must attach a copy of your CV and a covering letter which outlines relevant skills and commitment to a collaborative PhD, working alongside Cittaslow UK (500 words maximum).

The closing date for application is Friday 6th July. Interviews will take place late July 2012.

For further information on the project, please contact:

Dr Helen Jarvis
Reader in Social Geography
School academic coordinator for student international exchange
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne

+44 (0)191 222 6959