Studentship: Electronic Music Studios

Electronic Music Studios in musical, commercial and international perspective – Collaborative Doctoral Award

AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Award in the Critical Writing in Art & Design Programme.

The Royal College of Art (RCA) and the Science Museum invite applications for an AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Award on the history of Electronic Music Studios, a pioneering organisation in the history of experimental and electronic music, to begin in autumn 2015.

The PhD will be based in the RCA’s School of Humanities (Critical Writing in Art & Design) and the Science Museum.

Award Description

Founded by Peter Zinovieff in London in 1965, Electronic Music Studios was one of the first recording studios in the world to employ computers to create music. It also became the manufacturer of pioneering electronic instruments including the first commercially available synthesiser in the UK. Its products were purchased by experimental recording studios around the world, as well as leading rock groups in the course of the 1970s. Focusing on the design of EMS instruments, this Collaborative Doctoral Award student will consider questions of innovation and creativity on the part of EMS engineers; research the development, production, marketing / sales of EMS products; and assess their impact on the course of music, not just in the UK but also abroad.

Applicants should have completed or be nearing completion of a Master’s level degree in a related field (History of Music / Musicology, History of Science and Technology, Cultural Studies, Cultural Studies, History of Design, etc). Applicants must also be UK or EU citizens and be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom.  Further information on eligibility requirements is available from the AHRC website.

This PhD studentship will be held at the RCA and co-supervised by Professor David Crowley of the RCA and Dr Tim Boon, Head of Research and Public History at the Science Museum. The project will be supervised collaboratively, giving the students access to curatorial expertise and networks in the Science Museum.

The studentship funding is subject to final confirmation by the AHRC but will be fully funded for three years full-time (or five years part-time) and will begin in October 2015. It will cover tuition fees at home/EU rate and provide a maintenance award at RCUK rates (currently £16,413 p.a.). In addition the AHRC provides an extra £550 per annum for Collaborative Doctoral Award students, while the RCA provides additional financial support (up to £1,000 a year for two years) to the student towards authorised travel and related research costs.

The closing date for applications is 21 April 2015, and it is anticipated that interviews will take place at the RCA on 5 May 2015.

How to Apply

For full details of the Collaborative Doctoral Award and further details of how to apply, download the Studentship Outline (PDF) or email

You must also ensure you meet all eligibility requirements set by the Royal College of Art. A complete list of the RCA’s entrance requirements for MPhil and PhD can be found under MPhil/PhD Entrance Requirements.

As with all applications to the RCA, candidates must apply online. Our online application form can be accessed at Please note that you will be required to create an account with this system in order to begin your application.