Scottish Government
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Gaming goes to the theatre

Higher Education research funding allocated.

Seven innovative university projects covering gaming, eighteenth century reading habits and maritime science will share £380,000 funding into arts research.

The funding comes from Applied Research Collaboration Studentships (ARCS) supported by the Scottish Funding Council and universities themselves and builds upon the Scottish Government’s overall £1 billion investment in Higher Education this year.

One project is being led by post-graduate students at the University of Abertay and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, on how different creative processes work in the videogame and performing arts sectors.

The University of Stirling and University of Dundee will examine library records dating back to 1747 to gauge how reading habits and book borrowing could affect people’s social and geographic mobility, while the University of St Andrews and the University of Dundee will lead work on how whaling in Dundee has contributed to the history of maritime science.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance said:

“The Scottish Government will again be providing more than a billion pounds in funding in 2015/16, having invested more than £4 billion in Higher Education since 2011. Scotland is a leading nation in Higher Education, with four universities in the world’s top 200 – more per head of population than any other country, except Switzerland.

“We are committed to enabling our universities to grow, securing their place as world renowned centres of excellence in teaching and research and Scotland’s arts, culture and heritage are recognised globally and make a significant contribution to our economy.

“Any initiative which improves their standing still further is to be welcomed. I am very pleased that these research projects are benefiting from the funding to further enhance the work of our creative industries.”

Laurence Howells, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council said:

“It’s vital that we invest in developing the best research talent in our universities. The students benefitting from this £380,000 investment will be the people leading innovation and discovery in the future.

“They will be helping to create prosperity and jobs in the creative industries as well as enhancing our enjoyment of history, art, film and new media. The fact that the students will be collaborating with organisations like festivals, libraries and the National Theatre of Scotland is also very exciting.”

Professor Dee Heddon, the Dean of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, which operates the ARCS on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“This first round of our new studentships demonstrates the vitality and variety of arts and humanities research across Scotland, and highlights the close links between that research and our arts, culture and heritage sectors. The projects will support the development of highly-skilled doctoral researchers who have the knowledge, experience and networks to make a difference in the world.”

Notes To Editors

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is investing around £1.5 billion of public money into further and higher education each year, SFC provides the funding that allows Scottish colleges and universities to provide opportunities for over half a million learners. Its support for university research means that every university in Scotland is carrying out world-leading research. 

The Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities ( is the world’s first national graduate school for the arts & humanities.

Applied Research Collaboration Studentships (ARCS) are supported by the SFC, which is meeting 50 per cent of the costs of each three-year studentship; the remaining 50 per cent of costs will be met by universities. The projects that successfully bid for funding in 2015 were:

Archiving and historicising the feminist anti-violence movement in Scotland

Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL), University of Stirling, University of Glasgow

Books and Borrowers, 1747 – 1857: Innepeffray Library and the History of Scottish Reading

Innerpeffray Library, University of Stirling, University of Dundee

Connecting Performance and Play: interdisciplinary design methods for the development of games and performance

National Theatre of Scotland, University of Abertay, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Improving the Nation: investigating the principles of improvement in the new planned settlements of rural Scotland, c. 1750 – c. 1905

Inverary Castle and Argyll Estates, University of Dundee, University of Stirling

Human Rights Film Festivals: Politics, Programmes and Practices

Document: International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, University of Glasgow, University of St Andrews

Hunting Whales and Making Knowledge: Dundee’s Globalisation through Trans-Maritime Whaling, 1750 – 1914

Dundee Heritage Trust, University of St Andrews, University of Dundee

Placing Sound: the Role of Aurality and Visuality in Locating Identities

sound@Woodend Barn, Robert Gordon University, University of Aberdeen

For more information on individual projects, please contact Stephen Crowe on 0131 313 6612 or


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