Job: PhD-candidate Music Industries in media and culture

The POPLIVE project at the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC) is looking for a

PhD-candidate Music Industries                                                                (f/m, 1.0 Fte)
in media and culture

Job description
We are looking for a highly motivated PhD-candidate who considers it a challenge to conduct PhD research in the context of a collaborative research project funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) on Staging popular music: sustainable live music ecologies for artists, music venues and cities (POPLIVE).The POPLIVE project is a collaboration between Erasmus University, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Vereniging Nederlandse Poppodia en –Festivals and MOJO Concerts. As a PhD-candidate of the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC), you will have ample opportunity to collaborate with renowned academics with an international focus and track record. As a PhD-candidate, you will also perform research-related teaching duties for the International Bachelor’s in Communication and Media (IBCoM) or other educational programmes offered by the School.

A (research) master’s degree in the humanities or social sciences is a must, as well as a wide-ranging knowledge of theories on  the cultural/creative industries, the music business, talent development and sociology of culture. In addition, a solid background in qualitative or/and quantitative research methods is required. In addition to an understanding of the latest developments in the field, the candidate must possess an analytical attitude as well as strong social skills because this project amounts to intensive collaboration between universities and music companies. Candidates who take a proven interest in popular music industries studies are preferred.

Project description
The research in this project is concerned with the popular music industry’s slowly changing focus from recorded music to live music revenues. Musicians increasingly depend on live concerts to earn a living. These developments have consequences for live music ecologies, i.e. the live music sector as a (inter)local network of different social actors (e.g. musicians, bookers and policy makers) as well as materialities (e.g. venues size, festivals, urban setting). First, for musicians in a precarious labour market, a performance based business model requires an extended and changing skill-set. Second, fixed pop venues experience increasing competition from new and often temporary stages, like festivals and popup locations. Third, live music industries are increasingly expected by local governments to have economic and sociocultural benefits. We will research how local live music ecologies can contribute to value creation in the careers of pop musicians, the position of music venues and festivals, and the local (urban) society in general. On the maker level we focus on the position of musicians and the role of live music ecologies in skill and talent development (subproject 1). On the level of music venues and festivals we concentrate on how to find a balance between structural and temporary live music infrastructure, which caters for diverse audiences (subproject 2). On the societal level we focus on the value of live music ecologies for cities (subproject 3). Our project uses a mixed approach of both extensive quantitative, and intensive qualitative information.

Research duties (80%)
•          Conducting PhD research within the framework of Staging popular music: sustainable live music ecologies for artists, music venues and cities (POPLIVE), specifically subproject 1: “Making a living in live music”, which focuses on the careers of professional musicians.
•          Contributing to the data-collection and data-analysis;
•          Publishing and presenting research results in the form of articles in international peer reviewed journals and papers at international conferences;
•          Assisting in the organisation of workshops and other knowledge utilisation activities
•          Writing a dissertation and defending the dissertation to complete the doctoral degree;
•          Performing organizational tasks in the context of ERMeCC;
•          Taking part in seminars, workshops, etc. that are organised by the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC)  as well as the research schools and scholarly associations of which ERMeCC is part (RMeS, NESCoR, NefCA).
•          Taking part in the project meetings of the project.

Teaching duties (20%)
·          Preparing and teaching classes within the context of the various degree programmes in the field of Media and Communication provided by the ESHCC;
·          Monitoring the literature and integrating new insights in teaching;
·          Supervising and coaching students;
·          Pointing out possible improvements and integrating them into teaching methods and/or the content of the classes given;
·          Contributing to the evaluation of teaching, both in terms of structure and execution;
·          Participating in committees or working groups, as well as performing designated organisational tasks.

•          A master’s degree in one of the social sciences or humanities, preferably a research master’s degree;
•          Wide ranging knowledge of theories on music industries, music business innovation, cultural and creative industries, talent development, creative work, sociology of culture;
•          A solid background in qualitative or/and quantitative research methods is required as evidenced by the master’s thesis, publications, research plans and other projects;
•          Strong social skills including a profound willingness to collaborate and to take initiative;
•          Didactic potential. Teaching experience is considered an advantage;
•          A willingness to develop knowledge and skills in various disciplines and to increase the ability to teach a wide range of subjects within the faculty’s degree programme;
•          Organisational experience and skills;
•          Proficiency in spoken and written English. Non-English speakers have to meet the C1-standards of the Common European Framework (CEF);
•          A good command of spoken and written Dutch is required.

Conditions of employment
Employment starts September 1, 2017. The initial contract will be running for a term of 1,5 years, which – depending on performance – will be extended with a second term of 2,5 years.
The conditions of employment correspond with the “CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten” (CAO NU). For the job of PhD Candidate (Promovendus) the salary amounts to a maximum of € 2.779,- (grade P) gross per month on a 38 hour per week contract.

The EUR has attractive employment conditions, which include a holiday allowance of 8.0%, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and 41 annual vacation days in case of a full workweek.

Additional information:
About the Erasmus University Rotterdam
About the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication
About the Erasmus Research Centre in Media, Communication and Culture
About the Media and Communication Department
About the POPLIVE project

Additional information about the vacancies can be obtained from Dr. Erik Hitters hitters @, the project leader of POPLIVE.

How to apply
Your cover letter should be accompanied by a concise research proposal of no more than 500 words, in which you explain what you consider to be the most pressing issues in the study of professional musicians and live music within the changing context of the music industry, along with corresponding research questions. This proposal will be assessed based on the coherence of substance and methodology and the proposal’s relevance to the field, as well as the feasibility of completing the research by the proposed deadline. The selection committee will invite a small number of candidates for an interview. These candidates will be asked to give a public presentation of their proposal and subsequent ideas as part of the application procedure.
Candidates may be asked to submit a more detailed research proposal and/or give a test lecture as part of the application procedure.

To apply, please send your application letter with your research proposal, your resume, your publication list (if applicable), and the names and contact details of two referees, before May 1, 2017 by e-mail to vacancies @ Please mention “PhD POPLIVE”. You should receive a confirmation mail within two weeks.

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