Opportunity! Arts Council postdoc related to the living and working conditions of Irish artists

Happy to share this information from the Arts Council of Ireland, who are interested in hearing from postdoctoral folks keen to undertake new research related to the living and working conditions of artists.

NOTE: to apply, applicants will need to identify an academic partner. Feel free to contact me here in UCD’s School of Art History & Cultural Policy, and I’d be happy to discuss our experience supporting researchers in this scheme, and what’s involved.

Arts Council Ireland seeks expressions of interest from researchers regarding the Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme (Post-Doctoral)

The Arts Council is seeking to support new research into artists’ living and working conditions through investing in the Irish Research Council’s Post-Doctoral Enterprise Partnership Scheme.

A commitment to artists is at the core of the Arts Council’s 10-year Strategy. In 2020 we published our Paying the Artist policy. We are currently working to commission a major new study into artists living and working conditions similar in nature to the 2010 study. However, in addition and separate to this, we also want to support researchers to explore new ground, to ask different questions, delve into a specific area or bring a new perspective to this subject.

To support new thinking in this area the Arts Council is investing as an Enterprise Partner on the IRC Scheme which supports a postdoctoral researcher to pursue a two-year research project (Sept 2022 – 2024) on a full time basis. The award provides: 

  • a salary of €39,132 (year 1) and €39,686 (year 2);
  • employer’s PRSI contribution;
  • and eligible direct research expenses of €5,000 per annum.

Applicants to the scheme must be supported by both an academic partner and an enterprise partner. The Arts Council is seeking expressions of interest from researchers who may wish to apply to the IRC programme to pursue such research with the support of the Arts Council as their enterprise partner.

The Arts Council is open and flexible in terms of the focus of such research. We want to support a researcher led enquiry that is different in scope and nature to our own commissioned research. A researcher may wish to draw on relevant expertise, data, information and networks accessible through the Arts Council.

The Arts Council can only be a partner to one application and is therefore seeking to identify (in advance of the IRC deadline of 02 December 2021) a suitable research project to support.

Expressions of interest must be submitted to the Arts Council by 17:30 on Thursday 11 November 2021. Further information in attached PDF or contact.Toby Dennett: toby.dennett@artscouncil.ie (cc: louise.ward@artscouncil.ie) at the Arts Council

The Arts Council will run an information session on Microsoft Teams for questions and answers on Tuesday 26 October 2021 at 11.30amJOIN HERE (no app/software download required).

Researchers must meet the eligibility criteria for the IRC’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme (Post Doctoral).

Refresh and reset: artsmanagement.ie

(sunnier days and remote Irish beaches ahead… hopefully!)

The blog’s been very quiet of late — because, well, pandemic — but I’m pleased to share that I’ve taken on some help to keep the job listings updated (thanks James!) Do feel free to send any new postings in, as these are now being updated weekly. I’ve also given the site a wee refresh and update.

Our MA programmes at UCD have undergone quite a few changes of late: most especially our MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management, with Dr Annette Clancy taking over as Director of the programme from last September, and being joined by Dr Victoria Durrer, who came to us after running QUB’s programme in arts management. Our current MA CULP students have just finished their coursework and are now on their work placements: many thanks especially to all of the arts organisations in Ireland and internationally who’ve taken folks onboard for the next few months, given the upheavals the cultural sector has faced since last March! It’s certainly been a challenging year for the university working fully online, but the students have been brilliant and engaged, and have gone above and beyond in demonstrating their resilience and creativity!

Our MAs in Art History: Collections and Curating have similarly weathered the Covid storm with good humour and hard work! We’re so grateful to all of the alumni and colleagues who’ve Zoomed with the students, and shared their expertise as curators, gallerists, and arts professionals (pictured below is Sheena Barrett, Arts Officer with Dublin City Council and Curator of The Lab Gallery, who’s assisting with development of students’ exhibition plan assessments.) Our MA Art History students’ brilliant work is also captured in a research blog, which demonstrates the fantastic range of work they’re undertaking.

My UCD colleagues have been working incredibly hard to deliver courses online, mind our large student cohorts, and support one another (in sickness and in health) over the past year. I’m so fortunate to have an enormously collegial School and supportive College, and I know we’re all looking forward to campus life returning in the near future.

More announcements are also coming soon about exciting new programme developments – stay tuned!

Come work with me! Research Coordinator for Archiving the 8th


I’m really excited to share news that I’m currently recruiting for the position of Research Coordinator for Archiving the 8th!

This is a part-time (0.5FTE), temporary postdoctoral position in the School of Art History & Cultural Policy at UCD, from December 2020 until 31 August 2021, working with me to support, develop, and extend the activities of the Archiving the 8th Network, funded by the Wellcome Trust. The role of the Research Coordinator will be to consolidate and develop research resources, especially a new Archiving the 8th website, working primarily online and remotely. The candidate will also be collaborating with allied research project Digital Preservation of Reproductive Health Resources: Archiving the 8th (TCD/DRI/Irish Qualitative Data Archive), also funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The purpose of the Archiving the 8th Network is to support and coordinate nationwide efforts to archive, collect, and research the 8th Amendment referendum and related outputs concerning women’s reproductive health and rights. These include collections and research on political ephemera, organisational records, websites and digital material, photography, visual and material culture, and oral histories.

This is a flexible position that can be adapted to the candidate’s research/work schedule, and is ideally suited for an experienced researcher (with a PhD) with an interest and/or experience in activism, women’s rights and/or collections, archiving, and public history.

The salary is €50,029 (pro rata).

The full job spec and application instructions can be found here – https://www.ucd.ie/workatucd/jobs/ (just search under the name of the school – Art History and Cultural Policy).

** update: please do note, a PhD is a requirement for this position. Also, whilst this is a remote working position, applicants must be based in Ireland. **

You can also download a copy of the job advert here (but please note all applications must be made through the UCD HR portal online).

There’s a short application window — deadline is 30 November, 2020 — but all you need is a CV+ cover letter. Happy to take any informal enquiries at emily.mark@ucd.ie, and please do forward this announcement to anyone who might be interested!


Artsmanagement.ie back in business: Sept 2020

Did you miss me? 🙂

I’m happy to share that I’ve refreshed http://www.artsmanagement.ie, with 24 new Irish arts job listings, and an overhaul of the site to come in the next week.

Last year I took on the role of Head of the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, and regular blog updates became too difficult to manage alongside the day job. I’m still not sure how the workload will be balance out  in the coming months — I’m still taking it one day at a time (like many others, I reckon!) We’ve just started our autumn term yesterday here at UCD — with 26 students in our MA in Cultural Policy & Arts Management programme, and 12 in our MA in Art History: Collections and Curating, alongside hundreds of BA students and our staff of 13. News of the Dublin partial-lockdown on Friday has certainly made things even more interesting – but still we persist!

In any case, given that we’re all living online more these days, I thought re-starting the blog would be a way to connect with folks who are looking for arts/cultural work in Ireland, returning to education, or who’ve been missing my sporadic cultural updates 😉 I hope it helps!

It’s hard to believe this blog has had more than 1.2 million hits since I started it more than a decade ago, and still reaches more than 7,600 people via Twitter and email subscriptions. Thanks to everyone who’s remained a follower, and do keep sending me on your job and event announcements. Stay well, and keep on keeping on…


Finding & getting a job in the Irish arts sector

dilbert-interview ‘Tis the time of year when new graduates are starting to freshly scan the arts jobs horizon! I’ve just updated this site’s jobs listings (check out all the seasonal positions now open with Dublin Theatre Festival, folks) and have been fielding many emails, chats and cups of coffee over the past few weeks for folks on the job hunt (and employers looking for a few good men or women).

This morning the Guardian Culture Professionals Network posted a short piece by an arts management lecturer at Birkbeck asking What skills do arts sector grads need to develop their career? — and suggesting ways they have modified their university programme to respond:

The first was a physical space for reflection. The cultural sector is an amazing and exciting place to work because of the various types of roles and jobs available across so many different artforms. But such an array of opportunities can also be daunting when a fresh graduate is trying to find a way in. As a result we developed a series of workshops organised around guest lectures and practical exercises to provide students with the opportunity to think and work through what it means to be successful or how to deal with failure. It sounds conceptual, but it’s invaluable in a sector rife with overnight success stories and constant rejection that can often feel more personal than professional.

The second thing students wanted was experience: somewhere to practice what they felt were essential skills needed to obtain work in the sector. These skills ranged from how to put together a 10-minute pitch to knowing what your employment rights were if you were commissioned for a project or self-employed. On this front we invited sector professionals with relevant experience to speak to students about how to maintain a portfolio career and how to pitch. These talks offered them a chance to link what they had learned in class to practice in the field.

We’re constantly modifying our own MA in Arts Management programme here at UCD, so it made for an interesting read, with a few new ideas (and I’m looking forward to our annual feedback from the students, which is taken very seriously & is always useful!)

It also made me think – what advice do I give folks on the job market? Some of my general job-seeking tips are listed on the FAQ, but here are few other skills and attributes that (in my view) have helped folks find the arts sector work they’re looking for:

Be persistent. Even graduates with newly-minted postgraduate degrees, and significant experience, often have trouble finding that first foothold. It’s seldom easier for folks looking to transition at mid and higher level, as our small island is notorious for job stagnancy and mobility problems. Often times public sector jobs are advertised for tiny windows of time, or hiring is still done through networks rather than open advertisement. Let your friends and extended network know that you’re actively looking, and give as much time as you can to scan for opportunities.

Be flexible. In a sector now heavily populated by freelance and portfolio careers, finding the right combination of job, location, and compensation can be challenging. Consider the possibility of combining work from various sectors (working in marketing for both arts and commercial clients, for example). Have a look at analogous sectors that may be eager to hire someone with your skills (NGOs/charities, universities and school administration, the civil service/local authorities, etc.). If you’re flexible with geography, seize the opportunity to work overseas (in the US, UK, Europe, Canada, Australia). It’s of tremendous benefit to experience how different arts sectors work, and will forever alter your own view of how your professional life can or might evolve.

Be confident (but humble). Enthusiasm, passion for the arts and a strong sense of self make for an inspiring employee or co-worker, but the capacity to learn quickly, and willingness to take on anything that needs doing, are essential skills.

Be respectful. Keep in mind employers often receive dozens and dozens of CVs for a single position – many of which are from folks totally unqualified for the position, or who haven’t bothered to fully read the job description. Don’t be that person. Make sure your CV is well designed and attractive, proofread, has all the relevant details, and is easy to read — it’s not always necessary to keep it down to a page, but it’s the first professional impression you make, so give it time and attention. Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how poorly folks in the arts often represent themselves in this medium!

Take heart. You’re not alone if you’ve sent out dozens of applications with no joy; or if you’ve had to take a place-holding job to pay the bills; or felt the stress of multiple unpaid internships with few future prospects; or felt frustrated with the difficulties of finding a paid job that will reasonably support you and your family. I’ve made a few suggestions here on how to get out of a job-seeking rut — but the best advice can be simply to talk to someone else: share your experience, ask for feedback (and take it seriously), and find a few kindred spirits with whom you can openly and unreservedly discuss your aspirations and worries.

Any other constructive hints for job-seekers in the Irish arts sector would be most welcome!