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Lifting the Lid offers our PhD students a great opportunity to build their skills and networks to work in and with the creative industries
— Professor Paul Grainge, Director of Midlands 4 Cities


We work with the Midlands4Cities AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership to host this annual series of free professional development workshops for Arts and Humanities PhD students across 8 UK universities (University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, University of Leicester, Leicester DeMontfort University, Warwick University, and Coventry University).

The workshops are designed to 'lift the lid' on the reality of working in and with the creative industries and cultural sector. They help students to develop skills and networks for pursuing creative jobs and research collaborations.

All workshops include high level speakers, opportunities to develop creative networks, and follow-up ‘Office hours’ for tailored support.


Speakers for Lifting the Lid join us from creative industries, cultural organisations, funders, think-tanks and government. They share their expertise and experience of working in theatre, performing arts, museums, archives, festivals, libraries, film, television, games, digital development and design. Lifting the Lid speakers include;

  • Sandeep Mahal (Director, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature)

  • Laura Wilkinson (Programme Director, Museum of London)

  • Dan Simmons (Writer, Coach, Consultant and former Head of Partnerships, Creative Skillset)

  • Laura Elliot (Programme Director, Oxford Playhouse)

  • Emmie Kell (Chief Executive, Cornwall Museums Partnership)

  • Peta Murphy-Burke (Senior Relationship Manager, Arts Council England)

  • Jeanette Bain-Burnett (Head of Community Engagement, Greater London Authority)

Annual Workshops

Introducing the Creative Industries & Cultural Sector

This workshop explores;

  • What are the creative & cultural industries?

  • What types of jobs and career pathways are available in these sectors?

  • What’s the reality of working in or with creative or cultural organisations?

Pitching your PhD Skills for Creative Jobs

This workshop explores;

  • Key skills, experience, and attributes needed in the creative industries and cultural sector

  • Hacking Job applications

  • CV writing for the creative industries

  • How to pitch your PhD

Creative Industries & Cultural Sector Deep Dive

This workshop explores;

  • Current sector needs, challenges & opportunities

  • The role of interdisciplinary expertise in enabling innovation & resilience

  • The latest sector policy, and where your research perspective can add value