PhD Scholarship: Internationalization of Illustrated Stories for Children: Strategic Development in the Welsh Publishing Industry.

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS 2 East ) scheme intended to start February 2020. The project will be based in Yr Athrofa: the Institute of Education at University of Wales Trinity Saint David in collaboration with Graffeg Ltd.

Duration: 3 years

Funding Amount: UK/EU tuition fees plus stipend starting at £14,628

Regions: EU (Non UK), UK

Project Details:

The main research question:

What are the appropriate strategies for the Welsh publishing sector to develop and implement so that it can operate successfully at international level in the field of children’s illustrated stories?

The project will focus on three specific aspects:

  • IMPORT: Sourcing original material in other languages and engaging in language localisation
  • EXPORT: Identifying international markets for own content
  • CO-PRODUCTION: Creating new content (text and illustration) in partnership with other entities

The main methodologies used will be as follows:

  • sector analysis of relevant book markets in target countries using quantitative and qualitative methodologies (including: reports, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews)
  • three pilot projects in cooperation with the company, corresponding to the three aspects noted above (IMPORT, EXPORT and COPRODUCTION)

Role of the partner:

Graffeg Ltd will provide support in identifying the three pilot projects to be undertaken, as well as overall support in developing the project (such as induction, training, introduction to business strategy, planning, marketing or other business-related needs, training in techniques, facilities, equipment or data interpretation). The company will also provide office space for the candidate at its head office in Cardiff to be used as necessary.

Expected outputs from this research project:

 The main output is the PhD thesis. Additional reports will be prepared and disseminated during the lifetime of the project.  Presentations at conferences and sector events, with key stakeholders etc.

Outputs (e.g. books) related to the three pilot projects.

Wider relevance of the research:

This research embraces many of the challenges that are relevant to the publishing and creative industries in Wales today, such as:

  • operating as content producers at international level
  • increasing visibility and presence of the Welsh publishing sector in international contexts (as per Welsh Government, Welsh Books Council and British Council priorities.
  • localisation of cultural content and the Welsh language – creative translator development, multilingual development.
  • re-purposing print book content into digital media, entering new markets and expanding the customer base
  • trends and dynamics of children’s book content being re-purposed and new material being produced for digital media

This project aims to enhance the company and wider sector in engaging with an international dimension of their key business activity. It will contribute towards the production of new knowledge in the specific sector of illustrated stories for children, as well as providing insights into wider fields of publication and content production across different media. The three pilot projects have been specifically designed in order to address particular aspects of business development. The project is also designed so that it can increase the research capacity of the sector, enhancing Research and Development activity in order to increase competitiveness and effective business planning.

The synergies of this project include strategic action by the International Literature Strategy Group (convened by the Arts Council of Wales), strategic intervention funded by the British Council Wales in internationalising the reading experiences in Welsh for children and the work of Literature Across Frontiers, Welsh Literature Exchange and the ENLIT network.


Funded by KESS East. Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

This studentship consists of full UK/EU tuition fees at UK/EU rate, as well as a tax-free Doctoral Stipend starting at £14,628 p.a. for 2019/20.

Each scholarship has an additional budget for travel, equipment/consumables and training to support your research. KESS PhD Scholarship holders do not pay fees.


Full-time for 3 years. (Theses must be submitted 6 months after the funded three-year study period.)


The achievement of a Postgraduate Skills Development Award (PSDA) is compulsory for each KESS scholar (The PSDA is based on a 60-credit award, which is an additional award to the PhD).

Selection Criteria:


  • At least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent)
  • An interest in digital publishing and international exchange
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English
  • Working knowledge of at least one other language
  • Experience of bilingual or multilingual environments
  • Knowledge of the publishing scene in at least one country or language market
  • Competence in using appropriate software and platforms
  • Ability to work independently, effectively manage own time and undertake independent research activity successfully
  • Excellent inter-personal skills with ability and commitment to work effectively as part of a collaborative team
  • Ability to establish strong collaboration with Graffeg as main partner.


  • Masters qualification in a relevant field
  • Written and oral communications skills in Welsh
  • Experience of international publishing and translation


Open only to those within the KESS East Wales Programme Area. Candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a home/work address in the East Wales Programme Area * at the time of their application;
  • Have the right to take up paid work in the Programme Area * on completion of the scholarship;
  • Be classified as 'home' or 'EU' according to the University's guidelines.

* East Wales Programme Area includes: Flintshire, Powys, Wrexham, Vale of Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, Newport, and Cardiff

How to apply:

A completed application package should be submitted to Dr Matt Briggs by 7th October 2019.   Applications received after this point will not be considered.  A hard copy may be sent to:

Dr Matt Briggs
Research, Innovation and Enterprise Services
University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.
J-Shed, Suite 10 / 11.
Kings Road

  • Shortlisted candidates will be informed 11th October
  • Interviews will be held w/c 21st October

Application package:

Please download the following documents from the UWTSD website

  • KESS II Participant Application Form
  • Supporting Documents mentioned on each form

To discuss the project please contact:

Prof. Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones -

To discuss the application process, please contact          

Dr Matt Briggs -