PhD Scholarship: Exploring Digital Opportunities in Developing and Implementing a Sustainable International Strategy: National Eisteddfod of Wales

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 the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

Duration: 3 years

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

Regions: EU (Non-UK), UK

Project Details:

This project focusses on the digital opportunities identified and analysed in the context of developing and implementing an international and digital strategy in the case of the National Eisteddfod of Wales (“Eisteddfod”).


The Eisteddfod is one of Europe’s largest cultural festivals. It offers a unique visitor experience in its diverse multi-disciplinary curation of thousands of programmed and fringe events, co-produced over two years with its local host community, specialists, partners and sponsors and attracting over 150,000 audiences and participants each year.

The festival has a strong digital presence – across social media, and uses innovative technological approaches to engage participants and audiences.

Although the brand ‘Eisteddfod’ is known beyond Wales, especially in areas of Welsh migration as well as in the other Celtic Countries where connections are strong, it has not yet prioritised its full potential to engage in international exchange, at European and global levels, and has hitherto not explored how digital ICT can contribute to this activity.

The Eisteddfod is now currently embarking on strategic development and planning that includes an international and digital strategy. This project will examine three specific aspects of the contribution of digital technology to the international strategy:

(a) Professional Development: partnership building with other festivals, extending contacts and relationships, engagement in digital networks, using technology in these contexts.

(b) Artistic Programme: identify which aspects of the programme are most appropriate for international exchange – this many include co-productions with other festivals as well as ‘exporting’ and importing artistic content. What can innovative digital technologies contribute to this aspect?

(c) Community Engagement Strategy – how can the Eisteddfod introduce elements of internationalisation into its community engagement strategy; can cultural tourism in Wales benefit from an enhanced visibility of its two-year engagement projects all over Wales? Can Wales showcase internationally its proven track record in community co-curation and co-production as experienced in the Eisteddfod? What role is there for digital technology in this aspect, in Wales and further afield?

Expected outputs from this research project:

The main output is the PhD thesis. The research project will contribute to the Eisteddfod’s analysis and implementation of its international strategy and the role of digital technology in its key aims.  It is envisaged that this research project will inform public debate in Wales at a time where there is growing interest in Wales’s international participation.

Wider relevance of the research:

One of the Welsh Government’s priorities is to ‘raise the profile and reputation of Wales internationally’. This project contributes to this goal, taking as its starting point the Eisteddfod, known for its core mission of being a Welsh-language festival. The relevance of this research can be significant for other less widely spoken languages in other parts of Europe and across the world.


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 and relevant experience in digital culture and international exchange
  • A willingness to embrace new technologies in the context of international cultural exchange
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in Welsh and English
  • 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 the Eisteddfod as main partner.


  • Masters qualification in a relevant field
  • Working knowledge of languages other than Welsh and English
  • Have experience of working in the field of international cultural exchange


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 2nd December 2019.

  • Shortlisted candidates will be informed by 9th December 2019
  • Interviews will be held 16th December 2019

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

Application package:

Please download the following documents from the UWTSD website:

To discuss the project please contact:

Prof. Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones -

To discuss the application process, please contact:

Dr Matt Briggs -