Cities of Culture Early Career Research Network Group Scope, Aims, Ethos and Eligibility


This group was initially formed as the postgraduate and early career researcher network to the AHRC-funded Cities of Culture Research Network. Group participants were brought together over a shared interest in Cities/Capitals of Culture and large-scale place-based cultural programmes.

Now independent from the AHRC funded network, the group is broadening its horizons, establishing itself as a network for postgraduates and early career researchers to share and grow in a supportive environment.

This networks' scope is fluid, and is subject to change over time. By joining this network, you will be part of a group of like minded academics and have a voice in defining how the network operates in the future.


The group is formed with a shared interest in the UK City of Culture and European Capital of Culture schemes, though there are thematic intersections in areas such as place, cultural production and participation, monitoring and evaluation, regeneration and urban development, and innovative research methods.

Aims are subject to change as the group evolves. The group aims to:

  • Support postgraduate and early career researchers undertaking research surrounding Cities/Capitals of Culture
  • Offer a site for postgraduate and early career researchers to experiment and try out new ideas in a supportive environment.
  • To conduct research discussion, development and dissemination.
  • Cut across disciplinary boundaries to work in a cross- and inter-disciplinary manner
  • Consciously create an environment we want to support, actively discussing and changing our practices in line with this
  • Create opportunities for interaction and networking between postgraduates, early career researchers, policy actors, and established scholars
  • Collaborate to produce materials responding to Cities/Capitals of Culture
  • Recognise and consider overlapping areas of research, where possible


We operate this network on a number of shared principles and values, including:

  • Inclusive practices
  • Openness across disciplines, countries and research practices
  • Honest communication
  • Supportive behaviour
  • Creating safer spaces for discussion and critical reflection
  • Consciously counteracting unethical practices and approaches
  • Informal peer mentorship
  • Informality


The group meets on a regular (generally bi-monthly) basis. The first part of the meeting provides a space for participants to reflect on their research. In the second part of the meeting, participants will discuss text(s), present research, or welcome guests.

In addition to the regular meeting, participants collaborate on research projects such as papers, presentations, magazine articles and similar.

We also organise formal and informal activities focused on research sharing, networking and dialogue. These include conference activities and thematic discussion events.

Group Eligibility

Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers whose work explores Cities/Capitals of Culture and place-based cultural programmes are eligible to join this group. Membership is international and self-selecting. We are also interested in the inclusion of voices from cultural institutions, makers and practitioners.

Our network is interdisciplinary. Members of the network sit in numerous academic disciplines, including human geography, art history, anthropology, theatre studies, sociology, cultural policy, data science and performance studies.

Join us?

Interested in joining the activities of the network?


Created with an image by StartupStockPhotos - "startup meeting brainstorming"