Work, Employment, Diversity and Inclusion in the Film and TV Workforce

University of Glasgow – Colleges – College of Arts – Graduate School – Funding Opportunities – Work, employment, diversity and inclusion in the film and TV workforce

Supervisors: Professor Doris Eikhof and Professor Melanie Simms

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award

Application Deadline – 30th May

Project Start Date – 1st October

The University of Glasgow and the Film + TV Charity are looking for a doctoral researcher to lead a project entitled ‘Work, employment, diversity and inclusion in the film and TV workforce: Improving the evidence-base for intervention.’ The project is a Collaborative Doctoral Award funded by AHRC and The Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities

Film & TV are key components of the UK’s society, culture and economy. Practitioners, policy-makers and academics alike have pointed out that (a) film & TV need to be produced by a diverse workforce; (b) that workforce diversity is closely linked to work and employment conditions; (c) that workforce diversity and work and employment conditions in UK film & TV are currently problematic in various regards; and (d) that we lack rigorous, integrated data to develop effective interventions for both workforce diversity and work & employment conditions.

The current lack of good quality evidence is rooted in the design of existing data sources:

  1. Conventional Office for National Statistics data sources are limited in how they can capture work and employment in film & TV.
  2. In some film & TV occupations, up to 90% of the workforce are on freelance contracts. Workforce data obtained through employers – most influentially, Ofcom’s employer census on diversity – misses out a substantial share of freelancers working in film & TV.
  3. Research that does capture freelance workers – most influentially, Creative Diversity Network’s Project Diamond – tends to focus on specific aspects such as diversity and inclusion, work & employment conditions or mental health.



Against this background, the project’s research question will be:  How can we more effectively assess and monitor the size, composition and employment conditions of the UK’s film and TV workforce? We expect the following to be relevant sub-questions:

  1. What are the benefits and pitfalls of existing approaches?
  2. What are the needs of key sector stakeholders?
  3. How can concerns about equality, diversity and inclusion be better integrated into data generation?
  4. How can our evidence in relation to these questions inform new methodologies for assessing and monitoring the sector workforce and what can we learn from building and piloting these new methodologies?

The specific methods and methodologies for this project will depend on the experience, skillset and interests of the successful candidate.



The project will be based at the University of Glasgow (supervised by Professor Doris Ruth Eikhof and Professor Melanie Simms) and undertaken in close collaboration with the Film + TV Charity (project liaison Rupert Jones-Lee). The award includes funding for on-site secondments to the Film + TV Charity’s offices in London.