StoryFutures PhD Placement in Industry Scheme


Updated 25 October 2022:  Applications are now closed for these placement opportunities.

What is StoryFutures?

StoryFutures is part of a government UK-wide investment in the creative industries, administered through the AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) to fuel industry growth through Research and Development. Sitting within Royal Holloway’s Centre for Digital Creativity, StoryFutures is focused on experimentation in new technologies and the future of storytelling, funding and collaborating with producing SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) working in virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence and all forms of immersive, technology driven storytelling.


What placement opportunities are available?

  • Up to three placements are available, ideally to take place in November/December 2022 although January/ February 2023 would also be possible.

  • The placements exist predominantly as work experience and skills development opportunities rather than feeding into your own research project.

  • You will normally be expected to interrupt your studies for the period of the placement i.e. your submission deadline will be extended by the period of the placement.  However please contact the Doctoral School to discuss this further if you on a Student Route visa or wish to do the placement part-time.

  • Placements will last for up to eight weeks (either full time or part time, spread across a longer period of time), to be mutually agreed between the SME and the successful student.

  • Placements will be paid at an hourly rate of £12.67 funded by StoryFutures and paid to the student by the SME.

The placements will involve work on one of the following five R&D (Research & Development) projects within an SME:

  • Factory 42

    • Commercial scoping and business modelling of a large scale XR experience
  • Nexus Studios

    • Realtime ‘performance’ and animation – new economic applications
    • Realtime animation – the impact of ‘liveness’ with animation
  • ScanLAB Projects

    • 4D Photogrammetry Timelapse capture on synchronised iPhones
    • Sharing 3D moments in engaging and delightful ways on iO

Please refer to the five placement briefs in this student briefing pack for full details of the opportunities on offer.


What can I gain from these placements?

These placements will give you the opportunity to learn more about the immersive sector and creative industries, while being part of an exciting commercial R&D process within an SME at the forefront of innovation in immersive storytelling. You will have access to a mentor and support from the company, and the opportunity to work from company offices.  Though we anticipate that there may be some crossover and opportunities for you to enrich their research, these placements should be seen predominantly as a work experience and skills development opportunity.

More generally, our postgraduate researchers who have had the opportunity to go on placements report that placements:

  • create opportunities for you to engage with non-academic audiences;

  • encourage you to develop key skills in how to communicate successfully with those outside of their own area of expertise;

  • help you to gain confidence in your own knowledge;

  • provide an opportunity for you to gain a broader perspective on the skills you have to offer;

  • help you to gain different perspectives on deadlines and target setting;

  • enhance your networks and lead to collaborations and connections, some of which have led to future employment outside of academia



How do I apply?

Applications have now closed for the Factory 42 and Nexus Studios placements.  If you have applied, you should be contacted within the next week.

Applications are still being accepted for the ScanLAB placements.  Once you have read the student briefing pack for full details of the opportunities available, please complete the application form.  If you wish to apply for more than one opportunity, please submit a separate application for each opportunity.


Any questions?

  • For questions relating to the specific placement opportunities advertised, please contact 
  • For questions relating to visa eligibility, or interruption of studies, please contact (including StoryFutures in the subject line)


Contact us

By email:

By phone:

  • 01784 276886
  • Manned 10am-4pm, Tuesday to Thursday

In person:

  • Visit our helpdesk in room S-105, Founder's South Tower
  • Open 10am-4pm on Tuesdays

Quick links

StoryFutures PhD Placement in Industry student briefing pack

StoryFutures Placement in Industry application form

PGR Employability Experiences brochure

PGR Employability Experiences homepage

PGR Career Enhancement Placement Scheme

Doctoral School Researcher Development Training brochure

Researcher Development Programme

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