This scheme enabled a doctoral student or early career academic researcher to do a short-term work placement with a company from within London’s Creative Economy. Below are examples of placements that Creativeworks London has funded. More information about the scheme can be found here.

PHD-In-Residence Scheme

Punchdrunk and Emma Miles from Royal Holloway, University of London

SME Partner

Sarah Davies, Punchdrunk

PhD Student/Early Career Researcher

Emma Miles, Royal Holloway, University of London


Professor Helen Nicholson, Royal Holloway, University of London

Project Name

Punchdrunk Enrichment: the impact of immersive theatre practice in educational settings.

Project Description

In 2008 Punchdrunk launched their enrichment programme, working with young people, children and the wider community. One of the flagship components of the programme has been The Lost Lending Library, a project in which Punchdrunk transforms primary school classrooms into a magical learning resource. Combining traditional classroom activities with the surprise element of a built installation The Lost Lending Library brings Punchdrunk’s hallmark cinematic level of visual detail to enhance learning.

For Emma Miles residency with Punchdrunk she joined The Lost Lending Library as it visited schools in Newham, East London. Shadowing the company Miles had two research questions: firstly, how does The Lost Lending Library support curriculum aims in the Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two classes. Secondly, to ask, what alternative pedagogical role might Punchdrunk Enrichment’s work play in school community.

To this end Miles documented her experiences with Punchdrunk via a dedicated blog, co-authored an article with Peter Higgins, Punchdrunk’s Enrichment Director and produced a substantial report for the company. Speaking of Miles work Punchdrunk stated that her report will “help us to connect and negotiate with schools in the future, to build the case for more innovative, immersive practice in a school setting”.

In the autumn of 2016 Punchdrunk is organising a symposium with funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation which Miles is likely to take part in.



Queen Mary - University of London
Arts & Humanities Research Council
European Union
London Fusion

Creativeworks London is one of four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to develop strategic partnerships with creative businesses and cultural organisations, to strengthen and diversify their collaborative research activities and increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.