Lifting the Lid on the Cultural Sector & Creative Industries

     Bird & Gorton host an annual events series for arts and humanities AHRC-funded PhD students across 17 universities in the UK, which are designed to 'lift the lid' on the reality of working in and with the creative industries and cultural sector. These workshops help students develop skills and networks for creative jobs and research collaborations.

Since 2017 we have worked with South West & Wales AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership and Midlands4Cities AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership to host this annual series of free professional development workshops for Arts and Humanities PhD students. We have delivered 16 Lifting the Lid workshops to over 500 students across 17 Universities

  • Aberystwyth University, Cardiff University, University of Bristol, Bath Spa University, University of Exeter, University of the West of England, University of Southampton, University of Reading, and Cranfield University
  • University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, University of Leicester, Leicester DeMontfort University, Warwick University, and Coventry University.

The workshops are designed to 'lift the lid' on the reality of working in and with the creative industries and cultural sector. They help students to develop skills and networks for pursuing creative jobs and research collaborations. 

All workshops include high level speakers, opportunities to develop creative networks, and follow-up ‘Office hours’ for tailored support.

“Lifting the Lid offers our PhD students a great opportunity to build their skills and networks to work in and with the creative industries” 
Professor Paul Grainge, University of Nottingham


Speakers for Lifting the Lid join us from creative industries, cultural organisations, funders, think-tanks and government. They share their expertise and experience of working in theatre, performing arts, museums, archives, festivals, libraries, film, television, games, digital development and design. 

We have welcomed over 60 speakers from across the UK, representing organisations including Arts Council England, Nesta, Creative Cardiff, Cornwall Museums Partnership, Creative & Cultural Skills, Cultural Learning Alliance, BBC, Aardman Animations, Museum of London, Oxford Playhouse, Outdoor Arts UK, The Space, Creative Lives, Coventry City of Culture, and Birmingham Commonwealth Games. 

Workshop Content


This workshop explores;

  • What are the creative & cultural industries? 
  • What types of jobs and career pathways are available in these sectors?
  • What’s the reality of working in or with creative or cultural organisations?


This workshop explores;

  • Key skills, experience, and attributes needed in the creative industries and cultural sector 
  • Hacking Job applications
  • CV writing for the creative industries
  • How to pitch your PhD


This workshop explores;

  • Current sector needs, challenges & opportunities
  • The role of interdisciplinary expertise in enabling innovation & resilience
  • The latest sector policy, and where your research perspective can add value


“The best training I’ve done during my PhD” 
“I’ve got a better understanding of the breadth of the sector and pathways to work within it. And I’ve got increased motivation to reach out to people!” 
“At the workshop I had the opportunity to meet the director of a museum which led to us creating a mutually beneficial project. I am now on a 3 month employability placement and learning valuable skills while gaining employment experience in the industry before finishing my PhD”
"I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you to Ceri and Hannah for running these sessions. They have been absolutely amazing, and because of them, I have been able to get a placement working with Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro. I'm really hopeful that this will be the start of my career in the sector and I can't thank you enough for these great sessions!”

Interested in Lifting the Lid for your university?

Contact Us