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We are changing the way in which people apply to become a Studio Resident. The number of Residents has grown hugely over the last 15 years and we have thought hard about the balance between; being open and responsive to new ideas, care and support for the people here, and our own resources. We also want to be more transparent and intentional about how selection works. We are going to trial this new process for a year (from May 2023) and review how it goes. 

Being a Studio Resident is not the only way to be a part of our community so we encourage you to think about what it means specifically – and consider the other ways that you can also connect to what we do.  

"The Pervasive Media Studio community is incredibly generous with their time + knowledge. I found that the Residents' openness with their processes really helped me think through some of the themes of the project I was working on. I was really grateful for the conversations, around surveillance and immersive storytelling." Asmaa Jama

What does it mean to be a Resident? 

Pervasive Media Studio has around 190 Residents exploring creative technology by making work alongside each other. The Resident community is built upon mutual exchange; we ask people to participate actively in an ongoing way.  

Residency offers the following;  

  • Connection to other Residents and our wider network of partners with whom you can share ideas as they develop 
  • Ad-hoc support with business, technology and artistic development (including support to think about climate impact and inclusive practice) 
  • Free desk space that you can access up to 6 days a week 
  • Bookable meeting rooms, workshop space and a small maker space (with some access to equipment) 

In return, we ask Residents to actively participate by attending regular lunchtime talks, being a part of community conversations, coming along to testing and feedback sessions and attending our annual gathering event. Residents sign a contract that asks them to enact our principles of interruptibility and generosity as well as to complete an annual survey about their work (contract available on request and shared at interview stage) 

What our Residency doesn’t offer; 

  • Training   
  • Funding 
  • Accommodation 
  • A team of people who will deliver your project without payment 

How to apply? 

People can apply to become a Resident at any time but we will review applications together once every 3 months. We will offer Residencies to approximately 2-3 people per quarter. We keep these numbers quite low to ensure that, as a small team, we are able to fully support our Residents.  

Before applying, please carefully consider what being a Resident involves and look at the criteria below. We also advise that you spend some time in the Studio on Fridays first.   

We review all Resident applications against the following criteria. The extent to which: 

  1. Your work is exploring the relationship between creativity, technology and society in new or different ways 
  2. You are coming with ideas and/or questions, and an understanding of how you would explore them in practice
  3. You are likely to benefit from a Residency now, this includes an understanding of what you would both get from and bring to the community 

We curate our Resident community to bring together a balance of skills, ideas and experience.

1 April: deadline for applications that will be reviewed this quarter 

Late April: interviews for shortlisted applicants (everyone can expect to hear if they have been shortlisted or not) 

May/June: new Residents will join the Studio  

You can apply via one of the following formats:

  • Expression of Interest webform.
  • Video Expression of Interest, answering the questions in form above. Videos should aim to be between 5-10 minutes long (send to studio@watershed.co.uk).
  • Audio Expression of Interest, answering the questions in form above. Audio should aim to be no more than 5-10 minutes long (send to studio@watershed.co.uk).
  • Requesting an in person, video or phone application with a member of staff (emailing studio@watershed.co.uk). This is not an interview; it is a chance for you to express your answers to our application questions in person. Staff will ask clarifying questions only.

If none of the options suit your needs, please let us know. If you would benefit from support in completing your application, please email studio@watershed.co.uk and we will look at what arrangements we can make to support you.

We really welcome applications from those with a background that is underrepresented in the creative technology and cultural sectors - for example you are from a community that experiences racism, you are a disabled person (as defined by the Equalities Act 2010), or you did not go to University/were eligible for free school meals as a child. If this is you and you would like support to think through how your experience meets the criteria above, you can book time with us to talk that through. Please request this by emailing studio@watershed.co.uk (we will not ask you to disclose your background).  

If your interest in becoming a Resident is time limited e.g. you are only in the city/country for a short period and you would like to base yourself here, please get in touch with the team directly. 

The Interview 

All our interviews are held at the Pervasive Media Studio or, if necessary, online or over the phone. There are two panel members who conduct the interviews, and these members are drawn from the Watershed, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England.

We can arrange a visit to the Studio, in advance of the interview, if it would help you in preparing for the interview. You may also bring someone along with you to support you during the interview or to be around to support you afterwards. We have a dedicated quiet space in the Studio, should you need time to relax after your interview with us.

If you have specific access needs that you would like us to be aware of, please get in touch with our Studio Coordinator on studio@watershed.co.uk

Studio accessibility

How else to engage with us? 

Becoming a Resident is not the only way to engage with Pervasive Media Studio, the options below may be a better fit for you.  

Open Studio Fridays, with a lunchtime talk (every Friday). For anyone who is interested in what happens here; work alongside each other, make connections and share inspiration 

Producer Wednesdays (every Wednesday). For Producers/Project Managers/Facilitators; connect to each other and to our community of makers  

Make Shift Meetup (first Tuesday of the month, 5.30pm). For early career creatives who are interested in creative technology and/or film practice; meet each other and begin a development process  

Winter/Spring Residencies (one competitive call per year). For artists working with creative technology; develop your idea with some paid time, producer and creative technology support (we often have a theme for these opportunities) 

We regularly have other funded opportunities connected to current Watershed projects. Please sign up for the newsletter for information about these as they arise. Watershed also runs Film Hub South West which has a range of opportunities for those whose practice is more film/screen technologies focussed.  


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Jo sits in a chair in a Bristol street

Jo Lansdowne

Jo leads Watershed's Creative Technology team; supporting research activity, talent development and the resident community to deliver brilliant work.