PhD researchers

Our PhD students are part of a thriving research community, participating in seminars and workshops to support their research and developing advanced, transferable skills. These attributes help our graduates succeed both within and beyond the course.


Music Technology and Composition 

Chris Bevan -

Electroacoustic Composition

Dr. Adam Stanović
Professor Adrian Moore

Research Interests

  • Defining the 'compositional voice' - why do we make the creative decisions that we do?
  • Pitch, pulse and phrasing in electroacoustic music
  • Genre hybridity and escaping the expectations of the school

Konstantinos Vlachos -

The Use of Space in the Performance of Live Instrumental Music

Professor George Nicholson
Dr Dorothy Ker

Research Interests

  • Instrumental and vocal composition
  • Spatial Acoustic Music
  • Film Music
  • Improvisation


Nicola Beazley -

Interplays of tradition and acceptance in creative practices in contemporary, professional English folk tunes.

Dr Fay Hield
Dr Andrew Killick

Research Interests

  • Music for English Morris dance; the role of creativity, expression and constructs of 'tradition' in the contemporary English folk scene
  • A recital and composition project from the Full English Archive
  • Quebec Fiddle Styles

Xiao Gao -

Musical Culture of the Chinese Diaspora in Indonesia

Dr Andrew Killick
Dr Fay Hield

Research Interests

  • Musical culture of the Chinese diaspora in Indonesia
  • Indonesian traditional music
  • Overseas Chinese music in Southeast Asia
  • Traditional ritual music in China
  • World music history

Helen Gubbins -

The mediation of Irish traditional music in Irish public broadcasting radio, 1970-1994

Dr Simon Keegan-Phipps
Dr Andrew Killick

Research Interests

  • Radio music broadcasting
  • Liveness, gender, and genre in broadcast music
  • Mediation and mediatisation of folk and traditional musics
  • The relationship(s) between music, language, national and local identity, and public radio
  • Broadcast archives
  • Performance practices in Irish traditional music

Tim Knowles -

Participation and Individuality at Sheffield's Public Participatory Music Events

Dr Simon Keegan-Phipps
Dr Andrew Killick

Research Interests

  • Musical Participation
  • Social Theory
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Community Music
  • Material Culture
  • Ethnography

Michael Walsh -

A celtic or national aesthetic? Flute playing in the contemporary Asturian Folk Scene.

Dr Simon Keegan-Phipps
Dr Fay Hield

Research Interests

  • Nationalism and folk music
  • The use of the simple system transverse wooden flute in contemporary folk scenes
  • Asturian nationalism and identity
  • 'Celtic' Identity in the modern world
  • Post colonial and post imperialist theory
  • Hispanic studies and music
  • Irish in Britain


Joshua Goodman -

Lerner and Loewe's Gigi: creating the new critical edition

Dr Dominic McHugh

Research Interests

  • Broadway musicals of the 1950s, 60s and 70s
  • Issues of adaptation in musicals
  • Sources, scores, scripts: editing and engraving scholarly performance editions of musicals
  • Broadway orchestrators and orchestrations
  • Hollywood on Broadway
  • Arthur Freed - his unit, musicals and collaborators

Kathryn Jayasuriya -

Lerner and Loewe's Camelot: A Critical Edition

Dr Dominic McHugh

Research Interests

  • Broadway and the Hollywood Musical
  • Critical Editing of Musicals

Yiyun Liu -

George Frideric Handel and the consciousness of classics musical taste in eighteenth-century England

Professor Simon Keefe

Research Interests

  • English 'ancient music'
  • Handel's oratorio
  • Western early music

Elsa Marshall -

Creating a Cinematic Musical: The History and Audiovisual Techniques of MGM’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Prof. Nicola Dibben and Prof. Jonathan Rayner

Research Interests

  • Film musicals, history and analysis
  • Music and storytelling in popular music albums and film
  • Musical exhibition practices of silent films (lead researcher for the University of Ottawa’s Silent Film Music in Canada website)
  • Archival research


Psychology of Music

Caroline Curwen -

Music-colour synaesthesia: a conceptual correspondence?

Dr Renee Timmers
Dr Andrea Schiavio

Research Interests

  • Music-Colour Synaesthesia illustrates that synaesthesia may not be a purely perceptual phenomenon
  • The role of concept and meaning challenges a single mechanism as an explanation for synaesthesia
  • Music-Colour synaesthesia presents a challenge to the established philosophical theories

Jacob Downs -

Embodiment, spatiality, and relationality in headphone listening

Professor Nicola Dibben
Dr Annamaria Carusi

Research Interests

  • Mobile sound technologies and their impact on listening
  • Relationships between sonic experience, corporeality, and spatiality
  • Human-technology relations and philosophy of technology
  • Sensory experience in situations of conflict and violence
  • Interdisciplinarity and new methodologies

Michaela Korte -

Investigating mental health in music and non-music students in regards to personalised prevention strategies

Dr Victoria Williamson
Dr Renee Timmers

Research Interests

  • Investigate levels of depression using key variables from the multifactorial depression model to highlight different ways how mental health and wellbeing is processed and/or achieved.
  • Look into prevention strategies and how they are already implemented and/or could be improved

Shen Li -

Conceptions of piano timbre in piano performance and pedagogy

Dr Renee Timmers

Research Interests

  • Piano performance
  • Embodied music perception
  • Piano teaching
  • Music communication
  • Music gesture

Ryan Taylor -

The Role of Music Within The Context of Science Communication

Professor Nicola Dibben
Dr Dorothy Ker
Professor Duncan Cameron

Research Interests

  • Methodology for composers to create space for dialogue within the context of science communication.
  • Quantifying emotional impact of music.
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations to support narratives of sustainability and environmentalism.
  • Improvised music to moving image.

Kate Wareham -

Music listening and its mediation of social interaction amongst emerging adults in non-traditional environments

Professor Nicola Dibben
Professor Helen Kennedy

Research Interests

  • Music in everyday life
  • Music listening
  • Homeless young people
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Social interaction and identity in music

Find a PhD

Search for PhD opportunities at Sheffield and be part of our world-leading research.