Fabulamundi – Call for Associate Researcher

Associate Researcher, Part-Time
3 June 2019 – 31 July 2020
Honorarium: €2,000
Deadline for applications: 9 May 2019

Job Description

We are seeking a highly motivated individual to join the Fabulamundi team as Associate Researcher for our project ‘Fabulamundi Workbook: Mapping Contemporary Playwriting and Theatre Translation Practices in Europe’, led by Dr Margherita Laera, Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre at the University of Kent, Canterbury (Principal Investigator). The position will involve a variable number of hours per week (4 to 10) across the whole period, depending on the availability of the candidate. This is a highly flexible role which would suit a recently appointed Lecturer, post-doc, or PhD student based at any institution in the EU. The remit of the role is to collaborate with Dr Laera on carrying out primary research, and to contribute to the project with a sole- and joint-authored research publications.


“Fabulamundi Playwriting Europe: Beyond Borders?” is a cooperation project among theatres, festivals and cultural organisations from 10 EU Countries (Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Romania, Austria, Belgium, UK, Poland and Czech Republic). The network aims to support and promote contemporary playwriting across Europe, in order to reinforce and enhance the activities and strategies of professionals and artists working in the sector and to provide theatre authors and professionals with opportunities of networking, multicultural encounter and professional development.

Funded by the European Commission twice before the current edition, “Fabulamundi Playwriting Europe” won the Creative Europe Call as cooperation project 2017 – 2020 and now intends to widen both its reach and impact on the theatre sector. Through its experiences in the last four years, Fabulamundi has observed a growing interest in European contemporary playwriting and a constant need to provide the sector with adequate and suitable tools that can help it overcome its weaknesses. The need to improve multilateral relationships and exchanges has become urgent.

The theme of this edition of Fabulamundi is “Beyond borders?”, a reflection about a relevant, challenging and dramatic theme for Europe and European citizens. In the current climate, characterized by the migration “crisis” and the building of new walls, “Fabulamundi – Beyond borders?” intends to focus on the issue of overcoming borders, in order to foster an understanding of contemporary socio-political and cultural matters.

Fabulamundi and its network have taken on a big challenge in order to develop their own cultural mission. Fabulamundi aims to be a strong and wide platform of support and promotion of contemporary playwriting across Europe.

Fabulamundi Workbook

Through an internal audit of Fabulamundi partners and associated institutions and individuals operating in ten European countries, the project seeks to map the different national and regional ecologies, structures and landscapes enabling the mobility of plays across cultural and linguistic borders in Europe. At a time when migration is perceived to be one of the most prominent issues on political agendas in Europe, theatre can provide a powerful paradigm to encourage a sense of intercultural exchange and understanding that can help contextualise migration and facilitate communication across borders. This research is timely and necessary in that it seeks to promote wider and more effective circulation opportunities for living and contemporary writers, thus enabling more European audiences to access plays in translation and recognise themselves in fellow Europeans’ stories.

Through questionnaires and one-to-one or focus group interviews with key stakeholders, the Principal Investigator, Dr Margherita Laera, aims to collect in-depth information about how each national or regional theatre culture supports living dramatists, what conventions drive the translation (or lack thereof) of contemporary plays, and what perceptions are held by gatekeepers, theatre-makers and other cultural operators about the theatre system in which they work. Drawing on the existing network of partners, venues, playwrights, translators, directors and performers working with the EU-funded project Fabulamundi, Dr Laera will evaluate and compare cultural practices and institutional habits in the field of contemporary theatre writing and its translation. While it cannot be claimed that the pre-selected respondents fully represent their national ecologies in Italy, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Spain and the UK, they will each provide a partial snapshot of different regional practices that can form the basis of further analysis and comparison.

Dr Laera and her Associate Researcher will deliver academic articles analysing the data obtained through social research and contribute to an industry-focused report sharing key information and best practices in contemporary playwriting and theatre translation. The latter will allow writers, producers and translators across the globe to gain knowledge of each country’s local conventions and mechanisms, increasing their chances of being staged abroad within the Continent. As a member of the research team, the Associate Researcher will have access to the contacts, data and conversations informing this project and will be able to draw on this material for their own independent research purposes. The report will be published and disseminated widely in English and Italian through the Fabulamundi network.

For more information about the research project, please read email Valentina De Simone at projects@pav-it.eu to request a project outline. Any questions should be directed to Valentina De Simone or to Margherita Laera, at m.laera@kent.ac.uk

The Candidate

The ideal candidate will hold, or be near completion of, a PhD in Drama or related subject.
The position will be part-time and flexible, and might include responsibilities such as:

  • Identifying and reviewing existing research on the topic
  • Assisting the PI with research admin tasks
  • Attending Fabulamundi partner meetings
  • Liaising with Fabulamundi partners
  • Networking with other academics working in the field across Europe
  • Liaising with Social Scientists on the design of questionnaires
  • Elaborating, uploading and monitoring online questionnaires
  • Interviewing key stakeholders
  • Transcribing interviews with key stakeholders
  • Writing reports on data gathered
  • Contributing to the project with own publications
  • Presenting at conferences on the project

Person Specification

Essential Qualifications:
Have a PhD, or be near completion, in Drama or related subject

Desirable Experience:
Social Sciences research methods

Essential Characteristics

  • Highly motivated
  • Highly organised and punctual
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Proficiency in one or more European languages (other than English)


Reporting to:
Claudia Di Giacomo, Director of PAV and Fabulamundi Project Leader.
Margherita Laera, Senior Lecturer, University of Kent, PI, Fabulamundi Workbook research project.

How to Apply

To apply, please send a CV and cover letter, clearly stating how you meet the person specification and essential characteristics.

Applications should be sent to Valentina De Simone at projects@pav-it.eu

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a Skype interview in May.