AHRC Midlands3Cities funding for UK/EU students

The Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (M3C DTP) is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, De Montfort University, University of Leicester, Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham. M3C is awarding up to 87 PhD Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships for UK/EU applicants for 2018 entry. M3C provides research candidates with expert supervision (including opportunities for cross-institutional supervision), research training and access to a wide range of facilities, cohort events and placement opportunities with regional, national and international partners in the creative and cultural sectors.

In this page you can find information about:

Topics of Interest || Applying for M3C in Museum Studies || Applicant Profile || Useful Information || Overview of process

Topics of Interest

The School of Museum Studies is inviting applications from outstanding prospective students with research interests in the following areas:

- 20/21C Latin American art and its international reception
- Art institutions and internationalism
- Exhibition history
- Non-collecting institutions (bienniales, art centres, institutes, independent spaces)
- Iconoclasm and destruction in art
- Transhistorical exhibitions
- The role of archives in the historiography of art and in curatorial practice
- Contemporary art / Sound art / African art in museums and galleries
- Emotions, learning, history and the past in historic sites
- Community memory and the political use of history in the museum
- Class, participation and museums and heritage
- Class, heritage and migration
- Human rights and social justice in museums, galleries and heritage sites 
- Museums and activism / ‘activist practice’
- Museum engagement with disability
- LGBTQ narratives and programming in museums
- Museological perspectives of institutional critique and/or socially engaged practice 
- ‘Young ambassadors’ engagement programmes in museums and galleries.
- Displaced or exiled collections
- Sensory engagements with things in cross-cultural perspective or in contexts of (forced) migration
- Museum architecture and design/interpretive planning
- Trust, authenticity and expertise in the museum
- Experience design
- Digital strategy and transformation in museums
- Digital transformations in museum learning, participation and engagement
- Digital archives and creative engagement

Interested applicants should note that the application for funding is separate from the application for PhD study. Please consult general information about applying for a PhD at the University of Leicester. For subject-specific enquiries please contact Dr Giasemi Vavoula, Postgraduate Research Director. For specific enquiries related to applying for a PhD with the School of Museum Studies please contact Christine Cheesman, Postgraduate Research Administrator.

The deadline for M3C funding applications for Oct 2018 entry will be announced in early October 2017. Students must have applied for a place to study and have ensured that two academic references are submitted to the home university on the correct M3C form before the funding application deadline. The School of Museum Studies internal deadline for shortlisting applications will be in early December 2017.

Interested candidates are urged to contact potential supervisors as soon as possible. Applications that have not been reviewed and accepted by supervisors will not be considered for internal shortlisting.

Read profiles of some our our current PhD students who are funded through Midlands3Cities.

Applying for Midlands3Cities with the School of Museum Studies

The University of Leicester is one of the UK's top research universities and our PhD and MPhil degrees are firmly rooted in our strong research culture. The Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014) highlighted the University of Leicester as home to the highest ranking museum studies research in the UK, which places the School of Museum Studies as one of the best museum studies departments in the world.


To get a sense of the range of PhD research topics supervised by the School please consult the School webpages for current and past PhD students.


All staff welcome approaches from potential applicants with a view to nurturing high quality candidates and their application development. To identify potential supervisors from the School you can consult individual staff webpages.


For Midlands 3 Cities applications, your supervisory team can span different consortium universities. To identify potential supervisors for your supervisory team, use the ‘supervisor search’ facility on the Midlands3Cities website.

Applicant Profile

Applicants are expected to be able to demonstrate an excellent academic and/or professional record, for example a First Class undergraduate degree, a Masters with Distinction, or outstanding achievement in their professional career.

In exceptional cases we will support applications where for example a Masters with Merit is compensated for by a dissertation with distinction on a topic that is closely related to the proposed topic of study. Your prospective supervisor and/or the Postgraduate Research Director can advise you whether and how you should make the case in your application.

Useful information

For full details of eligibility, funding, proposal-writing workshops and research supervision areas (including use of the supervision search tool) please visit www.midlands3cities.ac.uk or contact enquiries@midlands3cities.ac.uk.

Interested candidates are urged to contact potential supervisors early.


M3C application writing workshops will take place in Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham sometime in November 2017 - the dates will be announced here once fixed. Potential candidates are strongly encouraged to attend one of these, and can book a place via the M3C website.


For more information about the Midlands 3 Cities Doctoral Training Centre including details of eligibility, funding and research supervision areas please visit the consortium’s website or email Christine Cheesman.

Overview of the Application Process

The table below shows an overview of the application process. Exact dates will be added when the call opens in early Oct 2017.


By early autumn Identify topic and contact potential supervisors

Applicants can consult the topics list at the top of this page.

You are strongly advised to approach potential supervisors by early Oct 2017.

Oct 2017 Call opens
Dec 2017 Museum Studies internal longlisting deadline For the internal longlisting process you will need to submit a full draft of the funding application form, the PhD study proposal (see row below 'Application for PhD study deadline'), and a full CV.
Dec 2018 Application for PhD study deadline Applicants need to complete the PhD application form and attach a PhD study proposal using the School's form. You will also need to provide two references, using the Midlands3Cities reference form (see row below 'References deadline').
Dec 2018 Applicants notified about internal longlisting outcome Applicants who are longlisted will also receive feedback on their application.
Jan 2018 References deadline

Applicants need to provide two references. Referees must use the Midlands3Cities reference form.

Make sure to contact your referees as early as possible. Referees are asked to comment on your proposed project, so make sure to share a draft of your funding application with them.

Jan 2018 Application for PhD funding deadline
Jan 2018 Interviews All longlisted applicants are interviewed by a panel of three academics, at least two of whom are outside their supervisory team.
Feb 2018 Museum Studies internal shortlisting
Feb 2018 Applicants notified about internal shortlisting outcome
Mar-Apr 2018 Applicants notified about final outcome

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