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:

  • Sound Art
  • Emotions, learning, history and The past in historic sites
  • Community memory and The political use of history in The museum
  • Difficult Histories in Museums
  • Class and heritage
  • Museological perspectives of institutional critique and/or socially engaged practice
  • ‘Young ambassadors’ engagement programmes in museums and galleries
  • Displaced or exiled collections
  • Museums, heritage, cultural rights and development in ODA-recipient country contexts
  • Digital transformations in museum learning, participation and engagement
  • Digital archives and creative engagement
  • Human-centred design and evaluation in the museum
  • Experience design
  • Objects in contexts of (forced) migration
  • Heritage, Museums and Cultural Policy / Politics
  • Tradition, Memory, Class and Politics
  • Museums, Heritage and Participation
  • Contemporary Art in Memorial Museums
  • Professional identities and museum work
  • Museum geographies
  • Museum Architecture and Design

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 2018-9 entry is 15 January 2018. 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 longlisting applications will be in 8 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 as follows - potential candidates are strongly encouraged to attend one of these, and can book a place via the M3C website:


  • Leicester: Saturday 18 November
  • Birmingham: Saturday 11 November
  • Nottingham: Saturday 18 November


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.


Oct 2017

Call opens




By early Nov

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 early
8 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.
8 Jan 2018 References deadline

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

As the deadline is close to the holiday, make sure to contact your referees as early as possible. Referees must comment on your proposed project, so make sure to share a draft of your funding application with them.

15 Jan 2018 Application for PhD funding deadline
18 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
Apr 2018 Applicants notified about final outcome


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AHRC Midlands3Cities

PhD Funding for UK/EU Students

The Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership is awarding up to 80 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) PhD studentships to UK/EU applicants for October 2018 entry.

Funding application deadline: Monday 15 January 2018.

Find out more about M3C studentships in Museum Studies.

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Athena Swan Bronze