Leicester joins groundbreaking arts and humanities partnership between six Midlands universities

Posted by pt91 at Oct 15, 2013 09:12 AM |
The Midlands Three Cities Consortium has secured a major grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which will create 410 PhD studentships over five years

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 15 October 2013

The University of Leicester and five other Midlands universities have secured a £14.6 million grant to form a groundbreaking arts and humanities consortium.

The new Midlands Three Cities Consortium is a doctoral training partnership which will bring together six universities in the cities of Leicester, Birmingham and Nottingham.

With match funding from the consortium universities, the project will provide funding and training for 410 PhD student places over five years.

The consortium unites arts and humanities schools and departments at the University of Leicester, De Montfort University, University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.

PhD students will benefit from access to research experts at some of the highest-ranking arts and humanities departments and schools in the country.

Through the consortium, researchers will be able to forge unique interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues at other universities across the East and West Midlands working in different academic disciplines.

In addition, the project will provide funding for students to spend time at overseas institutions and will subsidise internships and partnerships with a wide range of organisations across the UK.

Central to the new partnership will be a focus on the development of broader skills for postgraduate students such as partnership working, language skills and experience of working outside academia to enhance their employability.

It will encourage students to consider the impact of their research and how it contributes to the wider world right from the start of their postgraduate studies.

The consortium will also devote a portion of the funding to Masters training — aiming to more effectively bridge the gap between BA and PhD.

The project has been funded by a £14.6 million grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and studentships will also be match-funded by each of the consortium institutions.

The consortium is one of eleven new Doctoral Training Partnerships announced by the AHRC which, along with seven smaller Centres for Doctoral Training, will deliver postgraduate supervision, training and skills development from 2014 to 2019.

Professor Mark Peel, Head of the University of Leicester's College of Arts, Humanities and Law, said: “The success of the Midlands Three Cities Consortium is tremendous news for all of the universities involved, and is a credit to their vision and spirit of collaboration in developing a bid that the Arts and Humanities Research Council described as ‘outstanding’.

“It is also tremendous news for the hundreds of students who will benefit from working closely with researchers who are at the forefront of research in their fields. With success comes a challenge: achieving a world-class training environment for postgraduate scholars. It is a challenge that the University of Leicester accepts with relish.”

Professor Martin Halliwell, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International), and co-lead academic for Leicester on the project, commented: "The Midlands Three Cities consortium marks an exciting new era for doctoral study across the whole region.

“Arts and humanities PhD students at the University of Leicester now have the opportunity to take internships and train with a wide variety of partners from the creative industries and the publishing, museum and heritage sectors in the Midlands, UK and globally.

“The shared training facilities across the six universities will provide unique opportunities for all postgraduates studying in Leicester, Nottingham and Birmingham, which make the next five years the perfect time also for international students to take a PhD with us.”

Professor David Mattingly, the Head of the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History and co-lead for Leicester on the project, said: “The University of Leicester has notable research strength in the areas covered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

“These studentships, with matching institutional support, mark a new commitment to PhD study across these disciplines at Leicester.

“We hope to attract the very best talent to our innovative programmes and to provide our PhD students with an exceptional learning experience and enhanced employability skills."

Ends

Notes to editors:

For more information, please contact Professor Halliwell at: mrh17@le.ac.uk

The international, national and regional partners that will be working with the Midlands Three Cities DTP will be the Central Conservatory for Music (Beijing); the British Film Institute (BFI); the British Museum; the Cinema Museum; the National Army Museum; Broadway Media Centre; Creative Hinkley; Creative Leicester; City Museum Services (Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham), Derbyshire County Council; Leicestershire County Council; Leicester Curve; Nottingham Contemporary and Phoenix Square, Leicester.

About the AHRC

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC, please go to: www.ahrc.ac.uk

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