A North West consortium of seven further education institutions, including the University of Salford, has been awarded £14 million by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to train a new generation of skilled researchers.
The consortium brings together Salford, Manchester, Keele, Lancaster, Liverpool, and Manchester Metropolitan universities with the Royal Northern College of Music, awarding around 200 PhD studentships over a five year period. Salford has been a key player in the bid, particularly through the interest generated by its MediaCityUK campus and links to the digital and media industries.
It is one of 11 new Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and seven Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) to deliver postgraduate supervision, training and skills development from 2014, announced by the AHRC today (Tuesday 15 October).
The DTPs offer postgraduate studentships and training across the full range of the AHRC’s disciplines, largely through consortia of Higher Education institutions (HEIs).
As part of the scheme, the AHRC is also funding placement opportunities and additional skills training, working alongside partner organisations including museums, galleries, cultural organisations and businesses.
It will nurture the development of broader skills such as partnership working, language skills and the development of students’ skills and experience in working outside academia, for example, through industry and international placements.
From October 2014, Salford will be working with Consortium creative industry partners including the BBC, Opera North, the Cornerhouse and the Lowry, as the Consortium rolls out 200 PhD scholarships over the coming 10 years.
There will also be joint supervision of students, sharing of resources from across the consortia, further activities such as student events, conferences and the fostering of peer support networks.
Dr Benjamin Halligan, Director of Postgraduate Research Studies for the School of Arts & Media, said: “The University of Salford’s unique research environment at MediaCityUK leads the field in terms of practice-based research and has been central to this successful bid.
“We are proud that, as part of the bid, we will be able to offer so many more PhD students access to our cutting-edge facilities for their research and can create access to expertise found within the BBC, local archives and grassroots media to substantially benefit research and innovation within the North and beyond. We look forward to warmly welcoming the next generation of postgraduate researchers."
Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive of the AHRC, said: “This is an important step forward in delivering the best possible training and support for postgraduate students in the arts and humanities, and in developing a collaborative approach which pools expertise and expands horizons for postgraduate researchers.
“We are delighted at how the sector, and partners beyond the sector, have responded, and we look forward to working closely with them to support the next generation. Postgraduate support remains the largest item of expenditure in the AHRC’s budget, but it doesn’t match the demand arising naturally from the very many talented people in the arts and humanities research community.”