AHRC Funding for PhD Research 2014/15
The South, Wales and West Consortium for the Arts and Humanities
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR STUDENTSHIPS IN THE CONSORTIUM. Deadline: 21 February. Consult the website for more details.
The South, West & Wales AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW-DTP) is a consortium of eight leading universities with complementary research and training excellence in a range of arts and humanities subjects, and a prestigious group of non-academic organisations representing the arts, heritage, media and government sectors. The Consortium brings us at Cardiff together with colleagues in the universities of Aberystwyth, Bath, Bath Spa, Bristol, Exeter, Reading and Southampton. Partners for our programme include the National Library of Wales, the National Museum, CyMAL and Cadw, the National Trust, English Heritage, the Welsh National Opera, the BBC, independent television producers Green Bay Productions and media group TwoFour, among others. International partners include the Centre for British Studies in Berlin and the Virginia G. Piper Centre for Creative Writing, Arizona State University.
The Consortium has been awarded £14.2M over the next five years to deliver doctoral training to the future leaders of our subjects. This sum will be supplemented by the Universities involved.
Besides individual studentships, the funding will ensure that students accepted onto the programme have access to the combined expertise, training opportunities and resources of all eight institutions. Full details of supervisors’ areas of expertise and the resources held by Consortium members can be consulted on the website. Don’t restrict your search to your own subject; explore cognate areas for complementary expertise. Students of English and History will be particularly impressed, I hope, with the collections and archives held by the Consortium.
PURPOSE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PARTNERSHIP
The Partnership is designed to respond to two leading features in the changing landscape in arts and humanities research. First, as the AHRC itself recognises, not all successful PhDs in the Arts & Humanities will find permanent employment in Higher Education. On the other hand, opportunities outside Higher Education for talented individuals trained in research in the arts & humanities are increasing as the value of such training is more widely recognised. At the same time, the demands on academic staff have been changing rapidly, so that new posts seek capabilities that have not been deliberately met by the traditional focus of postgraduate research, particularly in the growing areas of public engagement and research impact. In short, the programme aims to provide a full preparation for careers in Higher Education and/or in the cultural economy.
The members of the Consortium see future researchers as expert in their discipline, extending its reaches, yet engaged with the questions that animate others. They will be equipped with the skills, capacities and understanding that stem from wide experience not only of the immediate research environment but also of wider public and professional contexts.
In order to achieve its vision, the programme has three distinctive features.
- Becoming an expert: Although students will continue to register with the institution of their lead supervisor, projects will normally be supervised by teams drawn from more than one institution, ensuring that you are supported by the best combination of experts for your project. Supervisory teams may consist of two supervisors from your subject in two member institutions, or a co-supervisor from another, complementary, subject who can provide additional expertise. Where appropriate, a member of one of the non-academic organisations may provide input into the project and/or be part of the supervisory team.
- Talking across disciplinary boundaries: Cross-disciplinary ‘clusters’ are being set up to provide a context in which multidisciplinary approaches and understandings can develop, and to engage students in wider research questions (this is partly inspired by the Cardiff University Graduate College’s successful programme for funding cross-disciplinary activities proposed by students). The members of each cluster will develop an annual programme of seminars and other activities, and students will maintain a web presence through a cluster ‘blog’ etc.
- Understanding and engaging in wider public and professional contexts: The Professional Arts & Humanities Researcher programme, designed in collaboration with the external partners, will provide students with experience of, and insight into, public engagement, knowledge exchange and the cultural economy.
APPLYING FOR FUNDING
Applicants will be expected to provide a 1500-word research proposal and a 500-word personal statement. These will need to demonstrate fit with the particular character of the SWW DTP, including the clusters, the network of partner organisations, and the Professional Researcher Programme.
It is not in any way necessary for projects to be ‘inter-disciplinary’ – although, of course, they can be. However, applications should not only outline research questions and methods appropriate to the intended core discipline, but also demonstrate an awareness of and engagement with the wider research environment.
Candidates may apply under up to three subjects.
Since this is an integrated programme, entry is only available at the beginning of Year 1. In other words, it is not open to continuing students.
All candidates deemed fundable will be interviewed by Skype in the last two weeks of March (dates to be announced).
WHAT TO DO NEXT?
Visit the SWW-DTP website http://www.sww-ahdtp.ac.uk/ for more information about the Partnership, the members universities and the partners, a list of possible supervisors and their specialisms, and an indication of some of our resources to support research.
If you have a possible supervisor in mind, speak to them about your project in the usual way.
To learn more about the programme, contact the English Subject Lead for Cardiff, Professor Katie Gramich or the Philosophy Lead, Dr Peter Sedgwick, or the Director of PGR Studies for the School, Professor Radhika Mohanram.
To make an application, click here. Deadline 21 February.