The University of Liverpool is part of a North West Consortium (NWC) which has been awarded £14 million by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to train a new generation of skilled researchers.
The NWC brings together the Universities of Liverpool, Keele, Lancaster, Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan, the Royal Northern College of Music and Salford, awarding around 200 PhD studentships over a five year period.
It is one of eleven new Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and seven Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) to deliver postgraduate supervision, training and skills development from 2014.
The DTPs offer postgraduate studentships and training across a range of disciplines including ancient history, archaeology, philosophy, English literature, design and much more.
As part of the scheme, the AHRC is also funding placement opportunities and additional skills training. The NWC’s partners are the BBC, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT), FutureEverything, Home, Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), Opera North, Tate Liverpool and Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archives & Heritage Service.
It will nurture the development of broader skills, including partnership working, language skills and the development of students’ skills and experience in working outside academia, for example, industry and international placements.
There will also be joint supervision of students, sharing of resources from across the consortia, student events, conferences and the fostering of peer support networks.
Professor Dinah Birch, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, said: “AHRC funding for our current students has been instrumental in attracting and retaining high-quality research students, and we will continue to build capacity in AHRC-supported discipline areas through the NWC collaboration. We are committed to providing a high standard of postgraduate research training and experience. This opportunity will allow us to continue to develop our relationship with our consortium partners for the benefit of both students and research staff.”
The University of Liverpool already works closely with both the Universities of Manchester and Lancaster through the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) North West Doctoral Training Centre – one of 21 Doctoral Training Centres created by ESRC to provide postgraduate training in social science disciplines.
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.
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… 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.”