Published: 29 September 2016

£18m postgraduate research funding secured by new North West partnership

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A minimum of 41 postgraduate studentships will be on offer each year for six years, after a University of Liverpool led bid secured more than £18m in funding from the Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC).

The funding award follows the successful accreditation of a new North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP), partnering the University with Lancaster University, University of Manchester and Keele University. The latter joins the consortium established in 2011 when the original North West Doctoral Training Centre (NWDTC) was accredited.

Liverpool will lead

Liverpool will lead the NWSSDTP, with the central office being located within the University’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

NWSSDTP Director, Professor Gabe Mythen, said: “The four partners worked together very closely in assembling the bid and we are delighted with the outcome.

“The funding of the NWSSDTP by the ESRC represents a significant investment in training in the North West region and we are very much looking forward to a new phase which will further cement the strong relationship between the partner institutions.

“Our ambition over the next six years is to work more intensively with external agencies to boost our knowledge transfer activities and increase opportunities for postgraduate research students.

“We will be seeking to further develop collaborative initiatives and training opportunities with other investments and centres including the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) NWCDTP, the N8 partnership and other newly accredited ESRC Doctoral Training Partnerships.

“By leveraging the social science strength in the constituent universities, the NWSSDTP will operate as a key national provider of expertise-led training; developing future research leaders and contributing toward social science building capacity in the UK.”

Studentship opportunities

The NWSSDTP will build on the progress made by the NWDTC, which supported advanced training provision and module exchange between each university. It also helped develop studentship opportunities with industry, at organisations such as Unilever, Save the Children and the Office for National Statistics. The addition of Keele University to the new group brings policy-relevant interdisciplinary areas and increases the NWSSDTP’s reach to a wider range of social science students.

Competitions for studentships will go live at the end of this month. The first competition, which closes in November, invites proposals for collaborative PhD studentships with organisations outside higher education. The second competition is open to all prospective students wishing to apply for funding towards their postgraduate studies, and will close in February 2017.

More information will be available on the new website www.nwssdtp.ac.uk launching next week.

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