The Midlands is set to become a centre of excellence for a new generation of highly-skilled arts and humanities researchers, thanks to a multimillion pound partnership between six of the region’s universities. The Midlands Three Cities
consortium, led by The University of Nottingham, is to receive a grant of £14.6 million that will result in hundreds of new postgraduate studentship opportunities across the region.
The consortium — which brings together academic expertise from The University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University
, The University of Birmingham
, Birmingham City University
, The University of Leicester
and De Montfort University
— is one of 11 new Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) announced by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
which, along with seven new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), will deliver postgraduate supervision, training and skills development from 2014.
Collaboration and partnership
The Midlands Three Cities DTP will have a strong emphasis on collaboration and will work closely with a number of partner organisations including the British Museum in London, to offer exciting placement opportunities for postgraduate students.
Professor Stephen Mumford, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at The University of Nottingham and Chair of the Management Group for the Midlands Three Cities DTP, said: “This award not only cements The University of Nottingham’s place in the premiership of arts and humanities institutions but also recognises the key strength that lies at the very heart of this new consortium — the ability to cross institutional divides to deliver the very best the Midlands has to offer in postgraduate training opportunities.
“We are proud to pledge that all six universities will give pound for pound match funding, effectively doubling the number of studentships that we are able to offer and demonstrating very strong institutional commitment to the arts and humanities.”
Professor Saul Tendler, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at The University of Nottingham, added: “This is an outstanding result that will further strengthen the excellence of our arts and humanities research. I am delighted that all of our planning and creative thinking has paid off with this stunning achievement. ”
The Midland Three Cities DTP will see more than 400 postgraduate research studentships available across the six institutions over five years and will include dedicated resources for placement opportunities and skills training. The funding will also encourage the partner institutions to work closely together on development activities to support joint supervision of students, sharing of resources and further activities such as student events, conferences and the fostering of peer support networks.
Central to the new DTP 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 Midlands Three Cities DTP will also devote a portion of the funding to Masters training — aiming to more effectively bridge the gap between BA and PhD.
Advancement and growth
Professor Mark Llewellyn, Director of Research for the AHRC comments: “The AHRC’s more flexible arrangement for postgraduate funding will support students to explore new opportunities to engage with deeper and broader skills alongside maintaining disciplinary capability. This investment by the AHRC will not only support university researchers but also enrich the contexts in which arts and humanities skills and capabilities engage with and contribute to advancement and growth in sectors across the wider UK economy.”
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 Leicestershire; City Museum Services (Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham), Derbyshire County Council; Leicestershire County Council; Leicester Curve; Nottingham Contemporary and Phoenix Square, Leicester.
More information is available from the Midlands Three Cities website at www.midlands3cities.ac.uk
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…