Leicester to train the next generation of arts and humanities researchers

Leicester is among eight leading universities in the Midlands that are joining together to train the next generation of highly-skilled arts and humanities researchers, thanks to funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The Midlands4Cities Arts and Humanities Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), led by the University of Nottingham, will result in 460 new postgraduate studentship opportunities across the region over the next five years.

The consortium brings together academic expertise from the University of Leicester, along with the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, the University of Warwick, Coventry University, De Montfort University, Nottingham Trent University, and the University of Nottingham. All eight universities in the DTP have also committed to match the AHRC funding. The addition of Coventry University and the University of Warwick builds on the strengths of the six M3C universities and will extend disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas such as Art and Design, Classics, English, Music, Dance, Drama and Performing Arts, Media, and Politics.

Professor Martin Halliwell, Head of the School of Arts and the University of Leicester’s lead on the AHRC DTP funding bid said: “We are thrilled that the M4C bid was rated so highly. This will mean that Leicester can build on its many strengths in arts and humanities doctoral training, enable us to deepen and expand our institutional relationships with Midlands universities and our non-HEI partners, and ensure that we continue to work with and nurture our community of excellent doctoral students.”

The programme offered by the Midlands4Cities partnership builds on the track record of the current Midands3Cities DTP, which has led the way in collaborative postgraduate research, training, joint supervision and partner engagement with organisations in the cultural, creative and heritage sectors.

Professor Phil Shaw, as a University of Leicester M3C Site Director, said: “Since its inception in 2014, M3C has funded over fifty arts and humanities PhD projects at the University of Leicester. In addition to benefiting from expert cross-institutional supervisory teams and state of the art research training programmes, our students have worked closely with a range of cultural organisations, including the Natural History Museum, the National Civil War Centre, Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery, BBC Radio Leicester, the Caribbean National Heritage Museum and Derby Museum and Art Gallery. Under the aegis of M4C Leicester will continue to support groundbreaking research that enhances the central role of the arts and humanities in the UK cultural economy.”

The new DTP will have a strong emphasis on collaboration and will work with a large number of non-university partner organisations, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, The British Film Institute, Historic England and museums and galleries across the Midlands, to offer exciting placement and training opportunities to students.