Midlands4Cities Collaborative Doctoral Award 2022

Qualification: PhD

Departments: Archaeology and Ancient History Leicester Law School

Application deadline: 12 January 2022 (noon UK time)

Start date: September 2022


midlands4cities logoMidlands4Cities Collaborative Awards 2022

The Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (M4C) brings together eight leading universities across the Midlands to support the professional and personal development of the next generation of arts and humanities doctoral researchers. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), this is a collaboration between the University of Leicester, University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham, De Montfort University, Nottingham Trent University, Birmingham City University, University of Warwick, and University of Coventry, and will provide research candidates with enhanced mentoring, subject, and skills training (including cross-institutional training), and support in preparing for a career.

Our Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDAs) are co-designed between an M4C university and an external partner organisation. CDAs offer a project with established research aims, responding to particular needs in the cultural, creative and heritage sectors.

Supervisory teams are pre-established and are made up of academics from the M4C partnership and a member of the external partner organisation.

A Collaborative Doctoral Award allows you to:

  • Produce a quality thesis under expert academic and partner supervision.
  • Gain first-hand experience of partner organisations outside the university environment.
  • Enhance employability and skills through development opportunities in line with M4C’s commitment to ‘quality thesis plus'.

In addition to the Collaborative Doctoral Award, M4C also offer an alternative Open Doctoral Award in which you will design your own project.

Duration of study

The normal maximum award tenure is 4 years (48 months) for full-time study and seven years (84 months) for part-time study.

Advice and support with your application 

Application writing workshops

There is advice and support to help you with your application available at one of the online writing workshops aimed at potential students who are planning to submit an application for PhD research to Midlands4Cities.  

The online Application Writing Workshop for Leicester applicants will be held on Saturday 6th November.  Please book your place using the Eventbrite booking system

Consult the application guidance notes.

Contact the M4C central team if there is anything you are unsure of in the guidance notes.

Projects for 2022

Archaeology and Ancient History

Project Ref:  M4C CDA Mattingley

Supervisors: Professor David Mattingly djm7@le.ac.uk and Dr Jeremy Taylor  jt38@le.ac.uk

Project Title: Reconstructing Regional Identities in Britain 1st BCE-4th CE through Metal Artefacts: The case of the Cornovii 

The research will explore important issues of regional identity in SW Britain under Roman rule and try to define the fundamental differences between the people of Devon/southern Somerset (Dumnonii) and the people of Cornwall (Cornovii) through a large-scale study of Iron Age and Roman coins and metalwork.
This is a Collaborative Doctoral research project with the British Museum, to be co-supervised with British Museum staff and with the link also offering significant training and professional development opportunities


Project Ref: M4C CDA Elliott

Supervisors: Dr Tracey Elliott te41@le.ac.uk and Professor Liz Wicks liz.wicks@le.ac.uk 
Non HEI:  Samera Aslam Samera.Aslam@publicguardian.gov.uk and Dr. Becky Mallaband Becky.Mallaband@publicguardian.gov.uk

Project Title:  Reforming the law and procedures in relation to the Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) system

The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) system provides a framework for substitute decision-making if an adult loses capacity, but it appears to be underused by some communities. This project will examine why this is the case and identify how the law might be reformed to improve access to this system.
This CDA will work with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), an executive agency, sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, situated in Birmingham. The OPG carries out the legal functions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). 

Doctoral training partnerships

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) are multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional schemes designed to support the training of the next generation of world-class researchers. The University of Leicester is a lead partner in four DTPs/CDTs through which we can offer funded PhD studentships in a wide range of research areas. 

Studentships are available to highly motivated and qualified applicants and provide a generous support package usually including a full fee waiver, annual stipend, and research training support grant. Studentships are in most cases offered early in the year for October start. Enquiries outside of the main application periods are welcomed.



Awards for UK applicants cover UK tuition fees and provide a stipend at the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) rate.

International applicants will be eligible for tuition fees at the UK rate and a stipend to support living costs through Midlands4Cities.

University of Leicester will cover the difference between UK and International fees for successful International applicants. 

Further information can be found on the UKRI and Midlands4Cities websites. 

Full-time studentships

  • Payment of approved fees (as set and agreed by UK Research and Innovation -UKRI), currently £4,500 p.a for 2021.
  • Maintenance grant (or stipend) for the student, (currently £15,609 p.a. for 2021 entry)
  • Research Development Fund (RDF) and Engagement Fund (EF) which support UK/overseas fieldwork/archive visits, attendance at conferences and skills training
    Collaborative Doctoral Award holders will receive an additional £500 per annum to facilitate partnership working

Part-time studentships (UK only)

  • Payment of approved pro-rata part-time UK fees
  • A pro-rata maintenance grant at 50% (stipend)
  • Research Development Fund (RDF) and Engagement Fund (EF) which support UK/overseas fieldwork/archive visits, attendance at conferences and skills training

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You should either hold a Master's qualification at the time of application or be able to state that you will have completed one by the time your PhD begins (even though the result may not be known and the final examination board may not yet have taken place). You can also apply on the basis of having equivalent relevant professional experience in lieu of a Master's qualification.

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Leicester M4C general funding and application enquiries

Louise Taylor ahrcdtp@le.ac.uk

Midlands4Cities enquiries@midlands4cities.ac.uk

How to apply

How to apply

The application cycle for 2022 is open 

To apply for AHRC Midlands4Cities Collaborative Doctoral Awards 

Select the project you want to apply for

Submit both of the following: a) University of Leicester PhD application and  b) Midlands4Cities funding application

Step 1 Submit your University of Leicester application

Apply for your Leicester PhD using the relevant subject Apply button at the bottom of the page.

  • If you apply for more than one studentship in the same department, please only submit one University application form, but indicate both projects/funding sources. 
  • If you are applying for projects in different departments, please complete separate University application form for each department/project.
  • Under the funding section select Studentship and in the drop-down list select AHRC Midlands4Cities.
  • In the References section, do not include your referee's email address. Instead, in the tab provided use pgradmissions@le.ac.uk as the email for both referees. References are requested as part of the AHRC M4C application only.

We would recommend you try, where possible, to submit your PhD application to Leicester before Christmas or at the very latest by 4th January 2022 so that you have your application ID number. This will allow you time to submit your M4C funding application (Step 2) in good time for your referees to submit their references before the deadline which is noon UK time on 12th January 2022.

Step 2 Submit your Midlands4Cities application

Complete the Midlands4Cities application form. 

For more details please refer to the M4C website and please read the M4C guidance notes.



From the academic year 2022/3 AHRC funding is open to UK and International research students as detailed on the UKRI website.

You should either hold a Masters qualification at the time of application or be able to state that you will have completed one by the time your PhD begins (even though the result may not be known and the final examination board may not yet have taken place). You can also apply on the basis of having equivalent relevant professional experience in lieu of a Masters qualification.