15 October 2013 13:49

A North West Consortium, of which Lancaster University is a member, has been awarded £14 million by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to train a new generation of skilled researchers.

The NWC, led by the University of Manchester, brings together Lancaster, Keele, Liverpool, Salford and Manchester Metropolitan universities and the Royal Northern College of Music, 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, announced by the AHRC today (Tuesday 15 October).

The DTPs offer postgraduate studentships and training across the full range of the AHRC’s disciplines, largely through consortia of Higher Education institutions (HEIs).

As part of the scheme, the AHRC is also funding placement opportunities and additional skills training, working alongside partner organisations including museums, galleries, cultural organisations and businesses.

It will nurture the development of broader skills such as partnership working, language skills and the development of students’ skills and experience in working outside academia, for example, through industry and international placements

There will also be joint supervision of students, sharing of resources from across the consortia, further activities such as student events, conferences and the fostering of peer support networks.

Chief Executive of the AHRC Professor Rick Rylance 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.

“We are delighted at how the sector - and partners beyond the sector - have responded and we look forward to working closely with them to support the next generation.”

Dean of Graduate Studies at Lancaster University Professor Geraint Johnes said: “The award of the AHRC BGP2 to Lancaster and its partner institutions in the North West is fantastic news for the Arts and Humanities here.

“The scholarships awarded will provide generous support so that students can study to doctoral level at Lancaster, while also taking advantage of the high quality specialised training that is available in their subject areas right across the North West.

“It represents a tremendous boost for arts and humanities right across the region, but within Lancaster and its immediate environs in particular.”

Professor Maja Zehfuss, Associate Dean (Postgraduate Research) for The Faculty of Humanities, at The University of Manchester, said: “We are delighted to lead one of the AHRC’s Doctoral Training Partnerships. Training the next generation of researchers is one of the most important things we do and, at Manchester, we are proud of the research environment and training opportunities we offer to our doctoral researchers. Through the NWC we can do even more. One of the great things about mentoring and training new researchers is that we get to support bright people to do things we might not have thought of ourselves. I’m excited to build and develop the NWC because it helps us do more of that.”