The Consortium provides fully-funded doctoral studentships in Arts and Humanities research. These studentships are advertised annually and have three distinctive features.
The Consortium offers a wide range of supervisory expertise to allow students to develop their own research projects and to pursue these to a successful conclusion. The Consortium’s ethos is as much freedom as possible, with as much guidance as necessary, allowing students to shape their own projects and career development within a supportive framework. Students are guided by a system of dual supervision and can access specialist advice from across the Consortium. They are registered at the institution of their lead supervisor, but receive additional advice from one or more co-supervisors at other member universities, thus gaining the experience of studying at two or more universities, whilst still enjoying a ‘home base’ and a sense of place.
The Consortium’s doctoral training includes a 60-credit Postgraduate Certificate in Arts and Humanities Research which is distinct from the more focused and restricted research training provided by Masters programmes, which we expect applicants to have completed already. A key objective is to equip all students with the skills required for successful research and professional careers, including how to assess and explain the social value of research, and to engage effectively in a variety of different research and commercial environments. This core training is intended to meet students’ social as well as intellectual needs by constructing a social identity around their work. Whilst common to all, the programme will contain activities and assignments, the content of which can be tailored to each student. There will be flexibility to modify or adapt elements to suit the needs of particular cohorts, as identified through the admissions process. One element of the core training will be to improve each student’s ability to identify their own future training needs. The PG Cert is delivered through a mix of short residential courses and online tuition.
There is a rich programme of continuing training for students in years 2 and 3 of their doctorates, including access to the full range of specialist modules at all member institutions, as well as an annual conference and regular research workshops and seminars coordinated by the Subject Centres. Together, these opportunities allow students to develop their research – perhaps in unanticipated directions – whilst remaining confident that any additional training needs can be met through the provision of specialist training across the Consortium and open to all students. The costs of participating in these training opportunities are covered by the funding attached to the studentships.
Student support and engagement
The funding attached to the studentship covers the costs of the Postgraduate Certificate, including travel and some subsistence expenses, as well as the costs incurred in attending other cohort training events. Additionally, each Consortium member provides funds for each student of between £300 and £500 per annum to support activities like conference attendance and preparation of research papers.
All students will have access to fully-equipped office space in dedicated postgraduate rooms within the relevant research centres at their home university. They will also have access to additional facilities, usually on a ‘hot-desk’ basis, provided elsewhere in their university by the Graduate School or equivalent, and/or in additional research centres. Students visiting another university within the Consortium also have access to facilities whilst there, for example to help prepare joint papers with other students.
Students are represented on the Consortium Management Committee, and are involved in organising key events like the annual conference. Further opportunities to shape the Consortium’s strategy and development are provided through formal and informal feedback and consultation.