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The NWCDTP will jointly provide opportunities for 225 PhD students

The NWCDTP will jointly provide opportunities for 225 PhD students

New PhD scheme to train 225 arts and humanities researchers

17 August 2018

Manchester Metropolitan part of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership

Manchester Metropolitan will help to develop the next generation of arts and humanities researchers as part of a nationwide £170 million scheme.

The North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWCDTP) will jointly provide opportunities for 225 PhD students.

The consortium will share in the national £170m funding over eight years from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), helping students undertake broader training or development, such as language learning, overseas research visits, or placements with non-academic partners.

The group includes a wide variety of bodies beyond the university sector that students can engage with to further their experience, from multinational organisations to local museums and galleries.

Manchester Metropolitan currently has 13 students at the University already with AHRC funding, who started between September 2014 and September 2017, with another seven due to start in September 2018.

The first cohort of students for the new funding will be recruited imminently ahead of starting their studies in October 2019.

Research that matters

Professor Steve Miles, Head of the Postgraduate Arts and Humanities Centre at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “The new funding is testament to the fine achievements of the NWCDTP and, in particular, the AHRC’s commitment to research that makes a real impact on communities, both in a geographical and a cultural sense.

“The onus on collaborative PhDs is especially encouraging in producing research that really makes a genuine difference. Manchester Metropolitan looks forward to continuing to contribute to the innovation and vibrancy that characterises postgraduate arts and humanities research in the North West.”

Professor Jim Aulich, from the Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan, added: “We are very pleased to see that the AHRC is maintaining a sustainable level of support for doctoral training in the arts and humanities.

“We are especially gratified that they have supported our emphasis on collaborative research projects with external partners and their first all-important steps towards employment in the immediate post-submission stage. The award will play an important role in our ambition to increase both the numbers and quality of postgraduate researchers.”


Dr Erica Baffelli, NWCDTP Director, said: “On behalf of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership I am delighted by this new award from the AHRC, which will allow us to fund and train at least 225 new researchers in the arts and humanities.

“Since its formation in 2014 the NWCDTP has established a successful partnership that provides high-quality doctoral training across the whole range of the arts and humanities. In the new phase of the DTP we will build on our effective partnership to continue to innovate to produce impactful research.

“One-fifth of our studentships will be for collaborative PhDs, where projects are designed by the student and academic supervisor in collaboration with organisations from business, the public sector or the third sector. Our Early Career Strategy will support early career researchers by offering post-submission impact fellowships with non-HEI partners and therefore addressing the crucial challenge of transition to employment. 

“We will also develop our collaboration with the ESRC NWSSDTP and with other DTPs based in the north of England. By providing high-quality and innovative research training, and promoting knowledge exchange with non-HEI organizations we aim at enabling doctoral students to develop into highly skilled leaders within and beyond the academy.”  

Global reputation

Professor Edward Harcourt, the AHRC’s Director of Research, Strategy and Innovation, added: “The AHRC is delighted to announce its renewed commitment to the Doctoral Training Partnerships model. Our support for the next generation of arts and humanities researchers is critical to securing the future of the UK arts and humanities sector, which accounts for nearly a third of all UK academic staff, is renowned the world over for its outstanding quality, and which plays a vital part in our higher education ecosystem as a whole. 

“We were extremely pleased with the response to our call, which saw high-quality applications from across the UK from a variety of diverse and innovative consortia, each with a clear strategy and vision for the future support of their doctoral students.”

The NWCDTP is a consortium of seven research organisations led by The University of Manchester and comprising:

  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Keele University
  • Lancaster University     
  • Royal Northern College of Music
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Salford


The NWCDTP is in partnership with:

  • BBC
  • FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology)
  • FutureEverything
  • HOME
  • Manchester City Council
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • National Trust
  • Opera North
  • Staffordshire Archives
  • Tate Liverpool
  • The British Library
  • The National Football Museum