This week, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) announced that it would provide £14.2 million of funding to a consortium of Scottish Higher Education institutions to support studentships and training of doctoral researchers. The consortium is led by Glasgow, and comprises the universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow School of Art, St Andrews, Stirling and Strathclyde. The funding will provide hundreds of doctoral studentships in Arts and Humanities subjects, from 2014 to 2019.
The consortium has been working for two years on its application to the AHRC, and crucial to the success of the bid was our ability to harness the many existing, vibrant partnerships between HEIs and organisations from across the creative, cultural and heritage sectors. We are determined that our doctoral students are equipped to take a leading research role in addressing real issues of economic, social and cultural concern, and able to apply their advanced skills both within and beyond academia. To this end, the consortium has secured the partnership of more than 30 organisations, including BBC Scotland, Dundee Rep, Police Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Oxfam Scotland, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Scottish Opera. All of our partners recognise the skills of Arts and Humanities researchers and are keen to work with us to ensure that their skills can be applied effectively beyond the HEI sector. Partnership activities will include research-focused internships, mentoring schemes, leadership workshops and real problem-solving project work.
The significant award from the AHRC has been reinforced by the commitment of up to £1.8 million from the Scottish Funding Council to support the establishment of a Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities (SGSAH). The SGSAH will be administered from the University of Glasgow, but with shared governance across all partner HEI institutions. The benefit of this national organisation ‘without walls’ is that it will be able to extend the benefits of the AHC Doctoral Training Partnership to all Arts and Humanities doctoral researchers across Scotland. The SGSAH signals a really exciting and original development in the national provision of doctoral training in the Arts and Humanities across Scotland – with institutions working together, and in partnership with multiple external organisations, to provide an unsurpassed experience for PhD students who choose to study in Scotland. Through the SGSAH, we will share our expertise and experience, our world-leading resources, and collaborate on new and unique training initiatives. It should be a really great time to undertake doctoral work in Scotland. The Doctoral Training Partnership will be open for applications from early 2014, with the SGSAH due to launch in April 2014.
We are keen to extend our range of partners, so if you would like to become a partner organisation in the SGSAH, please email me (Deirdre.Heddon@glasgow.ac.uk)