Doctoral research funding success for Birkbeck in group bid

The College is among a number of institutions in a consortium to benefit from future awards.

Birkbeck has been part of a successful consortium bid for funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council which will support PhD researchers over the coming years.

The College joined with a number of other institutions to form the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-east England (CHASE), which has been coordinated by the University of Sussex and also includes the Universities of East Anglia, Essex and Kent, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmiths and SOAS.

It is one of 10 AHRC Doctoral Training Partnerships which have been awarded across the UK and will support in excess of 50 doctoral studentships annually over the course of five years. These will include a number of collaborative doctoral awards with partner organisations. The new awards will be advertised in October to start in the following academic year, from October 2019.

Until now Birkbeck has been an associate member which gave access to student training programmes, but full membership will enable funding for students for the first time. CHASE has already supported more than 400 doctoral students, with the AHRC funding enabling member institutions to work together to enhance doctoral training, supervision and cohort development.

CHASE is designed to provide a student-focused environment for students to collaborate with peers, academics and partner organisations through placements, open training calls and biannual Encounters conferences.

Professor Matthew Davies, Executive Dean of the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy at Birkbeck said: “'Birkbeck is delighted by the news of the success of the CHASE consortium and looks forward to working with its new partners in developing the next generation of researchers in the humanities.

“The College is ideally placed to develop and enhance its provision to doctoral students, drawing on its excellence in research areas such as history, philosophy and linguistics, and a commitment to interdisciplinarity enabled by collaborations with social scientists and scientists across its departments and schools.

"We especially look forward to developing our relationships with cultural partners in London and elsewhere to provide new opportunities for students to broaden their skills and knowledge during their studies.”

Professor Anthony Bale, Executive Dean of the School of Arts at Birkbeck said: “The CHASE consortium offers a superb opportunity to build on Birkbeck's research excellence with a range of partners across disciplines in the arts and humanities. Birkbeck brings an outstanding tradition in doctoral training, a commitment to cutting-edge research, and a range of cultural partners in and around London.

“Birkbeck's participation in the consortium demonstrates the College's continued commitment to research training, in traditional subjects, in interdisciplinary studies, and in innovative research areas such as the history of photography, critical animation studies and the medical humanities.”

Dr Denise deCaires Narain, Director of CHASE, said: “I’m excited at the prospect this grant gives us to support an outstanding community of doctoral researchers. We look forward to the many opportunities ahead to engage with our students, academic community, and partners in conversations and research collaborations, in ways that will enrich the doctoral experience.”

Professor Edward Harcourt, the AHRC’s Director of Research, Strategy and Innovation said: “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.”

Further details about CHASE-funded studentship are available at the CHASE DTP website. 

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