AHRC Funding - Frequently Asked Questions 

Through the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership, the University of Birmingham is one of six institutions offering up to 87 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded PhD studentships for 2017 entry. 

Please find answers to our frequently asked questions below. Certain answers refer to University of Birmingham applications only. If you are considering applying with another institution as your lead institution, please ensure you familiarise yourself with their processes beforehand.

Q: As a Distance Learning applicant, am I eligible to apply for the M3C AHRC Scholarships?

Midlands3Cities AHRC scholarships are for campus based students only and you would not therefore be eligible.  However, if you are a College of Arts and Law applicant you can apply for the College of Arts and Law DL Bursaries

Q: If I want to apply for AHRC funding at University of Birmingham, do I apply to the University of Birmingham or the Midlands 3 Cities Doctoral Training Partnership?

A: You should apply to University of Birmingham for a place to study. You should then apply for funding through the Midlands3Cities website, and ensure you have secured two referees who can complete the reference form provided on the Midlands3Cities website. Applicants need to ensure that this reference form is used and references are returned before the application deadline. 

Information on the two-step application process can be found on our application page

You will need to refer to the University of Birmingham AHRC Applicant Guidance (PDF, 300KB) before your application is submitted.

The deadline is Monday 16 January 2017.

Q: Can I apply for AHRC funding if I have not yet received an offer for a place to study at University of Birmingham?

A: Yes – you can apply in advance of receiving an offer on your application for a place to study. However, by Monday 16 January 2017 you must have submitted an application to study to University of Birmingham and have submitted your application for funding to Midlands3Cities online. References must also have been received. You can find and apply for a programme of study using our coursefinder.

Your programme of study offer will then be ‘fast-tracked’ and an offer must be made to you for you to be considered for AHRC funding. You will only be eligible to be considered for AHRC funding if you are in receipt of an offer from the University of Birmingham.

Q: Two references are needed for the AHRC funding application and the University of Birmingham programme of study application. Can I use the same references?

A: Yes, you can use the same references for both but, in order for the references to be accepted by the AHRC process, the references must be on the AHRC form, which can be found on the Midlands3Cities website. These references must be submitted by you or your referees to ahrcapplications@contacts.bham.ac.uk by Monday 16 January 2017. We would recommend applicants are in touch with referees ahead of the deadline to ensure references are received.

Q: Do I need to submit evidence of my qualifications with my AHRC funding application? 

A: There is space on the AHRC application form for you to indicate your qualifications. For your University of Birmingham programme of study application, you must upload any evidence of qualifications (e.g. transcripts etc) for your application to be considered and for an offer of a place to study to made to you. You will only be eligible to be considered for AHRC funding if you are receipt of an offer from the University of Birmingham. 

Q: When will I hear if my AHRC funding application has been successful?

A:  You should expect to hear a final outcome by Mid-April 2017.

Q:  Can I apply for AHRC funding if I want to start my PhD at University of Birmingham in January 2017 or part way through the academic year?

A: No – the AHRC funding is only available for a October 1 2017 start.

Q: I am an EU, but not UK, student. What funding am I eligible for?

A: EU students, unless they have been permanently resident in the UK for the 3 years prior to the start of their studentship, are normally awarded a fees only studentship, in line with Research Council rules. The University of Birmingham will supplement successful Fees Only awards with a Stipend.

You should submit an application as normal - if successful, you will be able to choose whether to accept the place, depending on the level of funding offered. 

Q: I am a current University of Birmingham PhD student looking to apply for funding – am I eligible?

A: Students who have already commenced doctoral study are eligible to apply for AHRC funding, provided that, at the start of the AHRC award, they will have at least 50% (excluding writing-up) of their period of study remaining. The award would be made for the remainder of their period of study, mirroring the co-funding requirement that at least 50% of the costs of a studentship come from a Research Council Training Grant. In determining the length of a studentship to be offered, the period may be reduced to take account of any time a student has already spent on doctoral study. Funding should only be offered for the period required to complete their studies as a fully registered doctoral student. More information on this can be found on the AHRC Funding Guide on the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership website.

M-level students currently at the University of Birmingham should be aware that they will need to complete their M-level programme, and submit a separate application to study a PhD, to go alongside their funding application. Upgrades (such as from an MA by Research programme) are not acceptable for Midlands3Cities funding purposes. 

Q: If I am a current student, do I need to submit references for my funding application?

A: Yes, you are still required to submit two references. Your referees must complete the AHRC reference form available on the Midlands3Cities website and submit this as instructed on the website by 16 January 2017.  It is important that the references are up to date and comment on your most recent achievements since you started your programme.

Q: What will happen if references are submitted on the wrong form, or if references are not received by the deadline of Monday 16 January 2017?

A: Only complete applications will be considered for funding. If references are not received by the deadline, or are not on the correct reference form (which is available on the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership website), your application will not be considered for funding.

Useful contact details

Midlands3Cities application enquiries

Email: enquiries@midlands3cities.ac.uk

University of Birmingham application enquiries

Email: ahrcapplications@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Useful University of Birmingham website addresses