Arts and Humanities Research Council Funding - Frequently Asked Questions 

Through the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership, the University of Birmingham is one of six institutions offering up to 89 Arts and Humanities Research Council funded studentships for 2016 entry. Applications for the 2016/17 round are now open.

FAQs for applicants

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 Consortium?

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 this reference form. Applicants need to ensure this reference form is used. 

Information on the three-step application process can be found on our Application Page

The deadline is Tuesday 12 January 2016

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 Tuesday 12 January 2016 you must have submitted an application to study to University of Birmingham and have submitted your application for funding to Midlands3Cities online. 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 our application page. These references must be submitted by you or your referees to by Tuesday 12 January 2016.  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:  The Midlands 3 Cities Consortium will make decisions on applications between February and March 2016. You should expect to hear a final outcome no later than the end of March 2016.

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 September/October 2016 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% 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.

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 and submit to by 12 January 2016.  It is important that the references are up to date and comment on your most recent achievements since you started your programme.

Useful contact details

Midlands3Cities application enquiries


University of Birmingham application enquiries


Useful University of Birmingham websites