The Midlands Graduate School, a partnership between Birmingham, Warwick, Nottingham, Aston, Leicester and Loughborough universities, has been awarded a Doctoral Training Partnership, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has announced.

The Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership forms part of the ESRC’s new Doctoral Training Network, which significantly widens access for postgraduates to ESRC funding across the UK.

The Network comprises 14 Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and two Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), supporting over 500 research students annually across the UK. The ESRC has announced significantly enhanced support for early career researchers and will fund 50 Postdoctoral Fellowships annually through the DTPs.

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Michael Hand, Birmingham’s institutional lead in the DTP, said:

“The Midlands Graduate School DTP is an exciting new collaboration in social science postgraduate provision in the region. Postgraduate researchers at the six partner institutions will now have access to an extraordinary range of specialist training and supervisory expertise.”

The DTP will provide extensive training across and beyond the social sciences, building on the success of the existing ESRC Doctoral Training Centres at Birmingham, Warwick and Nottingham. Innovative new training in Area Studies, Museum Studies and Communication and Media will draw on distinctive research strengths at Aston, Leicester and Loughborough. The DTP will be a hub for doctoral research across the Midlands through its wider links with a number of Associate Member universities.

The new national DTP Network replaces the ESRC’s current Doctoral Training Centres, with the DTPs covering a larger number of UK institutions with an increase of 59 per cent, from 46 to 73.

From October 2017 students across the UK, including Northern Ireland for the first time, will benefit from being able to access the highest quality training in the social sciences, supplying the next generation of social science researchers with the skills, curiosity and creativity to be truly innovative.

The training focuses on providing skills such as:

  • working in interdisciplinary teams
  • communicating research ideas and findings clearly
  • working alongside international partners
  • being equipped to undertake high-quality analytical work
  • handling different forms of data
  • collaborating with others

Professor Jane Elliott, ESRC Chief Executive, said: "Our new Doctoral Training Network will assure our students’ futures as research leaders by providing them with valuable skills including capabilities in communication, project-management and collaboration within and beyond academia."


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