AHRC Funding - Frequently Asked Questions 

The Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (M4C DTP) is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, the University of Warwick, Coventry University, De Montfort University, the University of Leicester, Nottingham Trent University, and the University of Nottingham.

Applications for 2021 entry are now open, and the deadline for applications is 12noon, Wednesday 1 3 January 2021.

Frequently asked questions

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.  

As a distance learning applicant, am I eligible to apply for the M4C AHRC scholarships?

Midlands4Cities AHRC scholarships are for campus-based students only and you would not therefore be eligible. 

If I want to apply for AHRC funding at the University of Birmingham, do I apply to the University of Birmingham or the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership?

You should apply to University of Birmingham for a place to study. You should then apply for funding through the Midlands4Cities website, and ensure you have secured two referees who can complete the reference form provided on the Midlands4Cities website. Applicants need to ensure that this reference form is used and references are returned before the application deadline. Applications close at 12noon on Wednesday 13 January 2021.

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

Yes – you can apply in advance of receiving an offer on your application for a place to study. However, by 12noon on Wednesday 13 January 2021 you must have submitted an application to study to University of Birmingham and have submitted your application for funding to Midlands4Cities 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.

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

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 Midlands4Cities website. These references must be submitted by your referees by 12noon on Wednesday 13 January 2021. We would recommend applicants are in touch with referees ahead of the deadline to ensure references are received.

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

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. 

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

You should expect to hear a final outcome by mid-April 2021.

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

No – the AHRC funding is only available to students starting at the beginning of the academic year. See term dates on our website.

I am an EU/International, but not UK, student. What funding am I eligible for?

From the academic year 2021/22 AHRC funding is open to UK and International research students as detailed on the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) website.  

Awards for UK residents cover UK tuition fees and provide a stipend at the UKResearch and Innovation (UKRI) rate.

International applicants will be eligible for tuition fees at the UK rate and a stipend to support living costs. UKRI (AHRC) funding will not cover international fees set by universities. Funding for this may be available from other sources but specific guidance on this is currently not available. Please watch out for updated informationon the UKRI and Midlands4Cities websites. 

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. 

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

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. 

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

Yes, you are still required to submit two references. Your referees must complete the AHRC reference form available on the Midlands4Cities website and submit this as instructed on the website by 12noon on Wednesday 13 January 2021. It is important that the references are up to date and comment on your most recent achievements since you started your programme.

What will happen if references are submitted on the wrong form, or if references are not received by the deadline of 12noon on Wednesday 13 January 2021?

Only complete applications will be considered. If references are not received by the deadline, or are not on the correct reference form (which is available on the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership website), your application will not be considered.

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

Masters-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 Midlands4Cities funding purposes. 

Further information

Useful contact details