Arts and Humanities Research Council funding through the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership

The AHRC Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (M4C) brings together eight leading universities across the Midlands to support the professional and personal development of the next generation of arts and humanities doctoral researchers.

Applications open Monday 16 October 2023.

Apply now

General information 

M4C is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, University of Warwick, Coventry University, University of Leicester, De Montfort University, Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham.

For 2024 entry Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership is offering up to 70 fully funded PhD studentships for eligible students in arts and humanities through an Open Competition and 16 studentships through Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDA). The CDA projects provide diverse and unique project opportunities with national, regional and local partner organisations. 

For 2024, the Stuart Hall Foundation (SHF) Scholarship will support up to two studentships a year for Black, Asian and Minoritised Ethnic candidates to undertake doctoral research in arts and humanities.

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funding is open to UK and International research students. M4C studentships can be undertaken full-time and part-time. Studentships for open doctoral awards are for 3.5 years and for the CDAs are for 4 years full-time study (a maximum of 7 years and 8 years respectively for part-time study).

There are two routes to PhD study:

  • Open Doctoral Awards, where you agree a research proposal in any disciplinary or interdisciplinary area of the arts and humanities with your supervisory team. (70 awards available)
  • Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDAs), which are co-designed between an M4C institution and an external partner organisation. (16 awards available)

Open Doctoral Awards

We invite applications from UK and International students with research interests in the following AHRC subject areas:

  • Archaeology
  • Classics and Ancient History
  • Drama and Theatre Arts
  • English Language and Literature
  • Geography
  • Heritage Studies
  • History (including African Studies)
  • Interdisciplinary (including Sexuality and Gender Studies)
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Media, Film Studies and Creative Writing
  • Modern Languages
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Theology and Religion
  • Visual Arts and History of Art

For full details of the research areas available, please see our AHRC research areas.

Deadlines and further information

The deadline for AHRC funding applications is 12:00 GMT on 10 January 2024. Applicants must also have applied for a place to study at one of the eight M4C universities. 

The University of Birmingham & Birmingham City University will be holding a joint online writing workshop on Saturday 11 November 2023 11:00-16:00 UK time. There are other joint writing workshops available, held online by the Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham universities.

For full eligibility, funding, research supervision areas and CDA project details, and for dates and booking information for the November 2023 application writing workshops, visit the M4C website or contact

Please note: you may need to clear your cache/browser history to ensure you access the documents for 2024 entry on the M4C website.

Apply now 


Meet some of our Midlands 4 Cities funded students...

Robin Diver

Robin Diver tells us more about her experience researching Classics at the University of Birmingham. Find out more from Robin

A photo of Andrew Searle

Andrew Searle, tells us more about his experience researching History part-time at the University of Birmingham.  Find out more from Andrew

Anna Persig

International student Anna Persig, tells us more about her experience researching with the Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing. Find out more from Anna