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.

Please note: The deadline for AHRC M4C funding applications was 12 noon on 12 January 2022 and the awards are now closed. 

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.

Through our Open Doctoral and Collaborative Doctoral Awards Midlands4Cities will fund and support outstanding research for 109 doctoral researchers across the breadth of Arts and Humanities starting in October 2022.

From the academic year 2022/23, 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. (93 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.

Collaborative Doctoral Awards

There are currently 2 Collaborative Doctoral Awards available to University of Birmingham students:

  • Engagement and diversity in twenty-first century popular fiction publishing: An interdisciplinary study of Mills & Boon romance readership and publishing (Find out more)
  • Representing Eastern Europe: Diversity, Inclusion and (De)coloniality in the UK Creative Economies (Find out more)

Deadlines and further information

The deadline for AHRC funding applications is 12 noon on 12 January 2022. Applicants must also have applied for a place to study at one of the eight M4C universities.  For full details of eligibility, funding, research supervision areas and CDA projects, and for dates of our November 2021 application writing workshops, please visit the M4C website or contact

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... 

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...

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...