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Boost for Arts and Humanities PhD students in North East England and Northern Ireland

15th August 2018

Places for 335 doctoral students studying 28 different disciplines have been announced by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Each student will be based at a member of the Northern Bridge Consortium, which is made up of seven universities, including Northumbria University, Newcastle.

The places, which will be made available over the next five years, mark a new era of collaboration between the alliance, which also includes Durham, Newcastle, Queen’s University Belfast, Sunderland, Teesside and Ulster universities. The group boast world-class strengths across all Arts and Humanities disciplines, as well as meeting needs in areas of strategic priority such as Heritage and Design.

The Northern Bridge Consortium will offer students the highest possible quality of experience and support. The partners will work together to administer an annual competition for PhD scholarships and to deliver an innovative, world-class training programme for successful applicants.

Professor Richard Terry, of Northumbria University, said: “We are delighted to be part of the Northern Bridge Consortium. We will be working with six other universities in the North East of England and Northern Ireland to offer world class doctoral training opportunities for our students across the full range of Arts and Humanities disciplines.

“As well as delivering an exceptional training environment, Northern Bridge will collaborate with strategic partners, including regional, national, and international cultural organisations, to deliver projects of lasting cultural, social and economic benefit to our regions.”

Dr Annie Tindley, Northern Bridge Consortium Director and Academic Director at Newcastle University, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone considering a doctorate in the arts and humanities. Northern Bridge students are not just funded to undertake exciting and innovative research, but also benefit from being part of a cohort of fellow students receiving the best quality training and international opportunities across the North East of England and Northern Ireland.”

Professor Edward Harcourt, the AHRC’s Director of Research, said: “The AHRC is delighted to announce its renewed commitment to the Doctoral Training Partnerships model. Our support for the next generation of arts and humanities researchers is critical to securing the future of the UK arts and humanities sector, which accounts for nearly a third of all UK academic staff, is renowned the world over for its outstanding quality, and which plays a vital part in our higher education ecosystem as a whole.

“We were extremely pleased with the response to our call, which saw high-quality applications from across the UK from a variety of diverse and innovative consortia, each with a clear strategy and vision for the future support of their doctoral students.”

Northern Bridge will promote regional cohesion and development for the North East and Northern Ireland. As part of its commitment to collaborative working, it has developed strategic partnerships with regional, national and international cultural organisations, such as BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, and the British School at Rome.

Crucially, the consortium will seek to award 20% of studentships to Collaborative Doctoral projects, where the student works closely with an external partner. This builds upon its previous success in this area with partners such as Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books and Belfast City Council. Northern Bridge has also brought on board two Local Enterprise Partnerships in order to gain direct access to industry and other private-sector organisations.

For more information, visit www.northernbridge.ac.uk

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