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Funding and benefits

Qualification: PhD

Application deadline: 13 January 2021 (noon UK time)

Start date: October 2021


The normal maximum award tenure is 3.5 years (42 months) for full-time study and six years (72 months) for part-time study. These periods can be extended by 6 months if you make a case to the AHRC for additional training requirements.  You can do this as part of your AHRC M4C application.

Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDAs) are for a period of 4 years (full-time, or 8 years (part-time).

Full-time studentships: payment of approved fees (£4,407 p.a.), maintenance grant (£15,285 pa), Research Training Support Grant to support fieldwork and conference attendance, financial support for placements.

Part-time studentships: Payment of approved pro-rata fees, pro-rata maintenance grant (50%), and support for fieldwork and conference attendance.

2020 Applications

The deadline for all 2021 applications with October 2021 entry, is 13 January 2021.

The 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. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), this is a collaboration between the University of Leicester, University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham, De Montfort University, Nottingham Trent University, Birmingham City University, University of Warwick, and University of Coventry, and will provide research candidates with enhanced mentoring, subject, and skills training (including cross-institutional training), and support in preparing for a career.

De Montfort University is open to applications from prospective research students looking to complete a PhD with research focusing around Arts and Humanities topics, which are available to receive funding from the AHRC. Our Open Doctoral Awards are student-led, and we invite high-quality applications within any disciplinary and interdisciplinary area of the arts and humanities, especially those which align with our research centres and institutes.


  1. Agree a research proposal with academic supervisors within the M4C partnership, which maximises fit and expertise.

  2. Be accepted for study at De Montfort University, or at the ‘home’ university in a  cross-institutional application.  Apply here for a DMU place

  3. Develop a quality application, which outlines advanced and novel research, personal, professional, and career development trajectory, and the fit with your   selected institution and research centre, consistent with your commitment to ‘quality thesis plus’.  Apply here to complete a Midlands4Cities application 
    form.  For more details, please read the M4C guidance notes.

In addition to the Open Doctoral Award, M4C also offer an alternative Collaborative Doctoral Award in which you will work with an external partner, including 2 CDA opportunities with De Montfort University,  full details can be found here.

Entry Requirements

You should hold a Master’s qualification at the time of application or have completed one before PhD commencement. You can also apply on the basis of having equivalent relevant professional experience in lieu of a masters qualification, which demonstrates academic competency.

Funding is only available for students who are beginning a PhD at one of the M4C partner universities in October 2021.

Informal Enquiries

Midlands 4 Cities Secretariat, University of Nottingham

De Montfort University Site Directors

Professor Rachel Granger

Professor Clare Monk

Professor Simon Perril

Doctoral College