Funding and benefits

Qualification: PhD

Application deadline: 14 January 2020

Start date: October 2020


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 (£4,260 p.a.), maintenance grant (£14,777 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 2020 applications with October 2020 entry, is 14 January 2020.

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 UK or EU citizens beginning a PhD at one of the M4C partner universities in October 2020.

UK students are eligible for a ‘Full Award’

EU students are eligible for a ‘Fees Only Award’. However, if you have been resident in the UK for three years immediately prior to the beginning of your studies, you are eligible for a ‘Full Award’.

Informal Enquiries

Midlands 4 Cities Secretariat, University of Nottingham

De Montfort University Site Directors

Professor Rachel Granger

Professor Clare Monk

Doctoral Services

The DMU Connective Arts and Humanities Masters Scholarship 2019

The DMU Connective Arts and Humanities Masters scholarships cover tuition fees (up to £5,000) and provide a generous bursary of £10,000 for a period of one academic year. 

The university is offering four full masters bursaries (PGT or MRes) in any area of research that falls under the umbrella of the AHRC’s subject coverage. These awards are open to UK and EU students who:

  • Hold a first class undergraduate degree (or an equivalent overseas qualification) or shows evidence of achieving this before the start of the Masters degree
  • Have the capacity to complete a Masters degree at Distinction level
  • Wish to pursue a doctoral programme upon the completion of their masters, with an emerging topic with originality

It is a condition of funding that each successful scholarship awardee will submit an application for M4C doctoral scholarship open competition towards the end of their tenure and in addition to their research obligations. 

Entry requirements

  • A first-class undergraduate degree (or an equivalent overseas qualification), or shows evidence of achieving this before the start of the Masters degree
  • Standard English language requirements
  • Available to UK/EU applicants only
  • Available for full or part-time campus-based study
  • Able to start in the 2019-20 academic year

Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of the overall strength of the application - including consideration of previous academic attainment, relevant experience, references, and the personal statement.

Application Process

  1. Apply for a Masters course in a field covered by the AHRC subject area – to be submitted by a prospective student and not the host programme/department. Full list here
  2. Download and complete the DMU Connective Arts and Humanities Masters Scholarship application form
  3. Submit the following:
    1. evidence of acceptance on a DMU Masters course
    2. evidence of your academic qualifications
    3. evidence that you meet our English language entry requirements (if English is not your first language)
    4. two academic references
    5. completed DMU Connective Arts and Humanities Masters Scholarship application form
  1. Applications for the scheme will be assessed by a cross-faculty panel using the following criteria: eligibility (UK/EU applicants only; academic and/or professional background in the arts and humanities); academic background; relevant professional experience (if applicable); personal statement; references.

The deadline for applications for 2019 has now passed, and details for the 2020 call will be made shortly.  Please make enquiries to the M4C administrator at:

For specific details of the AHRC's subject coverage click here

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