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Kingston University receives major Arts and Humanities Research Council funding boost for doctoral studies

Posted Friday 18 October 2013

Kingston University is a member of two consortia that have been awarded a total of £15.9m by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to fund more than 200 postgraduate students in London and the south east. Both a new Doctoral Training Partnership – TECHNE – and the establishment of the London Doctoral Design Consortium (LDOC) will bring together leading academic institutions, cultural organisations and industry partners to provide innovative postgraduate training and support for the next generation of researchers.

Postgraduate studentsTECHNE, derived from the Greek work for craft, will address the national need for highly skilled researchers in disciplines across the arts and humanities and allow students to benefit from the diverse training opportunities and the expertise of all members. The partnership, led by Royal Holloway, also includes the University of Brighton, the University of Roehampton, the Royal College of Art, the University of Surrey and the University of the Arts London. It will be enhanced by placements and collaborations with 13 arts and cultural organisations, including the Barbican, the Natural History Museum, the British Film Institute, the Science Museum and the Museum of London.

The London Doctoral Design Consortium (LDOC) is a collaboration between Kingston University, The Royal College of Art, University of the Arts London and industry partners including BT, the British Fashion Council, and the Design Council. It is part of the AHRC's new funding of Centres for Doctoral Training and aims to attract high-calibre students to engage in practise-based research. Central to the investment is innovative postgraduate support, including the development of broader skills and working outside academia through industry placements.

Both awards recognise the quality of postgraduate research at Kingston and our internationally excellent research across the arts and humanities."We are delighted to have been awarded both block grant partnerships. Not only does it mean growth in PhD studentships it will also undoubtedly lead to enhanced collaboration across the institutions", said Professor Penny Sparke, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Kingston University. "

Professor Martin McQuillan, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences said: "In the context of tight budget settlements for RCUK and on-going policies of research concentration, it is a magnificent achievement for Kingston to be a successful member of 2 BGP [Block Grant Partnership] consortia. It is a great vote of confidence by the academic community in the quality of arts and humanities research at Kingston".

Postgraduate students 2TECHNE was praised by the AHRC's award panel for having robust partnerships with a focus on providing future opportunities for students, as well as tailored training and support in subjects such as art and design history and theory, English, fine art and philosophy.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said: "The AHRC is creating more opportunities for the next generation of researchers, both within and beyond academia in the thriving arts and humanities sector. I'm particularly pleased to see an emphasis on student placements and additional skills training among the new arrangements."

Professor Mark Llewellyn, Director of Research for the AHRC, said: "The AHRC's more flexible arrangement for postgraduate funding will support students to explore new opportunities to engage with deeper and broader skills alongside maintaining disciplinary capability. This investment by the AHRC will not only support university researchers but also enrich the contexts in which arts and humanities skills and capabilities engage with and contribute to advancement and growth in sectors across the wider UK economy."

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