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New opportunities for postgraduate study in the Midlands

The University of Leicester is joining other Midlands universities to become part of the ESRC's new Doctoral Training Network

Posted by Hannah Oakman | September 02, 2016 | Students

The University of Leicester is working with a consortium of Midlands universities to open up a range of new opportunities for postgraduate study in the region.

The Midlands Graduate School, led by the University of Warwick, has been awarded a Doctoral Training Partnership from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership forms part of the ESRC’s new Doctoral Training Network which significantly widens access for postgraduates to ESRC funding across the UK.

The new Network consists of 14 Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and two Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), supporting over 500 research students annually across the UK. The ESRC has announced a significant enhancement of support for early career researchers and will fund 50 Postdoctoral Fellowships annually through the DTPs. The University of Leicester will work in a consortium with Warwick, Nottingham, Birmingham, Loughborough and Aston universities to form the Midlands Graduate School DTP.

Commenting on the announcement Professor Nicholas Gane of the University of Warwick’s Department of Sociology and DTP Director said: “The new Midlands Graduate School is an exciting development that will open up a range of opportunities for postgraduate study in the social sciences across the region.”

Professor Chris Hughes, Chair of Warwick’s Faculty of Social Sciences, added: “The DTP will prove to be a further tremendous driver of collaboration and interdisciplinary research within Social Sciences and cross-Faculty at Warwick, and with our partners across the entire Midlands region.”

Drawing on excellent research at Leicester, Aston and Loughborough, the Midlands Graduate School DTP will offer innovative new training in Area Studies, Museum Studies and Communication and Media, and will be a hub for doctoral research across the Midlands through its wider links with a number of Associate Member universities.

Dr Sally Horrocks, DTP lead at the University of Leicester, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work with our partners in universities across the region to develop postgraduate provision in all the Colleges at Leicester.  We also look forward to the prospects the Midlands Graduate School DTP will offer for working with collaborators outside the university sector.”

The new national DTP Network replaces the ESRC’s current Doctoral Training Centres, with the DTPs covering a larger number of UK institutions with an increase of 59 per cent, from 46 to 73.

From October 2017 students in the Midlands and other locations across the UK, including Northern Ireland for the first time, will benefit from being able to access the highest quality training in the social sciences, supplying the next generation of social science researchers with the skills, curiosity and creativity to be truly innovative.

The training focuses on providing skills such as:

  • working in interdisciplinary teams
  • communicating research ideas and findings clearly
  • working alongside international partners
  • being equipped to undertake high-quality analytical work
  • handling different forms of data
  • collaborating with others

Professor Jane Elliott, ESRC Chief Executive, said: "Our new Doctoral Training Network will assure our students’ futures as research leaders by providing them with valuable skills including capabilities in communication, project-management and collaboration within and beyond academia."

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