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AHRC Project Studentships Change of Policy

Date: 25/07/2013

Over the past year Research Councils have been working to harmonise aspects of their doctoral training support. In light of these discussions, AHRC and ESRC have agreed to adopt the same approach as the other Research Councils and only support project students in strategic areas.

Later this year, the AHRC will close the Project Studentships option within its open call research grants scheme. In 2012, 24 of the grants awarded across all of AHRC's disciplinary areas had project studentships attached. In future, as indicated in our Delivery Plan 2011-15, we will only support project-based studentships in strategic and priority areas where there is demonstrable need for capacity building.

Project studentships may be available through targeted calls where there is a case for developing capability in a specific area. In such cases, the funding call will require applicants to specify the training environment to be provided by the Research Organisation(s) and plans for providing appropriate specialist training and development for the students concerned. In addition, where this will enhance the provision, the AHRC will consider allowing these studentships to have ‘open eligibility’; that is, to permit applications from international students as well as UK and EU nationals.

This change will take effect from 1 November 2013. It will not affect proposals submitted before that date. Thereafter project studentships will not be permitted on any research grant application except for those submitted under the current ‘Connected Communities and Design’ highlight notice (which closes on 15 January 2014) or where the call specifically states that you may apply for capacity-building studentships alongside the grant.

The AHRC is committed to supporting excellent research training and this will also continue through our Block Grant and Collaborative Doctoral award competitions. Both the AHRC Delivery Plan and the AHRC Strategy 2013-18 make clear that postgraduate funding will remain the largest single scheme in our funding. This currently amounts to more than £40million each year.

View the ESRC announcement on project studentships on their website.

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