RCS Research recognised in funding boost

RCS Research recognised in funding boost

Published: 15/08/2018

The next generation of artistic and cultural leaders in Scotland are to benefit from £170 million of new funding for doctoral research in the UK.

For the first time, doctoral students applying for research study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will be eligible to apply for funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), through the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities (SGSAH) Doctoral Training Partnership, of which Scotland’s national conservatoire is a member. If successful, scholarship applicants will receive full funding, including a significant stipend, for the duration of their PhD research.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “At Scotland’s national conservatoire we’re committed to the highest quality postgraduate research, helping the next generation of artists and cultural leaders to develop and share work that will enrich society and make a profound and lasting impact on the world around them.

“World-class doctoral research is essential in helping us explore the rich seams of curiosity and creativity which thrive within the performing arts.”

The AHRC funding will support 190 PhD students across Scotland over the next five years. Additional funding will be provided by HEIs for a further 95 students. SGSAH is one of 10 consortia across the UK to be awarded funding as part of the AHRC’s £170 million Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs).

Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange at the Conservatoire, Professor Stephen Broad, added: “I am delighted that the Royal Conservatoire is a part of the successful SGSAH AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership. This award will offer new opportunities for outstanding doctoral applicants to join our distinctive and energetic research community as fully funded students, further extending the range and depth of our excellent postgraduate research.”

Professor Edward Harcourt, the AHRC’s Director of Research, said: “The AHRC is delighted to announce its renewed commitment to the Doctoral Training Partnerships model. Our support for the next generation of arts and humanities researchers is critical to securing the future of the UK arts and humanities sector, which accounts for nearly a third of all UK academic staff, is renowned the world over for its outstanding quality, and which plays a vital part in our higher education ecosystem as a whole.

“We were extremely pleased with the response to our call, which saw high-quality applications from across the UK from a variety of diverse and innovative consortia, each with a clear strategy and vision for the future support of their doctoral students.”

The AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership sits at the centre of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH).

Founded in 2014, SGSAH is the world’s first national graduate school for the arts and humanities, supporting 1750 doctoral researchers in 16 Higher Education Institutions across Scotland.

The Scottish Funding Council has awarded an additional £1.2 million to allow the graduate school to continue providing training opportunities, including paid doctoral internships and participation in its annual national Summer School, for students registered across all 16 HEIs, irrespective of their funding source.

Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Scotland’s culture and its economic growth are supported by our universities’ strength in the arts and humanities. SGSAH harnesses the collective leadership of the sector to ensure Scotland provides the very best training to doctoral students in these disciplines, across the whole country.

“SFC is pleased to continue our partnership with the AHRC and the Scottish universities to provide even more opportunities for the next generation of researchers in the arts and humanities.”

The graduate school has developed relationships with more than 100 industry organisations in the creative, cultural, arts and heritage sectors. Among the key strategic partners are BBC Scotland, British Council Scotland, Scottish Parliament and V&A London.

Professor Dee Heddon, Dean of SGSAH and Director of its Doctoral Training Partnership, said: “We are excited to begin the next stage in the journey of our Graduate School. We are committed to nurturing and inspiring a future generation of enlightened leaders who are alert to their influence and impact as knowledge makers, co-creators and connectors. Our doctoral researchers will be champions for arts and humanities research, demonstrating through their work the value of arts and humanities to society, industry and other disciplines.”

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