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Postgraduate funding

Doctoral Training Partnerships

DTPs are block grant awards made to either individual Research Organisations (ROs), or consortia of ROs, to support postgraduate studentships across the breadth of the AHRC’s subject remit. DTPs provide innovative training environments for doctoral level research, with the opportunity for PhD students to undertake broader training or development opportunities

Centres for Doctoral Training

CDT awards are block grants made to consortia of Research Organisations (ROs), to complement the Doctoral Training Partnerships and  provide further capacity for postgraduate funding in priority areas: Design, Modern Languages and Heritage

Block Grant Partnerships

The majority of our postgraduate funding is made through Block Grant Partnerships. Awards are made to Research Organisations for postgraduate studentships in specific subject areas and schemes (Doctoral, Research Preparation Masters and Professional Preparation Masters).

Block Grant Partnerships - Capacity Building


The BGP: Capacity Building Scheme was open to all Research Organisations that did not receive a BGP award. Awards were made for postgraduate studentships in specific subject areas and schemes (Doctoral, Research Preparation Masters and Professional Preparation Masters). 

Collaborative Doctoral Awards

This scheme provides opportunities for doctoral students to gain first hand experience of work outside an academic environment. It supports collaborative research studentships based within partnerships between higher education institutions and organisations in the public, voluntary or private sectors.

Collaborative Skills Development Call

The AHRC’s Collaborative Skills Development call is aimed at supporting the development of innovative, collaborative training packages for PhD students and early career researchers in the arts and humanities.

International Placement Scheme

This scheme supports and encourages the placement of UK postgraduate students and early career researchers on short-term fellowships at overseas research institutions.

AHRC and POST Fellowships Scheme 

The scheme provides an opportunity for 2 AHRC funded postgraduate students to be seconded to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) to assist in producing objective briefing materials for MPs and Peers. 

Policy Internships

NERC, in collaboration with the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), organise internship placements for current NERC, BBSRC and AHRC funded PhD students to work in one of eight host organisations on a policy topic relevant to both the student and the host. The student will be expected to produce a briefing paper, participate in a policy inquiry and/or organise a policy event.

Current award holders

Full details of the terms and conditions of your award are detailed in the Training Grant Guide. Students with questions about their funding or award should contact their Research Organisation in the first instance.

Careers and training

The AHRC careers and training strategy aims to develop and support researchers to be well prepared for a diverse range of careers within and outside academia through a variety of activities.


AHRC Project Studentships

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. 

ESRC Project Studentships statement (opens in new window) 

Further details on the application process for grant-linked studentships is in our Research Funding Guide (PDF 755KB, opens in new window)