York secures £19m towards the arts and humanities

Yorkshire, led by the University of York, has come top in a UK-wide competition for doctorial training centres in the arts and humanities.

The successful bid, spearheaded by York’s professor Mark Ormrod, is expected to fetch the University more than £19m in funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to set up the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities.

Both the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield also took part in the successful bid, highlighting Yorkshire as one of the best places in the UK to study for a PhD in the arts and humanities ahead of other centres such as Oxford and Cambridge. The funding will be supplemented by a further £4m from the three universities.

The Doctoral Training Partnership award will allow the new White Rose College to recruit and train more than 300 fully-funded doctoral students over five years, with the first cohort starting in autumn 2014.

The council, funded by the government, provides some 700 awards and approximately £98m annually in public funding towards both arts and humanities research in the UK.

Professor Julian Richards of the University of York will become the new director of a research college for postgraduate study, funded directly by the award.

YUSU president, Kallum Taylor, told Nouse: “This is of course great news for the University; proving itself to be a leader not just regionally, but nationally. There are of course gaps in provisions elsewhere as we campaign on many, but this is certainly worth celebrating.

“For a University aged just 50, York’s making some huge waves and we’re excited to see what else is around the corner in its short, but hugely influential life time. May I pass on my congratulations to Professors Mark Ormrod and Julian Richards too, who’ve played key roles here.”

Professor Ormrod, the University’s Academic Coordinator for Arts and Humanities, said: “The quality, scale and purpose of this partnership means that the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities will be one of the leading AHRC funded programmes in the UK. The students will be part of a very strong learning environment, with collectively over 600 members of academic staff and approximately 1,000 doctoral students in the arts and humanities across the three universities.”

Professor Richards added: “The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities will provide the environment, support and opportunities to enable the brightest doctoral students to flourish and will equip them for their future careers. Students will benefit from an enhanced training programme, as well as funded opportunities to spend time with external organisations, in the UK or internationally, thus gaining the skills and experience valued by potential employers.”

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