Funding boost to enhance training for the next generation of social scientists


November 14th, 2023

Research leaders at the university are delighted to be among several higher education institutions to receive significant funding to advance research training provision for the next generation of social scientists.

The university is one of eight that form the Midlands Graduate School (MGS) partnership, which is set to receive the funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to support more than 300 PhD students.

The money will enable the recruitment of up to 68 PhD candidates a year for the next five years – a total of 340 PhDs – helping to ensure Midlands universities remain at the forefront of methodological advancements in social science.

The Midlands Graduate School is a consortium led by the University of Warwick, with academic partners including the University of Nottingham, Aston, Birmingham, Nottingham Trent, Leicester De Monfort and Loughborough. Collectively they form a Doctoral Training Partnership, whereby all eight partners work together to provide sector-leading training and support for researchers who are outstanding in their fields. The first cohort of students will be recruited to start in October 2024.

Professor Marek Korczynski, Academic Director at the University of Nottingham, is also Deputy Director of Midlands Graduate School.

He said: “I am delighted at the announcement of this funding, which means MGS will be able to recruit 68 PhD scholars for the next five years. What is so exciting and distinctive about these scholarships is that they not only support cutting-edge research by postgraduate researchers, but they also foster wider advanced skills that are crucial for the longer-term career development of these researchers.

“We are so proud that the University of Nottingham is one of the eight universities in the MGS that the ESRC has judged can provide high-quality, open and inclusive homes to so many postgraduate researchers.”

Through the funding award, the Midlands Graduate School will be at the forefront in training the next generation of social scientists and position itself as a central England hub for social science training and impact.

Postgraduate researchers will work within a stimulating multi-centre research environment where cutting edge training is responsive to the changing needs of a range of social science disciplines.

All PhD students in the Midlands region will have access to a range of opportunities and events, ensuring the benefits and impact of the MGS are wide reaching.

The consortium will collaborate closely with non-academic partners and engage with a wide range of local, regional, and national organisations from the public, private, and third sectors to ensure the funded projects have real-word social and economic impact.

The ESRC officially announced the funding on 7 November. It provided details of their investment in a total of 15 doctoral training partnerships (DTPs) over the next five years, spanning 89 different institutions.

The Midlands Graduate School is an accredited Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Partnership funding across the UK.

It provides a range of opportunities for delivering exceptional doctoral training across a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields of the social sciences, delivering cutting-edge and impactful research across the Midlands region.

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