AHRC and ESRC drop PhD Support From Open Research Calls

The Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council have announced that they will only support PhD students in strategic areas.


The councils say that, from 1 November, no funding will be provided for project-linked students on applications to the ESRC’s responsive-mode research grants scheme and the AHRC’s open-call research grants scheme. The change, announced on 25 July, brings them in line with all of the other research councils except the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Of 63 relevant AHRC grants awarded in the financial year 2012-13, 24 had project studentships attached and so would have been affected by the changes.

An AHRC statement said it would only provide studentships through targeted calls “where there is a case for developing capability in a specific area”. However, it added that funding for postgraduate training is still “the largest single scheme in our funding” as it receives more than £40 million each year.

The ESRC will fund project studentships through strategic calls, such as centres, large grants and professorial fellowships, and both councils will provide continued funding through doctoral training centres.

The councils say any applications submitted before 1 November, and those undergoing review, will be honoured.

Source: Rebecca Hill, Research Professional