At our careers-orientated lab a few weeks ago, we heard about the trials and tribulations of trying to make it in the academic job market. Another element in building a strong academic profile that we didn't talk about too much is the ability to demonstrate a track record in attracting funding to support your research. With the government's repeated cuts to the research funding pot, their particular scrougeitude (yes, I'm aware that's not a word) for the Arts and Humanities, and the unpredictability of REF outcomes, finding your own sources of funding for your research is becoming increasingly important for budding scholars. In this sense, as well as escaping the financial and time-management turmoil of self-funding a PhD, securing part or full funding for your PhD can help to get your academic career off to a flying start.
So, finally, some good news, as Leicester is part of a new initiative, with other East Midlands universities, to dish out 410 PhD funding awards, courtesy of the AHRC, during the next five years. This will be across all the subject areas covered by the AHRC - not just History - but it's still great news for anyone hoping to get funding for a PhD in Leicester, Birmingham, or Nottingham. The call is open for people currently doing an MA, those with an MA but not yet in a PhD programme, or any PhD students recently started at any of the six partner universities who currently don't have funding. For all applicants, having a really strong, well-crafted, and intriguing proposal will be key to success, and so if you want to apply, make sure you book onto the Application Writing Workshop on 5 Dec. Parts of the programme for this will also be useful for any undergraduate finalists or current MA students who have an interest in applying for a PhD next year, or the year after. The scheme will run for five years, and it's never too early to start thinking about a proposal!
Follow the links to find out more info about the scheme, and the workshop. And good luck!!