Midlands4Cities PhD Studentships

Coventry University is proud to be one of eight universities in the Midlands4Cities (M4C) Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).

The Midlands4Cities DTP will fund and train the next generation of highly skilled arts and humanities researchers through PhD Scholarships.

Our consortium partners in the four cities of Nottingham, Birmingham, Leicester and Coventry are: Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, De Montfort University, University of Leicester, and the University of Warwick. We work together to support doctoral researchers.

What is an M4C scholarship?

M4C open call scholarships provide studentship funding for 3.5 years and enhanced support for professional development training to successful doctoral candidates. M4C collaborative (CDA) scholarships provide studentship funding for 4 years. (More detail about the specifics of these two awards on the M4C website). Funding for both covers fees and a maintenance grant at UKRI rates.

Am I eligible?

Applications are open to Home and EU candidates. EU candidates are eligible for fees only under AHRC terms, but M4C allocations are made, wherever possible, to also award a maintenance grant to successful EU candidates.

How many scholarships are available?

M4C expects to award up to 80 scholarships in an open call competition across the consortium. In addition M4C will be awarding a further 15 Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDA) through a linked competition with a range of partner organisations in the cultural, creative and heritage sector. Scholarships are awarded to the best candidates identified through our rigorous application process.

How do I apply for a M4C scholarship?

Applications open on the 14th October 2019. There are several parts to the application process which can take time. We recommend you contact a potential supervisor or supervisors as soon as you can and we encourage you to apply as early as possible.

There will be an application writing workshop at Coventry University on November 16th, which we encourage you to attend. Ideally you would have a good sense of your project, supervisory team, etc before the workshop. For full details on how to apply for the funding, please go to the Midlands4Cities website.

We suggest that applicants follow this procedure regarding the development of their Proposal:  

  1. Read the guidance and advice on the M4C website to ensure you are eligible and to decide if you want to apply.
  2. Contact a research centre or prospective supervisor and discuss your project ideas with them. As your project must fall within the scope of AHRC guidelines, most projects at Coventry will be located in one of the following research centres: C-DARE, CAMC, CPC, CTPSR. At least one of your supervisors would normally be a core or associate member of one of those research centres, but others on your team may be from outside that research centre, including from another M4C university.
  3. Develop your proposal before the application workshop on 16 November 2019.
  4. Attend the workshop, then revise your proposal accordingly in discussion with your supervisory team.
  5. Complete Coventry University and M4C applications in December 2019.


We suggest that applicants follow this procedure regarding References:  

  • Begin a Coventry application in order to get the required ID number;
  • Use this number to access the M4C portal;
  • Discuss choice of referees with prospective supervisor(s) then contact referees to prepare them for forthcoming reference requests from M4C and from Coventry;
  • Complete the M4C reference details form first, generating an automated request to referees;
  • Complete the reference section of the Coventry form, generating the second automated request.

Do my referees need to write two separate references?

Because you are applying for both a place at Coventry University AND an M4C scholarship through two application processes, your referees will be asked to complete two references. Coventry will accept the reference material used for M4C applications to help minimise the work required by the referees, however they will need to send the material to both M4C and Coventry separately. Please read the instructions carefully and pass this information on to your referees.

What is the deadline for applications?

The M4C final deadline for open call and CDA applications is 14th January 2020 12 noon, by which time all references and proposals should have been completed. The application process is multi-staged, so please start your application as soon as possible. There will be an application writing workshop at Coventry on Saturday 16th November 2019 to support you. Book your place.

What happens next?

Subsequent selection involves an interview at Coventry, then consideration by the M4C consortium selection panels. Final M4C funding award offers to successful applicants will be announced in the week of 6th April 2020.

Why Coventry?

We hope you will find a supervisory team from among the researchers in our arts and humanities focused research centres and will be inspired to conduct doctoral research with us at Coventry, or with a team from across the M4C consortium. One additional bonus of being located at Coventry is that currently all successful M4C scholars will be eligible for up to one year’s post doctoral fellowship on successful completion of their PhD as part of the Coventry M4C ‘routes out’ scheme.

Please check the M4C website first as the guidance is very comprehensive. If you still cannot find an answer, please email m4c.fah@coventry.ac.uk.

Our fields of expertise in areas such as:

  • Art History
  • Creative Writing
  • Creative Industries
  • English Language and Linguistics
  • Dance
  • Design
  • History
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Postdigital Cultures
  • Visual Arts

Any questions?

Please check the M4C website first as the guidance is very comprehensive. If you still cannot find an answer, please email m4c.fah@coventry.ac.uk.

How to apply to the open call:

The application closing date for the open call is 14 January 2020 (12 noon). You will need to complete Coventry University's and M4C's applications. 

How to apply to the CDA:

The closing date for Coventry University's application and the M4C funding application is 14 January 2020 (12 noon). Please note, this is a fixed deadline and early subimssion of completed applications is positively encouraged.

For full details of eligibility, funding, research supervision areas and CDA projects, and for dates of our November application writing workshops, please visit www.midlands4cities.ac.uk.

Our research opportunities

Coventry University's research strategy is underpinned by a £250m investment in research, our estate and facilities. It also:

  • enables our academics to apply fresh and original approaches to key research challenges 
  • informs their teaching 
  • provides opportunities for postgraduate students to participate in major research projects.

We currently offer a variety of PhD studentships to outstanding applicants, to areas of research undertaken by our Research Centres and our industrial collaborations.

To learn more about our full range of PhD studentships, please visit Research Degree Opportunities.

Coventry University ranked 15 in the UK
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year for student experience
QS Five Star Rating 2019
Coventry City of Culture 2021