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

The Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) will fund and train the next generation of highly skilled arts and humanities researchers through PhD scholarships.

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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.


  • 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.

  • Applications are open to Home and International candidates. Please refer to the M4C website for the criteria.

  • 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.

    For full details on how to apply for the funding, please go to the Midlands4Cities website.

  • Applications open on the 16 October 2023. 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.

    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: Centre for Dance Research, Centre for Arts Memory and Communities, Centre for Post Digital Cultures and Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations. At least one of your supervisors would be a 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.
    4. Attend the workshop, then revise your proposal accordingly in discussion with your supervisory team.
    5. Complete Coventry University and M4C applications by 10 January 2024.

    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.
  • 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.

  • The M4C final deadline for open call and CDA applications is 10 January 2024 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 in November, further details to follow.

  • 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 around April 2024.

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

Why Coventry University?

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.

Explore our arts and humanities research centres:

Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities

Centre for Dance


Centre for Postdigital Cultures

Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations

One additional bonus of being located at Coventry University 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.

Coventry's academic community are experts in areas including:

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

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