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    Hey,

    I just wondered if anyone could give me some advice on securing funding for a history PhD? I'm currently a masters student specialising in medieval history at the University of Glasgow, and having grown increasingly disillusioned with the slim prospect of funding, I decided not to apply for a PhD this year.

    I just wondered if anybody has any advice for future applicants? I know from the advice I've received, the AHRC funding is nigh on impossible to get (?). I hope to apply next year to take up a place in Sept 2014. I have my topic and supervisor in place, but part of me thinks 'what's the point?!'.

    Thanks
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    (Original post by matt123...)
    Hey,

    I just wondered if anyone could give me some advice on securing funding for a history PhD? I'm currently a masters student specialising in medieval history at the University of Glasgow, and having grown increasingly disillusioned with the slim prospect of funding, I decided not to apply for a PhD this year.

    I just wondered if anybody has any advice for future applicants? I know from the advice I've received, the AHRC funding is nigh on impossible to get (?). I hope to apply next year to take up a place in Sept 2014. I have my topic and supervisor in place, but part of me thinks 'what's the point?!'. I have friends who have been accepted onto PhD programmes from this Sept (it seems that's the easy part), but the funding is a whole different board game. Any guidance would be great.

    Thanks
    What exactly do you want people to say? AHRC funding is the major source of doctoral funding for history students. Your university might have a studentship or two. There might even be an external studentship funded by a charity, historical organisation or museum. But ultimately all these will be extremely competitive.

    All you can do is make sure your supervisor is a perfect match for your research interests and improve your chances of being successful above other candidates (e.g. publish something relevant).

    Alternatively, you can self-fund on a part-time basis. But there are long-term career and financial consequences with that route so ultimately you are the only one who can decide whether a PhD is that important.
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    Thanks for your reply. Sorry, I didn't make this very clear. I didn't mean to just have a late night ramble about a lack of funding, I was more interested in the ways potential applicants could get a step ahead. Thanks for the suggestions.
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    Here's a link to the new AHRC Strategy 2013-18 document:
    http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/News-and-Event...gy-2013-18.pdf

    Read it cover to cover, and make sure that your research proposal addressess as many aspects as possible. I'd particularly focus on the Themes on page 15, which are:

    - Care for the future
    - Digital transformation
    - Science in culture
    - Translating cultures
    - Connected communities

    It's interesting that for an Arts and Humanities organisation, they've developed core themes involving computing and science. I'm scratching my head over these aspects.

    Sad to say, a solid topic and the support of a top notch supervisor will no longer suffice. One of the people on my Masters course wrote her proposal under one highly-respected academic, was offered a research place at Oxford under another, and still failed to secure the AHRC funding which would let her continue. You really need someone to help write (or at least critique) your draft proposal, who understands the Brave New AHRC World. It's no longer enough to find someone who's had an excellent research track record and success rate for the last twenty years, as they're unlikely to have a firm grip on what the AHRC now wants from its funded research.

    My current uni is still trying to unravel the AHRC document, but the main thing it's picked up on so far is that academic publication alone is no longer acceptable as a way of disseminating information. Start Tweeting!
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    A good place to look for funding (not just from Research Councils) is www.jobs.ac.uk
    Scroll down to the bottom of the first page to 'Studentships'. The peak time for Humanities ads seems to be approx Jan to May.

    If you identify a Dept/Uni you are interested in applying to, it always worth an email briefly explaining your research idea and asking what funding might be available. Sometimes Dept funding doesnt get widely advertised or there might be a Dept research project about to kick off that could incorporate your PhD etc etc.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    Here's a link to the new AHRC Strategy 2013-18 document:
    http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/News-and-Event...gy-2013-18.pdf

    Read it cover to cover, and make sure that your research proposal addressess as many aspects as possible. I'd particularly focus on the Themes on page 15, which are:

    - Care for the future
    - Digital transformation
    - Science in culture
    - Translating cultures
    - Connected communities

    It's interesting that for an Arts and Humanities organisation, they've developed core themes involving computing and science. I'm scratching my head over these aspects.

    Sad to say, a solid topic and the support of a top notch supervisor will no longer suffice. One of the people on my Masters course wrote her proposal under one highly-respected academic, was offered a research place at Oxford under another, and still failed to secure the AHRC funding which would let her continue. You really need someone to help write (or at least critique) your draft proposal, who understands the Brave New AHRC World. It's no longer enough to find someone who's had an excellent research track record and success rate for the last twenty years, as they're unlikely to have a firm grip on what the AHRC now wants from its funded research.

    My current uni is still trying to unravel the AHRC document, but the main thing it's picked up on so far is that academic publication alone is no longer acceptable as a way of disseminating information. Start Tweeting!
    That's as interesting point you make about computing, I know from my own masters programme, there's been a heavy emphasis on historical computing.

    And yeah, it seems social networking is pivotal. I'm currently running a (pretty mediocre) wordpress with posts re: my dissertation research. I guess things like that can't harm my chances...
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    "I just wondered if anyone could give me some advice on securing funding for a history PhD?"

    Hey -

    I would say don't give up until you've applied! I reckon the most important piece advice would be to write a great dissertation - (with a high score) this summer - and let it act as a stepping stone to your PhD research proposal.

    Also, it is worth remembering that good references are really important - there is obviously less you can do about that, but do remember to ask your referees in plenty of time, make sure they are well versed in your proposed research and have a good understanding of your (academic) past and reasons for study.

    I was rejected by funding while doing my MA and was really crushed. But I reapplied this year with a strong dissertation score and am in the crazy position of getting two funding offers.

    Good luck with it!!
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    I would suggest that you connect yourself to the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) - the UK's national centre for research in history - to find out more about current research topics in history, to join the relevant history networks, and to find out about funding, research training and more.
    IHR website
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    I have applied for ESRC funding this year, and since I haven't heard yet whether I'm successful I'm not really in a position to give advice on how to get research council funding.

    However, I did successfully apply for two bursaries to pursue the (taught) master's degree that I'm doing at the moment. I was also told that I'd never get funding for that as bursaries are so few and far between, but just remember that even if there are only two bursaries, that still means that two people will be successful, and you could be one of those two. It takes a lot of time and dedication to apply for funding, I spent ages on my PhD research proposal. However, if it works out then it will have all been worth it, if not, then at least I'll have gained some new knowledge simply from writing the proposal.

    I do recommend getting your supervisor (and 2nd supervisor if you have one) involved in the writing of your proposal. They'll have supervised people before and may have a good idea of what the AHRC is looking for. I think I ended up re-writing my proposal about five times based on comments from my 2 supervisors after every draft. However, it's a fine balance between improving your proposal and knowing when to stop. Every time my supervisors would have lots of advice and comments, but you'll need to decide what to take on board and what to ignore, and most of all, when to say stop, and submit it, otherwise you'll be re-writing forever. Also, I think having two people commenting on your draft is great, because they'll often pick up on different things. However, if you have two supervisors, they'll probably end up contradicting each other, so you'll have to decide what to take on board and then tactically explain to the other why you've decided to ignore their advice!
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    (Original post by matt123...)
    Hey,

    I just wondered if anyone could give me some advice on securing funding for a history PhD? I'm currently a masters student specialising in medieval history at the University of Glasgow, and having grown increasingly disillusioned with the slim prospect of funding, I decided not to apply for a PhD this year.

    I just wondered if anybody has any advice for future applicants? I know from the advice I've received, the AHRC funding is nigh on impossible to get (?). I hope to apply next year to take up a place in Sept 2014. I have my topic and supervisor in place, but part of me thinks 'what's the point?!'.

    Thanks
    Don't give up is my advice

    Next year the new BGP consortia will be in place thus apparently making research centres of specific subject areas.

    Keep an eye on jobs.ac.uk; be prepared to be flexible and make sure references and proposal are top notch.

    Funding has an element of luck to it especially in History
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    It's interesting that for an Arts and Humanities organisation, they've developed core themes involving computing and science. I'm scratching my head over these aspects.
    Probably the chilling grip of the digital humanities.
 
 
 
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