New doctoral training fund to create research leaders

postgraduate student

15 August 2016

  • Aston and five partner universities secure Doctoral Training Partnership funding from ESRC
  • Training to be provided to help assure students’ futures as research leaders

Postgraduates studying social sciences at Aston University now have significantly wider access to funding thanks to a new Doctoral Training Partnership secured by the Midlands Graduate School.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) awarded the funding to the school – a partnership led by the University of Warwick with contributions from Aston, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester and Loughborough universities – as part of its launch of the Doctoral Training Network.

The Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) will provide extensive training for PhD and other research students across the core group’s strongest research areas, including economics, management and business, politics and history.


The training focuses on providing skills such as:

•             working in interdisciplinary teams

•             communicating research ideas and findings clearly

•             working alongside international partners

•             being equipped to undertake high-quality analytical work

•             handling different forms of data

•             collaborating with others

The DTP will also act as a hub for doctoral research across the Midlands through its wider links with associate member universities.

Professor Jane Elliott, ESRC chief executive, said: "Our new Doctoral Training Network will assure our students’ futures as research leaders by providing them with valuable skills including capabilities in communication, project-management and collaboration within and beyond academia."

The ESRC’s new Doctoral Training Network consists of 14 DTPs supporting over 500 research students across the UK. It has announced a significant boost in support for early career researchers and will fund 50 postdoctoral fellowships annually through the DTPs.

This replaces the ESRC’s current Doctoral Training Centres with the DTPs covering a larger number of UK institutions with an increase of 59 per cent, from 46 to 73.

From October 2017 students in the Midlands and other locations across the UK, including Northern Ireland for the first time, will benefit from being able to access the highest quality training in the social sciences, supplying the next generation of social science researchers with the skills, curiosity and creativity to be truly innovative.


Notes to the editor

  • Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established research-led university known for its world-class teaching quality and strong links to industry, government and commerce.
  • Julia King, The Baroness of Cambridge is our Vice-Chancellor - the principle academic and Executive Officer of the University. She sets the strategic direction for the university and is supported by an  Executive Team.

For more information, call Ben Kennedy, Press & PR Officer, on 0121 204 4592  or email