Students Staff

15 October 2013

Major funding boost for arts and humanities research at the University of Essex

PhD students discuss their work

Essex creates a vibrant place to study for your PhD

Students applying for arts and humanities doctorates at the University of Essex and six other partner institutions across the South East will share in a £17m funding award announced by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) today (Tuesday 15 October 2013).

The funding is being awarded to CHASE (Consortium for Humanities and the Arts South-East England) – a partnership of seven institutions (The Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmiths, University of London, the Open University, and the Universities of East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Sussex) formed to promote excellence in research, postgraduate research training and knowledge exchange in the arts and humanities.

The successful CHASE bid, coordinated by the University of Sussex, was one of 18 successful bids out of 30 shortlisted to be awarded funding from the AHRC.

More than 230 students across the seven institutions stand to benefit from the award, over five years. The funding will cover fees, maintenance and professional development opportunities, including the enhancement of media skills and placements overseas or with prestigious arts organisations.

The £17million award will fund doctoral students who apply successfully to the members of the CHASE consortium. Applications will be considered jointly by the partner universities via four panels. Applications will be considered on a competitive basis.

The funding opportunity will be advertised to prospective students on partnership university web sites and on the CHASE web site in November 2013.

Professor Aletta Norval, Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Essex, said: “This award confirms Essex as a leading research university in the Arts and Humanities, and provides excellent funding opportunities for outstanding research students to participate in research and training across the consortium. Along with the six other partner institutions in CHASE, Essex has an exciting and vibrant Arts and Humanities community which has been recognised by this award.”

Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive of the AHRC, said: “This is an important step forward in delivering the best possible training and support for postgraduate students in the arts and humanities, and in developing a collaborative approach which pools expertise and expands horizons for postgraduate researchers.”

CHASE is one of just 11 Doctoral Training Partnerships announced by the AHRC. Partner organisations set to work with CHASE include Intel, British University Film and Video Council, British Library, V&A, National Portrait Gallery, Canterbury Cathedral, Tate, BFI and the BBC.

Leading academics at Essex

History "Information gathering and surveillance" - Professor Edward Higgs from University of Essex on Vimeo.

History "Midfield dynamo" - Dr Alison Rowlands from University of Essex on Vimeo.

Literature and creative writing: Professor Marina Warner from University of Essex on Vimeo.

Literature "All American boy" - Dr Owen Robinson from University of Essex on Vimeo.

Literature: Dr Canton speaks about his new book 'Out of Essex: Re-Imagining a Literary Landscape' from University of Essex on Vimeo.

Philosophy "Hands across the ocean" - Professor Wayne Martin from University of Essex on Vimeo.

Philosophy and the Essex Autonomy Project: Dr Fabian Freyenhagen from University of Essex on Vimeo.

Notes for Editors

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.

For further details please see the AHRC announcement online or contact AHRC Communications Manager Danielle Moore-Chick:

For information about the University of Essex contact Ben Hall in the Communications Office on 01206 874377 or e-mail:

For the latest news from the University of Essex go to:

...more news releases