University of Nottingham
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M4C offer

The M4C offer

M4C’s commitment to postgraduate training and support offers students creative opportunities to develop skills and attributes for research, life and work.



Full-time studentship

A full-time studentship award consists of three parts:

  • Payment of approved fees (as set and agreed by UK Research and Innovation), currently £4,260 p.a. for 2018/19.
  • Maintenance grant (or stipend) for the student, currently £14,777p.a. for 2018 entry.
  • Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) which supports UK/ overseas fieldwork and attendance at conferences (by application for current PhD students).
  • Collaborative Doctoral Award holders will receive an additional £500 per annum to facilitate partnership working. 

Part-time studentship

A part-time studentship consists of:

  • Payment of approved pro-rata part-time fees.
  • A pro-rata maintenance grant at 50% (stipend).
  • Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) which support UK/ overseas fieldwork and attendance at conferences (by application for current PhD students). 

EU fees-only studentship

An EU fees-only studentship, which can be full-time or part-time, consists of:

  • Payment of approved fees (as set and agreed by the Research Councils).
  • Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) which includes UK/ overseas fieldwork and attendance at conferences (by application for current PhD students).

Where institutional funds allow, M4C may be able to offer a fully-funded studentship to EU applicants. This is not guaranteed but we hope to be able to offer stipends whenever possible.


Midlands4Cities enables you to draw on supervisory expertise from across the eight universities that comprise the M4C doctoral training partnership. This allows you to find the perfect supervisory team for your project within a single university or across institutions.

Open Doctoral Awards

Supervisory teams for M4C students will normally consist of two academic specialists with the option to add a third supervisor or mentor from an external partner organisation according to the needs of the project. This flexibility is informed by our vision to facilitate graduate research along collaborative and interdisciplinary lines.

Your lead supervisor can advise on the composition of the supervisory team and the expertise required.

You will need to be accepted to study by the university where your lead academic supervisor is based (your "home" university).

Find a supervisor

Collaborative Doctoral Awards

For collaborative doctoral awards, your supervisory team is already in place as part of the project specification.

The team will be made up of two academic supervisors from an M4C university plus a member of staff from the external partner organisation linked to the project.

You will need to be accepted to study by the university where the lead academic supervisor is based (your "home" university).

Collaborative doctoral awards


Our postgraduate research training is underpinned by a vision that we call ‘quality thesis plus.’ It:

  • equips you with the skills necessary for academic success
  • provides access to training and professional development opportunities that will enable you to fully engage with the broadest possible range of employment opportunities.

‘Quality thesis plus’ recognises the training and professional development activities that enable us all to fully engage with multiple, not just academic, career opportunities.


M3C Student Advisory Forum, 2014


Midlands Arts Programme (MAP)

As an M4C student, you will have access to the Midlands Arts Programme, a customised programme of research and employability training that enables you to explore what it means to be an arts and humanities researcher in the twenty-first century.

This includes events that:

  • develop skills
  • deepen research networks
  • path-find professional careers
  • offer ‘routes-out’ training support for M4C Fellows after submission of the PhD thesis.

Recent examples

  • Lifting the Lid on Creative Employment (facilitated by  Bird&Gorton)
  • Talking Heads: Interviewing in the Arts
  • Academic Writing the Creative Way (facilitated by  Royal Literary Fund)
  • The Logic of the Archive
  • Medieval Midlands
  • Presence and Impact Coaching (facilitated by Vox)
  • Human Rights Challenges in the 21st Century
  • Mental Health Medical Humanities

student notes

Tina & Anna's one-on-one advice and immersive training helped me overcome a long-lasting writing block, I have taken a different approach to writing and feel more in control and able to think creatively.


Ceciel Brouwer
Academic Writing the Creative Way


Individual M4C universities

M4C brings the best elements of each institution’s research training together. Regardless of your home university, you will have opportunities to access training offered by Graduate Schools and Doctoral Colleges across the Partnership, and apply for courses distinctive to our eight partner universities. This can range from specialised language training to theoretical and practice-based masters modules that can be audited by M4C students.

Training funds

Student Development Fund (SDF)

SDF supports individual students and helps fund research placements, employability placements, field trips, conference participation, and other forms of specialist training.

Cohort Development Fund (CDF)

CDF supports training, development and research activities for the wider cohort of M4C students. Many of these activities are developed and organised by M4C students themselves. Examples include:

  • Research Festival
  • Policy Engagement training
  • Brilliant Club tutoring in schools
  • Journey to Justice exhibition

Research Training Support Grant (RTSG)

The RTSG can be used to support UK or overseas study visits, and attendance at overseas conferences.

Tia Monique Pilgrim

In 2017 I was awarded SDF money to go to The University of the West Indies in Jamaica. This was an amazing experience that allowed me disseminate my research on an international stage and network with key scholars and practitioners specialising in Caribbean dance.

Tia-Monique Uzor


Research environment

The eight universities that comprise M4C offer excellent infrastructure and facilities that support a high quality student experience at every level of the doctoral and early career research lifecycle. These include:

  • extensive institutional library and archive resources
  • professional performance and rehearsal spaces
  • exhibition, gallery and museum spaces in all four cities
  • extensive institutional collections and regional collections held by Museum and Gallery services of the four cities
  • digital humanities resources
  • language centres with virtual learning environments and digital teaching suites
  • extensive corpora and digital corpus facilities
  • well-founded laboratories in materials analysis, microscopy, motion capture, transport design, and interactive wearables.
digital humanities summer school
The Digital Arts and Humanities Summer School was really about being ambitious. We wanted to not only see how diverse a group of new skills we could make available to PhD students, but also how impactful it could be in the long-term.

Supporting interdisciplinarity

A strong tradition of interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research exists between the eight universities of M4C with many interdisciplinary centres operating across the midlands. Examples include:


Priority areas

M4C has identified six interdisciplinary priority areas that, across the life of the partnership, will form the basis of activities designed to connect arts and humanities communities across the Midlands region. These are:

  • creative economy
  • conflict and societal change
  • gender and sexuality
  • medical humanities
  • translation
  • transnational justice.

journey to justice

Working on Journey to Justice: Nottingham was an amazing experience. I learnt a lot during my time as postgraduate project lead and developed a range of skills that will prove invaluable in years to come.



Placements provide mutually beneficial opportunities for both doctoral students and host organisations. A placement allows doctoral students to gain first-hand experience of work outside the university environment and to develop valuable skills that enhance their employability prospects. In turn, host organisations are enabled to work with talented and enthusiastic research students who bring a fresh approach, their subject-specific specialist knowledge, and their research and analytic skills.

Placements can be for up to six months, and are supported by M4C’s partnership and placements manager. Our students have undertaken a range of placements with organisations including:

  • British Film Institute
  • Tate Modern
  • Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
  • Nottingham Contemporary
  • The Brilliant Club
  • The British Museum
  • Museum and Gallery Services of Nottingham and Leicester
  • National Civil War Centre
  • Red Earth Theatre
  • Boots Archive
  • National Holocaust Centre and Museum
  • National Videogame Arcade

See our complete list of partners


Online hub

The Virtual Postgraduate Platform (VPP) is a digital online hub specifically designed for Midlands4Cities doctoral researchers and supervisors. It provides a shared point of access for:

  • training
  • resources
  • cohort activities
  • professional development opportunities
  • cross-institutional community-building.

The VPP allows students and supervisors to share documentation, and for M4C students to network, communicate and present their research interests and activity through a searchable student profile space. 

Visit the VPP