Major funding boost for arts and humanities research at Sussex

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

The funding was 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 £17m 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 Vicky Lebeau, who is Director of Doctoral Education at the University of Sussex and Director of CHASE, says: “We are delighted to have secured funding to support research students across the arts and humanities at Sussex and our partner institutions. CHASE has been working for two years to develop a new programme of interdisciplinary research training that draws on our distinctive intellectual traditions and our partnerships in the creative and cultural sector.

“Sussex students will benefit from an environment in which the values and dispositions associated with arts and humanities scholarship – inventiveness, craft, rigour, intuitive and counterintuitive insight – flourish by embracing the opportunities presented by developments in technology, media and research practice.”

Professor Michael Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Sussex, says: “I am very pleased by the news of this funding award, which will be of huge benefit to future research students at Sussex. The success of this bid highlights our commitment to developing research excellence in the arts and humanities at Sussex, and I applaud the efforts of colleagues in securing this award.”   

Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive of the AHRC, says: “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.”

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:

The Doctoral School at the University of Sussex oversees the University’s activities and commitments to doctoral researchers and research staff.  This involves a wide variety of activity and includes managing projects such as CHASE and the AHRC Cultural Engagement Fund studentships Culture Rich

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune and Jacqui Bealing. Tel: 01273 678 888. Email:

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Last updated: Tuesday, 15 October 2013