World’s first national graduate school for the arts and humanities launched

  • £16.8 million funding for collaborative venture to train the next generation of research leaders
  • First cohort of students begins today
  • Bespoke research projects sought in partnership with business and industry
  • Competition for 50+ AHRC-funded studentships now open

Doctoral researchers in Scotland are set to benefit from a unique £16.8 million initiative that is launching today (Wednesday 1 October) to help train the next generation of professionals working in the arts and humanities.

The Scottish Graduate School for  Arts & Humanities (SGSAH) is the world’s first national graduate school for the arts and humanities, servicing 1,500 PhD students in the arts and humanities in HEIs across Scotland. It includes 16 higher education institutions plus a wide range of supporters and partners in the creative, cultural, arts and heritage sectors.

SGSAH today launches a competition to offer 50 PhD studentships, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), at one of eight Scottish HEIs. The AHRC are committed to providing up to 200 studentships over the next 4 years. It is also seeking bids from universities to work with public, private or third sector organisations to design bespoke doctoral research projects. The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is providing matched funding for these projects.

Professor Dee Heddon, the Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow, which is hosting the new development, said: “We are delighted to welcome our first cohort of students to the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities.We bring together distinctively diverse provision, internationally renowned expertise and unique and extensive resources to support the very best doctoral training for our students. Through this they will develop and use their skills, knowledge and experience across a wide range of specialisms to benefit culture, society and the economy in Scotland and beyond.”

Laurence Howells, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “The establishment of a Graduate School for Arts & Humanities in Scotland is a welcome and highly significant development, not least because it is supported by over 30 organisations from across the country.

“SFC’s investment of £1.8 million will help to give aspiring research leaders opportunities that simply were not there before including  the new Applied Research Collaborative Studentships. Crucially, it will help to direct all their talents and potential to the growth of the creative industries within the Scottish economy.

I’m delighted to see the first students being welcomed to the Graduate School and I wish them every possible success.” 

Professor Rick Rylance, CEO of ARHC, said: “The creation of the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities is a fine achievement and creates an exciting and imaginative environment for postgraduate research in Scotland. Through our Doctoral Training Partnership scheme we invited universities to work more closely together, drawing in partner organisations and sharing resources to offer students enhanced doctoral training. 

“We are delighted that the AHRC’s funding in Scotland supports this vision. We will follow the progress of this new national Graduate School for the arts and humanities with eager interest.”

Media enquiries: / 0141 330 3535

Notes for editors:

  1. Members of the SGSAH:
  1. Details of funding and training opportunities are available at:
  2. Funding for the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts & Humanities comprises: £14.2M for studentships and associated training from AHRC; £1.8M for infrastructure and bespoke partnership studentships from SFC; and £0.8M cash funding from member HEIs. The School is funded for five years in the first instance, from Academic Year 2014-15. 


First published: 30 September 2014

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