Philip Murphy to oversee boost to doctoral training funded by AHRC

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Professor Philip Murphy from the School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London, has been confirmed as the new interim director of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) for the 2018–19 academic year. He will undertake this role on a 0.5 basis while continuing to serve as director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS) at SAS.

A major new tranche of support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) announced in August will enable LAHP, a partnership led by University College London (UCL), to continue to offer AHRC-funded doctoral studentships over the next five years, and will provide it with an important opportunity to develop its doctoral training activities across an expanded range of partners.

Professor Murphy, an internationally respected British Imperial and Commonwealth history scholar, commented: ‘This is an incredibly exciting opportunity to help guide the LAHP consortium through a crucial transitional year. We will be receiving our final cohort of students for the highly successful first phase of the partnership while also preparing the ground for the second phase.’

Since 2014, the LAHP consortium has brought together King’s College London, UCL and SAS. Next year it will expand to include the London School of Economics and Political Science, Queen Mary University of London, the Royal College of Art, the Royal Central School of Speech, and Drama and the Royal College of Music.

Professor Murphy added, ‘With an expanded set of partner institutions, the second phase of LAHP represents a chance to build on our achievements, and to offer an even more diverse and innovative London-based doctoral training environment which will equip our students with the skills they need in a rapidly changing world.’

‘I am delighted for Philip and for LAHP that he will take on this role. He has enormous experience and has been involved with the LAHP partnership from the outset. Building on this, he will do a terrific job in transitioning the consortium into the next stage,’ said Professor Rick Rylance, the School of Advanced Study’s dean.

The key values and strategy of the second phase of LAHP have been developed in consultation with six new cultural partners. Collaboration with the Museum of London, the Metropolitan Police and The National Archives will offer students the opportunity to engage with diverse London communities. Meanwhile, the V&A, Google and the Wellcome Trust will bring expertise to the design, digital and environmental strand of the LAHP training programme.

The partnership aims to deliver broad cross-disciplinary experience and training to students. LAHP students will be uniquely equipped to apply their knowledge across a range of environments from the cultural and creative industries, to public service, civic engagement and government, to legal, business and commercial enterprise.

LAHP’s vision recognises the changing culture of PhD education, and ultimately aims to transform employers’ perceptions of what a PhD can deliver. The doctoral training partnership will therefore support students to become experts in their chosen fields, while also developing a wide range of employability skills, suited to an increasingly digital and globalised world.

‘The AHRC is delighted to announce its renewed commitment to the Doctoral Training Partnerships model. Our support for the next generation of arts and humanities researchers is critical to securing the future of the UK arts and humanities sector, which accounts for nearly a third of all UK academic staff, is renowned the world over for its outstanding quality, and which plays a vital part in our higher education ecosystem as a whole,’ said Professor Edward Harcourt, AHRC’s director of research. 

‘We were extremely pleased with the response to our call, which saw high-quality applications from across the UK from a variety of diverse and innovative consortia, each with a clear strategy and vision for the future support of their doctoral students.’

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