RCA Joins AHRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership

The Royal College of Art today announces its participation in the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), a doctoral training partnership that has been awarded funding by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and is led by University College London. This partnership will provide RCA research students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge, expertise and practice through links with cultural institutions, and to join a community of researchers from a broad range of disciplines within arts and humanities.

Dr Emma Wakelin, Director of Research and Innovation at the RCA, commented: ‘We are delighted to be joining the LAHP and look forward to the interdisciplinary opportunities for collaboration and inquiry the partnership will bring. This support from the AHRC recognises the excellence of the College’s research and will enable us to continue providing dynamic support for doctoral students to become leading academic researchers and creative industry innovators.’

The LAHP will fund and train postgraduate students over five annual cohorts from October 2019. Alongside the RCA, the partnership includes seven other higher education institutions: King’s College London, London School of Economics and Political Science, Queen Mary University of London, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, the Royal College of Music, the School of Advanced Study (University of London) and University College London.

The partnership will deliver a cross-disciplinary training environment open to over 2,300 postgraduate research students from across the partner institutions. 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.

Discussing the announcement of the partnership, Professor Edward Harcourt, the AHRC’s Director of Research, Strategy and Innovation said: ‘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.’

‘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.’

The LAHP’s key values and strategy have been developed in extensive 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. The V&A, Google and the Wellcome Trust will bring expertise to the design, digital and environmental strand of the LAHP training programme.

Through working closely with its cultural partners and drawing inspiration from the vibrant capital city of London, students will be supported to become civically-minded, globally-aware, socially-engaged, impactful and ethically-informed scholars. 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.


Find out more about Research Degrees at the RCA and how to apply.