UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD AHRC DOCTORAL TRAINING PARTNERSHIP (for October 2016 entry) Notes of Guidance for Applicants for AHRC Doctoral Awards

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1 UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD AHRC DOCTORAL TRAINING PARTNERSHIP 2016 (for October 2016 entry) Notes of Guidance for Applicants for AHRC Doctoral Awards V2; December 2015

2 CONTENTS Section 1 Summary and FAQs Section 2 About the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Scheme Section 3 How to apply for funding Section 4 Programmes of Study eligible for AHRC DTP Doctoral Awards Section 5 Academic eligibility Section 6 Residency eligibility Section 7 Research Training Section 8 Assessing the applications Section 9 Results of the competition Section 10 Taking up an award Appendix A: Disclosure of information, Data Protection and Freedom of Information Appendix B: AHRC s Key Terms and Conditions for award holders Appendix C: Equal Opportunities Statement for Students 2

3 SECTION 1 SUMMARY AND FAQ ABOUT THESE NOTES OF GUIDANCE 1 These Notes of Guidance are intended for those who want to be considered by the University of Oxford for an AHRC doctoral award (under the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership scheme) to support their study from October This document sets out the rules of eligibility for awards, the types of awards provided, the procedures for assessment, and the financial value of awards. All applicants for admission to a doctoral degree who are deemed to meet the AHRC eligibility criteria will be considered for AHRC studentships, based on their applications for admission to the University. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 2 This section describes the questions you might ask regarding AHRC awards at the University of Oxford, and provides brief answers to these questions. You should refer to the relevant section of these Notes of Guidance to find more detailed information. 3 What types of postgraduate funding does the AHRC provide? (i) There are three main schemes through which the AHRC supports postgraduate students: Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) DTPs are block grant awards made to either individual Research Organisations (ROs), or consortia of ROs, to support postgraduate studentships across the breadth of the AHRC s subject remit. In particular, it provides support for students undertaking doctoral study and also provides a limited amount of support for students intending to proceed to doctoral study who are undertaking a Master s course which will prepare them for doctoral research. Doctoral Training Centres (DTCs) AHRC is also, from 2014, funding a number of Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) in order to complement the Doctoral Training Partnerships scheme, and provide further capacity for postgraduate funding in priority areas: Design, Modern Languages and Heritage. CDT awards are block grants made to consortia of Research Organisations (ROs), over a period of five cohorts, to support doctoral studentships in specific areas. The University of Oxford is a partner in two CDTs: the AHRC Doctoral Programme in Celtic Languages and the CEELBAS (Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies) AHRC Consortium. Collaborate Doctoral Award Schemes Collaborative Doctoral Awards are intended to encourage and develop collaboration and partnerships between Higher Education Institution (HEI) departments and non-academic organisations and businesses. These awards provide opportunities for doctoral students to gain first-hand experience of work outside an academic environment. (ii) Within these schemes, there are two main types of AHRC awards: Full awards cover maintenance, University tuition fees and college fees. Fees-only awards cover University tuition fees and college fees, and do not include a maintenance grant. 3

4 What are AHRC Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs)? 4 From 2014 AHRC is directing the majority of its postgraduate funding into Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs). DTPs are block grant awards made to either individual Research Organisations (ROs), or consortia of ROs, to support postgraduate studentships across the breadth of the AHRC s subject remit. DTPs will provide innovative training environments for doctoral level research, with the opportunity for doctoral students to undertake broader training or development opportunities, such as language learning, overseas research visits, or placements with non-academic partners. How many AHRC awards are available at the University of Oxford? 5 The University of Oxford expects to award around 40 AHRC doctoral (and up to 10 Master s awards) in under the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) scheme. Are there AHRC doctoral awards for my doctoral programme at the University of Oxford? 6 See Section 5 for a list of doctoral programmes for which AHRC awards are available. Am I eligible to be considered? (See Sections 5 and 6) 7 Your eligibility depends on academic and residency criteria: (i) Academic criteria: to be eligible for an AHRC doctoral award, you should normally have gained a first degree from a recognised HEI, and you are normally expected to have been awarded, or to be studying for, a Master s degree or similar postgraduate qualification. (ii) Residency criteria: to be eligible for an AHRC award, you must be ordinarily resident in the UK (for a full award covering fees and maintenance) or another European Union country (for a fees-only award). How do I apply? (See section 3) 8 All applicants for admission to a Master s degree or doctoral degree who are deemed to meet the AHRC eligibility criteria will be considered for AHRC studentships, based on their applications for admission to the University. 9 For information about applying for a postgraduate programme at the University of Oxford, see: What is the closing date? 10 Some programmes of study at the University of Oxford have more than one deadline. If you wish to be considered for an AHRC studentship, you must apply by the January application deadline (22 January 2016 for all eligible subject areas, except Philosophy and Politics, where the deadline is 8 January 2016). If I have already started my doctoral degree, may I apply for an AHRC award? 11 You may apply if you have already commenced your doctoral study; the minimum period that the AHRC will support is two years full-time (it is not possible to receive an AHRC doctoral award for just one year). If I have applied for a doctoral award before, can I be considered again? 12 You may re-apply if you have applied for an AHRC doctoral award before and been unsuccessful. 4

5 If I have already completed a doctoral degree, may I apply for an AHRC doctoral award? 13 No: candidates who already hold a doctoral degree are not eligible for an AHRC doctoral award. How will my AHRC application be assessed? (See section 8) 14 Your AHRC application will be assessed by the relevant University Admitting Body (UAB), i.e. the faculty or department at the University of Oxford which admits students to the course for which you are applying. UABs will select candidates to be nominated for AHRC awards. The University has set up an AHRC DTP Panel, which will manage and monitor the AHRC DTP process and confirm the final awards. 15 Each application is judged on its own merits. The UAB s assessment is based on information and evidence provided in your application about your ability, aptitude, commitment and preparedness for postgraduate study. What are my chances of gaining an award? 16 The competition each year is fierce and the quality of applications is always very high. How will I know if I have been successful? (See section 9) 17 Your UAB (faculty or department) will inform you whether (a) you will be nominated for an award, or (b) your name has been put on a reserve list, or (c) you have not been selected for nomination for an AHRC award. We will only be able to inform successful applicants. If you have not heard from us by 30 April 2016 you may conclude that you have not been successful on this occasion. What if I have further questions? 18 If your question is not covered in these Notes of Guidance, please send your query to Jeremy Moyse in the Humanities Graduate Studies Office, University of Oxford, on 5

6 SECTION 2 ABOUT THE AHRC DOCTORAL TRAINING PARTNERSHIP SCHEME What is the financial basis of AHRC DTP Awards? 1 A full doctoral award (for eligible students ordinarily resident in the UK) for full-time study covers the cost of: University tuition fees (at standard rates - up to a maximum of 4,052 in ). This is the maximum rate set by the Research Councils collectively. The cost of College fees is paid for not by the AHRC, but by the University. A maintenance grant ( 14,057 in for 12 months of a DPhil programme at the University of Oxford). Awards are renewed on an annual basis, subject to satisfactory progress. If the award is for a period of less than 12 months in any year, your grant will be reduced pro-rata to reflect the number of days for which you will be fully registered. Additional allowances for disabled students, where appropriate. Additional support towards the costs of fieldwork or study visits for students pursuing doctoral research. 2 A fees-only award (for eligible students ordinarily resident in an EU country other than the UK) covers the cost of University tuition fees and college fees see above for details. The award does not include a maintenance grant. Fees-only award holders may be eligible for additional support towards the costs of fieldwork or study visits and for disabled students allowances. 3 Awards for part-time doctoral students include payment of approved University tuition fees and college fees; a maintenance grant up to a maximum of 60% of the equivalent of a full-time award; and additional allowances for disabled students, where appropriate. You may also be entitled to additional support towards the costs of fieldwork or study visits. 4 Approved fees do not include the costs of residence, which you must pay out of your maintenance grant. No separate payment will be made towards fees for any examination, caution money, or any deposit ultimately repayable to you. The AHRC will not pay charges for typing or binding a thesis or any fees incurred for training courses. What length of funding is available? 5 Doctoral awards will support a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years of full-time study, or a minimum of four years and a maximum of six years of part-time study. If you have already received support for postgraduate study or if you have already commenced your doctoral study, the period of your award may be reduced. What additional allowances and grants does the AHRC provide? 6 AHRC award holders may be eligible for the following additional allowances: Disabled Students Allowance: if you have a long-term disability and as a result of your disability you are obliged to incur additional expenditure in connection with your studies, you may be eligible for an extra allowance. This may cover costs relating to additional daily expenses, equipment, or non-medical help. The AHRC will consider meeting only those costs that are incurred directly and solely as a consequence of you taking up an AHRC award to pursue postgraduate study. This allowance is available to all award holders, full-time, part-time and fees-only. Contributions toward fieldwork costs and study visits: 6

7 o UK study visits (normally one during your award) o Overseas study visits (one during your award) o Overseas conferences (one during your award). These allowances may be available to those with a part-time award. Am I allowed to hold other grants or undertake paid work? 7 AHRC awards are not means-tested and financial need is not a factor in the assessment process. It is not permissible to hold two awards concurrently that are intended for the same purpose, though it may be possible for you to hold additional bursaries or grants where these are intended to supplement your AHRC award. If you are, or will be, in receipt of an additional grant, you should contact the Humanities Division for further advice. 8 It is not normally permissible for full-time award holders to undertake paid work amounting to more than six hours per week. What if I have already received funding for postgraduate study? 9 If you have already received public funding for postgraduate study, the funding available to you from the AHRC may be reduced on the basis that four years full-time funding or seven years part-time funding is the maximum you can receive. The AHRC does not make any contribution to maintenance or tuition fees during the writing up year. 10 If you have completed, or are currently following, a full-time Master s or similar course lasting up to one year, you may be considered for a three-year, full-time studentship. 11 If you have completed, or are currently following, a full-time Master s course lasting between one and two years (such as an MPhil), your award may be reduced in length. If you have already been supported from public funds for two years full-time study, you will be eligible to be considered for an award only for a further two years full-time study, bringing the total length of public support to a maximum of four years. 12 If you have already completed one year of full-time doctoral study, however funded, your award will be reduced in length accordingly. If you have completed more than one year of part-time study, however funded, your award may be reduced in length, bearing in mind that 20 months of part-time study is equivalent to 12 months of full-time study. (Note: if you have already completed a doctoral degree, you will not be eligible for an AHRC award.) 7

8 SECTION 3 - HOW TO APPLY FOR FUNDING How do I apply for an AHRC DTP studentship at the University of Oxford? 1 Applying for admission to a DPhil programme at the University of Oxford All applicants for admission to a Master s degree or doctoral degree who are deemed to meet the AHRC eligibility criteria will be considered for AHRC studentships, based on their applications for admission to the University. For details on how to apply for admission to a graduate programme at the University of Oxford, see: 2 Current Master s students at the University of Oxford applying for readmission onto a DPhil programme Students currently undertaking a Master s degree at the University of Oxford may apply for admission to a doctoral programme using the readmission form (a pre-populated form downloaded through OSS Student Self Service). All applicants for readmission to a doctoral degree who are deemed to meet the AHRC eligibility criteria will be considered for AHRC studentships. 3 Oxford candidates for readmission must supply the range of supporting materials (e.g. written work and references) required by their faculty. They may re-use references previously provided when applying for a Master s programme but must provide a reference from a current supervisor. 4 Current doctoral students at the University of Oxford Students who have already started their doctoral studies at the University of Oxford may apply for an AHRC doctoral award. The application should be made using the AHRC Current Doctoral Student application form available on the University s website at 5 Deadline: The deadline for applications is 22 January 2016 (or 8 January 2016 in the case of Philosophy and Politics candidates). The same deadline applies for all applicants, i.e. students new to Oxford, current Master s students, and students who have already commenced their doctoral studies at Oxford. What supporting material is required for my AHRC application? 6 The assessment of your AHRC application will be based on the supporting material submitted with your application for admission to a postgraduate programme at the University of Oxford. 7 Your research proposal or project summary must address the following: It must define a series of research questions or problems that will be addressed in the course of the research. It must also define its objectives in terms of seeking to enhance knowledge and understanding relating to the questions or problems to be addressed. It must specify a research context for the questions or problems to be addressed. You must specify why it is important that these particular questions or problems should be addressed; what other research is being or has been conducted in this 8

9 area; and what particular contribution your project will make to the advancement of creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding in the area. It must specify the research methods for addressing and answering the research questions or problems. You must state how, in the course of the research project, you will seek to answer the questions, or advance available knowledge and understanding of the problems. You should also explain the rationale for your chosen research methods and why you think they provide the most appropriate means by which to answer the questions. For current Oxford doctoral students who are applying for an award starting in their second or third year: you must briefly describe the research undertaken to date. What information should my referees be asked to provide? 8 If you have already commenced your doctoral study, you are required to provide a reference from your current supervisor. He or she should include in their reference an assessment of the progress you have made so far in your doctoral study. What about practice-led research? 9 Creative output can be produced or practice undertaken as an integral part of a research process. The AHRC would expect this practice to be accompanied by some form of documentation of the research process, as well as some form of textual analysis or explanation to support its position and to demonstrate critical reflection. Creativity or practice which involves no such processes is not eligible for support from the AHRC. What is the closing date for applications? 10 Some programmes of study at the University of Oxford have more than one deadline. If you wish to apply for an AHRC studentship, you must apply by the January application deadline (22 January 2016 for all eligible subject areas, except Philosophy and Politics, where the deadline is 8 January 2016). When do I need to provide confirmation of my degree results? 11 If you have already completed your undergraduate and Master s degrees, you should submit transcripts of your marks and a copy of your degree certificates with your graduate application. 12 If you will not complete your Master s degree until 2016, you should submit an interim transcript of your marks to date, and a final transcript as soon as possible after completion of your Master s degree. You should also ask your referees to comment on marks received to date, your performance at Master s level, the expected outcome of your Master s degree, and your preparedness and potential for undertaking doctoral study. 13 If you completed your degree some years ago, it is possible that the institution which awarded your degree will not have a record of your degree results (i.e. will not be able to produce a transcript). Please check with the institution first. If this is the case, you should submit your degree certificate(s) with your application, including a note explaining that your institution was not able to produce a transcript. What if I decide not to pursue my studies? 14 If you no longer wish to undertake your doctoral studies, you must withdraw your application. You must inform the University of Oxford of your decision in writing, by letter or . 9

10 SECTION 4 PROGRAMMES OF STUDY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD ELIGIBLE FOR AHRC DOCTORAL AWARDS What subject areas does the AHRC support? 1 The AHRC offers graduate awards in a range of subject areas in the arts and humanities. 2 How many AHRC awards are available at the University of Oxford for 2016? At least 40 doctoral studentships will be available in Is my doctoral programme of study at the University of Oxford eligible for an AHRC award? 3 Studentships may be held in the following faculties and departments: Archaeology, Classics, English, Fine Art, History, Linguistics, Law, Modern Languages, Music, Oriental Studies, Philosophy, and Theology (see table below). If your research falls outside these fields but nevertheless within the AHRC Subject coverage, you may be eligible to apply. For further information, please contact 4 If you are an academic member of staff employed at the University of Oxford, you are not eligible to apply, unless you are paid on an hourly basis, in which case, you may be eligible for a part-time award. Oxford UAB (faculty or department). UAB websites: Archaeology, School of Classics, Faculty of English, Faculty of Fine Art, Ruskin School of Drawing and History, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, Faculty of Music, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Faculty of Programmes of Study Further information: ndex.html DPhil degrees in Archaeology in relevant areas DPhil degrees offered by the Faculty of Classics DPhil degrees offered by the Faculty of English DPhil degree offered by the Ruskin School DPhil degrees offered by the Faculty of History DPhil degree in History of Art DPhil degrees in Law DPhil degrees offered by the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics DPhil degrees offered by the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages DPhil degrees offered by the Faculty of Music DPhil degrees offered by the Faculty of Oriental Studies Philosophy, Faculty of Politics and International Relations, Dept of Theology and Religion, Faculty of DPhil degrees offered by the Faculty of Philosophy DPhil degrees in Political Theory and Political Philosophy DPhil degrees offered by the Faculty of Theology and Religion 10

11 SECTION 5 ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY ACADEMIC CRITERIA 1 The normal minimum qualification to be eligible for admission as a graduate student to the University of Oxford is the completion of a Bachelor s degree with a first or upper second class honours or the international equivalent (see NARIC website (www.naric.org.uk/) for advice on how international degrees compare). However, previous academic excellence is key and students who are accepted for graduate study at Oxford tend to have been those who achieved the very highest results of their graduating class. For information on graduate admissions, see: 2 Only eligible candidates who are selected for admission to a place on a DPhil degree programme at the University of Oxford will be considered for AHRC doctoral awards. 3 Those candidates considered for AHRC awards must be of high academic merit, and their applications must provide evidence demonstrating that they have the academic ability to successfully complete a doctoral degree. 4 Successful candidates for AHRC doctoral awards typically have a Master s degree at distinction level (or equivalent in the case of Master s programmes where distinctions are not awarded). However, degree results form only one component of the basis on which the academic merit and potential of AHRC applicants are assessed. Other factors that are taken into account for doctoral applicants are the overall quality of the application and the sophistication of the research project. 5 Particular weight may be given to marks awarded for components of your previous degree(s) involving independent research, including special subjects, extended essays and dissertations forming part of undergraduate degrees, and Master's dissertations, and for papers directly relevant to an applicant's proposed field of research. 6 Please note: there is strong competition for the limited number of AHRC awards available at the University of Oxford. Hence excellent degree results and clear evidence of academic potential are not necessarily sufficient to be nominated for an AHRC award. Can I be considered if I don t have a Master s qualification? 7 The University of Oxford normally requires applicants for doctoral degrees in the arts and humanities to have obtained, or to be studying for, a Master s degree. You must check with the relevant faculty or department what their admissions criteria are for being admitted to a doctoral programme. What if I have already commenced my doctoral study? 8 You are eligible to apply for an AHRC award if you have already commenced your doctoral study, providing you will be studying for at least two more years (excluding your writing up period). If, by the start of your award, you will have been studying for a year or more, the period of your award may be reduced accordingly. The AHRC will not provide funding for students who are in their writing up year. If you have been studying part-time, you may apply to the AHRC to continue your studies full-time. 9 If you do not have a formal Master s qualification but you have already commenced doctoral study, you should not assume that this will be considered as adequate preparation for doctoral study. It will be necessary to establish whether the training and development which 11

12 you have received is equivalent to that typically obtained through a Master s course and whether this has provided adequate preparation for the remainder of your doctoral studies. What if I have already undertaken doctoral study? 10 If, by the start of your award, you will have already gained or completed the requirements for a doctoral degree in any subject, however funded, you are not eligible for an award under this scheme. 11 If you have already undertaken all, or part, of a course of doctoral study, either in the UK or overseas, i.e. not the course for which you are applying to the AHRC for funding, then you may not be eligible to apply. Please contact for advice. I am currently undertaking an MPhil; am I allowed to upgrade? 12 If you have been funded by the AHRC to undertake a Master s degree, you may not directly upgrade to doctoral study, as the AHRC expects you to gain a Master s qualification at the end of your Master s award. If you are intending to proceed to doctoral study, you can be considered for doctoral funding through this scheme. Your application for doctoral study will be assessed alongside, and in the same way as, applicants who funded their Master s study by other means. If the AHRC has supported you to undertake your Master s course, it will not permit you to treat your Master s work as the first year of your doctoral study. If this appears to be the case then your doctoral funding will be reduced accordingly. 13 If your MPhil is supported by other means, you can be considered for AHRC support for your further study at doctoral level. Can I be considered if my undergraduate degree is from an institution outside the UK? 14 You are eligible to be considered for an award if you have gained, or are studying for, your undergraduate degree and/or Master s-level degree at an HEI outside the UK that is equivalent to a relevant UK degree. 15 The AHRC uses information supplied by the National Academic Recognition Information Centre for the UK (UK NARIC) to ascertain the type of UK degree to which your overseas degree is equivalent. 12

13 SECTION 6 - RESIDENCY ELIGIBLITY 1. The relevant University Admitting Body (UAB) at Oxford is responsible for determining your residency status, based on the information you provide in your application, and in accordance with the rules followed by the Research Councils: a. UK nationals resident in the UK are normally eligible for a full award (EU nationals resident in the UK for the previous three years may also be eligible). b. EU nationals resident in the EEA (wider than EU) are usually eligible for a fees-only award. c. Overseas applicants are normally not eligible. 2. Your potential eligibility for an AHRC award will be assessed when your application is considered. If we require any further information at that stage to determine your eligibility we may ask you to provide it. 13

14 SECTION 7 RESEARCH TRAINING What does the AHRC mean by research training? 1 The AHRC uses research training in its broadest sense to describe the knowledge, understanding and skills that a student will need to successfully pursue his/her studies, complete a high quality thesis and prepare for a career once his/her studies have been completed. Training encompasses all the opportunities formal and informal available to postgraduate students to develop as researchers and practitioners in their fields and as highly qualified individuals in preparation for their future careers. 2 Subject-specific research skills training aims to ensure that postgraduate students are equipped to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to their particular field of research or study. Such training must be specifically tailored to the needs of individual students and their fields of study or research topics, and must take account of the differing demands of text-based and practice-based study. Some of this training is delivered at department or faculty level; other aspects are delivered individually, often, in the case of doctoral students, by the supervisor. Examples of key subject-specific knowledge, understanding and skills are: understanding theoretical issues, the nature of evidence and argument, and the relationships between practice, theory and criticism; developing research methods and skills and practical techniques appropriate to the project; developing knowledge and understanding of the research context of the project, and of trends in the discipline; developing knowledge, understanding and skills in the analysis and synthesis of research material; developing knowledge and understanding of related disciplines, where appropriate; specialist knowledge, understanding and skills such as an additional language, methodology or technique. 3 Generic/transferable skills training relates to the skills needed by all arts and humanities research students, regardless of their specific subjects. The ARHC expects research students to develop the following core generic, transferable skills: written communication skills appropriate for the academic context and beyond; oral presentation skills, including giving research papers and discussing others research findings; designing and managing a project; ICT skills, including appropriate word processing and other ICT skills (such as creating and using spreadsheets and databases) as relevant to the research topic; bibliographical skills and contextualising practice-based research; identifying and using web-based resources; record-keeping and record management; personal and career development, and broader employment-related skills (such as participating in workshops and conferences, or if students undertake undergraduate teaching duties, relevant support and training). 14

15 What is the Research Training Framework? 4 In 2001 the HE sector developed the Joint Statement of Skills Training Requirements of Research Postgraduates. This set out a joint statement of the skills that postgraduate researchers funded by the Research Councils would be expected to develop during their research training. 5 In 2010 Researcher Development Framework, was created, as an evolution of the joint skills statement, and the associated Researcher Development Statement. The Research Councils endorsed the Researcher Development Statement as setting out the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of effective and highly skilled researchers appropriate for a wide range of careers. The AHRC s framework of research training requirements is described in more detail on their website. 6 The Humanities Division at the University of Oxford has developed a Humanities Graduate Studies Framework summarising the typical activities of doctoral students in the Humanities at Oxford, and the skills which they acquire in the course of their doctoral studies. 15

16 SECTION 8 - ASSESSING THE APPLICATIONS Who will assess my application? 1 Your application will be assessed by the relevant University Admitting Body (UAB), i.e. the faculty or department at the University of Oxford which admits students to the course for which you are applying. The UAB must also determine whether appropriate supervision can be provided. For more information about graduate admissions, see: 2 The University of Oxford has established an AHRC DTP Panel to oversee the processes for recruiting and selecting candidates for AHRC awards, and to manage and monitor the DTP scheme. The Oxford AHRC DTP Panel s membership comprises senior academic and administrative staff from Humanities and Social Sciences. The Panel will decide on final awards. What evidence will be used to assess my AHRC application? 3 Evidence to be used in assessing AHRC applications will be the same as the evidence used in assessing candidates for admission. For doctoral candidates, supporting material for their course application normally comprises the following items: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) Research proposal Academic record (e.g. transcripts) Professional experience, if applicable. (For example, in the case of mature students without the usual academic qualifications, professional experience would be used as one of the sources of evidence of suitable academic potential.) Two pieces of written work References submitted by your three referees. The UAB s initial assessment of the applicant s training needs and the University s ability to meet these needs. Any other evidence required for admission to the specific programme of study, e.g. recordings or scores for Music applicants. 4 You must check what the specific requirements for supporting material are for your programme of study see the Application Guide for Oxford's graduate programmes. How will my AHRC application be assessed? 5 The UAB will first assess your application for admission to a postgraduate programme at the University of Oxford. 6 If the UAB decides to offer you a place on a course it will then assess whether you and your programme of study are eligible for AHRC funding: (i) (ii) Do you meet the AHRC academic eligibility criteria? Do you meet the AHRC residency eligibility criteria? The UAB will determine whether you are eligible for a full award i.e. whether you satisfy the UK residency criteria or whether you are eligible for a fees-only award i.e. whether you satisfy the residency criteria for an EU country other than the UK. 7 If the UAB established that you and your programme of study are eligible for AHRC funding, your AHRC application will be assessed in two stages. Stage 1 will be carried out by the UAB, and involves selecting candidates to be nominated for AHRC awards (equivalent to the 16

17 number of awards which secured in the subject area) plus a number of reserves. Stage 2 will be carried out by Oxford s AHRC DTP Panel (see paragraph 2 above). 8 The UAB must grade AHRC applicants (who are being accepted onto a course at Oxford) from 1 to 5 for each of the assessment criteria listed in Table 1 below, based on the evidence provided in the application. A score of 5 indicates an excellent match between assessment criterion and applicant, and 1 indicates a poor match. Table 2 indicates what evidence will be used when scoring each criterion. TABLE 1: AHRC assessment criteria for doctoral candidates Assessment criteria 1. Quality of applicant academic history 2. Level of preparation for proposed study and future career 3. Quality and feasibility of the proposed study 4. Fit of candidate with proposed programme of study and available resources (in UAB and more widely in the University). Description (i) Academic record: performance at undergraduate and Master s level as evidenced by transcripts, written work and references. (i) Has the candidate s previous experience (academic and professional) prepared him/her adequately for the proposed postgraduate programme of study? (i) Research proposal: quality and suitability of research question, engagement with the field, methodology, and critical appreciation of sources. (ii) Ability to complete the doctoral degree within three or four years. (i) Does the UAB/University have suitable research and other resources (library holdings, museum collections, IT provision etc) for the proposed research project? (ii) As part of the admissions process, UABs are expected to undertake a preliminary assessment of applicants training needs in research skills and generic. Does the UAB and/or University have appropriate resources to meet the candidate s training needs in research skills and generic skills (as determined by the preliminary training needs assessment by the UAB as part of the admissions process)? (iii) Suitability of chosen project as enhanced training for a research career in the elected subject area. TABLE 2: Evidence to be used in assessing the extent to which each criterion is met: Assessment criteria Doctoral candidates Research proposal and AHRC Project Proposal Academic record Written work References Professional experience Training needs & UAB s ability to meet them Quality of applicant X X X X Level of preparation X X X X X Quality and feasibility of study X X Fit of candidate to UAB etc X X X X 17

18 9 The UAB will then decide on the basis of the scores which candidates to select for nomination for an AHRC award The UAB will rank or band these candidates by AHRC subject area and by type of award (Master s and Doctoral). In addition, the UAB will select and rank a number of reserves. The proposed nominations and reserves will then be submitted to Oxford s AHRC DTP Panel. 10 Oxford s AHRC DTP Panel will monitor the quality of selected candidates across the different subject areas and schemes, as well as nominations in interdisciplinary areas. The Panel will make the final decision regarding which candidates to nominate to the AHRC. What is the timetable? Deadline for AHRC applications to be received by the University of Oxford UABs submit nominations to Oxford s AHRC DTP Panel 18 March 2016 Oxford Studentships Panel meeting 24 March January January 2016 for Philosophy and Politics Humanities Division sends letters to candidates, informing them of the outcome of their AHRC application Candidates confirm to UABs that they wish to be take up the award or withdraw their nominations April 2016 end May

19 SECTION 9 - RESULTS OF THE COMPETITION How will I know whether my application has been successful? 1 Selection for nomination by the University of Oxford After the meeting of the University of Oxford s AHRC DTP Panel in March, all applicants for AHRC awards will be informed by the University Admitting Body (UAB) for their programme of study whether they will have been selected for an AHRC award or whether they will be put on a reserve list. Candidates who are not being nominated will not be contacted. If I am unsuccessful, can I resubmit my application? 2 If your application for an AHRC award is unsuccessful in one year s competition, you may be considered in the next year s competition without prejudice, providing you continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the scheme. If I am unsuccessful, where else can I go for funding? 3 The AHRC is one of several public bodies that make awards for postgraduate study. Many faculties, departments and colleges at the University of Oxford provide funding towards graduate studies. Information about alternative sources of funding can be found on the University s website. Is there a complaints procedure? 4 Please bear in mind that the competition for AHRC awards is fierce and, inevitably, many highly-qualified and strongly-supported applicants do not get an award. Each application receives careful scrutiny by the assessors, and their decision is reached in the context of competing applications from other candidates. 5 Most problems over applications can be settled quickly and easily by telephoning the department, faculty or college with which you have been dealing. If this does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction, or you believe that this approach may be inappropriate, you should make a complaint in writing to: Director, Graduate Admissions & Student Funding Services, University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD. You should provide in your letter all the information relating to the complaint such as dates, correspondence and staff contacted. You will receive an acknowledgment of your complaint, which will be sent within three working days of receipt. The complaint will be fully investigated and a response will normally be sent within 21 days. 6 The AHRC has a complaints and appeals procedure. 19

20 SECTION 10 - TAKING UP AN AWARD When will my award start? 1 Award holders are normally expected to begin their programme of study on, or around, 1 October This is the start date of your award. Can I defer my start date? 2 If you are unable to take up your award in the year in which it was awarded, it will be rescinded and you will have to re-apply for an AHRC award the following year. 3 In certain circumstances, such as illness, or where there is a need to give a period of notice to an employer, the University of Oxford and the AHRC will consider deferring your start date, normally by up to three months. Any application for postponement must be made immediately to relevant faculty or department at the University of Oxford. What is the role of the institution in administering awards? 4 The AHRC makes all payments related to an award directly to the relevant institution. In the case of the University of Oxford, all payments are made to the University s Finance Division, and the University s Humanities Division is responsible for arranging payments to students. The Division also manages payments of college fees to colleges. When will I receive the first instalment of my maintenance grant? 5 The University of Oxford will normally pay your first maintenance grant by 1 October. The first payment is usually made by cheque, with subsequent payments being made directly into students bank accounts. How is my maintenance grant paid? 6 The University s Humanities Graduate Office arranges for payments to be made to award holders. The maintenance grant is paid in four quarterly instalments, normally by 1 October, 1 January, 1 April and 1 July each year. 7 New award holders will be given details of how their first and subsequent maintenance payments will be made. (Communications are sent by , where candidates have provided addresses, or by letter to the candidate s college address.) How are university tuition fees and college fees paid? 8 University tuition fees and college fees are paid by the AHRC to the University in instalments each year. The Humanities Division will arrange for the college fees to be paid to your college. Do I have to live and study in the UK? 9 AHRC awards are given for study at a Higher Education Institution in the UK. You are expected to remain in the UK during the tenure of your award (with the exception of temporary trips abroad for essential fieldwork, study visits or attendance at conferences), and to live within a reasonable distance of the institution. You must notify the Humanities Division immediately if, for any reason, you are unable to meet these requirements. Will my AHRC award monitored? 10 The AHRC will monitor the progress of all studentships during the lifetime of the award: All studentship award holders will be required to submit, by the end of their award, a report on the work they have undertaken together with an assessment from their supervisor or course leader. For doctoral studentships information will also be requested about the training they 20

21 have received, the skills they have acquired and an assessment of the support they have received. Does the AHRC have submission deadlines for doctoral theses? 11 As a full-time doctoral award holder, you are expected to submit your thesis within the period of your award, or at most one year after the end of your AHRC award. What if I get an academic position during the period of my award? 12 It is not normally permissible for full-time award holders to undertake paid work amounting to more than six hours per week. If you hold a full-time award and gain a salaried academic position at the institution at which you are studying during the period of your award, the AHRC will not be able to approve funding for part-time study and will terminate your award. Can I change from full-time to part-time study? 13 It may be possible, in exceptional circumstances, to transfer from full-time to part-time study or vice versa. Once you have transferred, you may not return to your original status. Do I need to pay income tax? 14 Grants payable under an AHRC award are not regarded as income for tax purposes and the AHRC is not deemed to be the employer of an award-holder. For information about your position regarding tax and National Insurance, please see the Inland Revenue s guidance on Income Tax and Students available on the HR Revenue and Customs website (www.hmrc.gov.uk/students/index.shtml). What are the AHRC s terms and conditions for award holders? 15 The AHRC s terms and conditions of a graduate award are available in the Training Grant Funding Guide. See also at Appendix B. 21

22 DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION, DATA PROTECTION AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION Disclosure of information APPENDIX A 1 Information about your application and degree results will be made available to the AHRC. What does the AHRC do with information about my application and award? 2 The AHRC will retain information relating to your application and (if you are successful) your award both electronically and in paper form, for the course of your award, and for a minimum of seven years after its end. After this, they will be destroyed. Personal information is used to process and monitor your application and award (including both academic and financial monitoring). This includes: operation of the AHRC grants processing and management information systems HEI comments statistical analysis and surveys to inform the evaluation of the quality of the postgraduate study undertaken and to study demographic trends policy and strategy studies monitoring the progress of or changes to postgraduate study as necessary monitoring the spend of funds awarded. 3 The AHRC will treat as confidential all confidential information provided about you and will not use it or disclose it to any other person except as set out here. If you are successful, the AHRC will pass your contact details on to the Researchers in Residence Scheme funded by the AHRC, in order that they can keep you informed of the opportunities they offer. The AHRC will ask you to inform them if you do not wish them to pass on your contact details. 4 The AHRC will not pass award holder details to any commercial organisations, but may use them for future contact with you and when requesting information from higher education institutions to monitor progress and completion. 5 If you are successful, details of your award, including your name, the institution at which you are studying, the dates and type of award, the funding provided by the AHRC and a description of your subject of study, may be published on the AHRC website and in other AHRC publications. If you do not wish your details to be made public please contact the AHRC Postgraduate Programmes section to request privacy contact details available at 6 Award holders must provide, on request, a description of their work that may be included in any of the AHRC s publications, such as its Annual Report. Data Protection Act The University of Oxford and AHRC adhere to the Data Protection Principles set out in the Data Protection Act In accordance with the Act, information provided by applicants, including personal data, will be stored in electronic form and/or manual files by the University of Oxford and the AHRC. Information will be provided to those who assess applications, and used to compile lists of award holders. We endeavour to ensure that the 22

23 data we hold is accurate and we ask applicants and award holders to keep us informed of any changes. Freedom of Information Act The University of Oxford and the AHRC are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which means that they have a duty to provide information on request unless that information falls within certain exemptions that are specified in the Act. These exemptions apply to, among other things: personal information (which is dealt with under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998); information that has been provided in confidence and which remains confidential; and information which is a trade secret or where its release would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person. 9 If the University of Oxford or the AHRC receive a request under the Act that includes release of information contained in your application or in any reports on the progress of your award (including the final report) every effort will be made to consult with you before releasing that information to establish whether or not one of the exemptions applies. However, the University of Oxford and the AHRC have a duty to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and will have to disclose the information requested unless it is satisfied that a relevant exemption applies. 23

24 APPENDIX B THE AHRC S KEY TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF A POSTGRADUATE AWARD The complete AHRC Studentship terms and conditions are available at AHRC postgraduate award holders must be fully registered as a full-time or part-time doctoral student for the programme of study at the Higher Education Institution (HEI), and for the period of time specified in their application and in the offer of award. If the student s registration ceases for any reason (other than temporary suspension of study), the AHRC will terminate the award. The AHRC expects that, by the end of the period of funding, award holders will have achieved the qualification for which their award was granted. Institutions are required to inform the AHRC immediately if students interrupt their studies or cease them completely. In accepting the award, students are authorising the institution to disclose to the AHRC any information that the AHRC requests regarding the progress of their studies and the submission of their thesis. They will also be authorising the institution to provide to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) any such information requested by HESA on the AHRC s behalf. Doctoral award holders and their institution must inform the AHRC immediately if the student s doctoral thesis is submitted earlier than expected and before the end of the AHRC funding. In such cases, it may be necessary for the AHRC to reclaim any maintenance grant or fees overpaid to the student or institution following submission. Awards are made on the understanding that the student s supervisor and other institutional authorities will provide him/her with support, supervision and training of high quality, and that the appropriate officers of the institution, both academic and administrative, will co-operate in ensuring that the award holder is supported in this way. Award holders should inform the AHRC immediately if they are applying for, or receive, a grant or an award from another body to support their postgraduate work, especially in the form of payment of fees or a maintenance grant. Award holders may not hold two awards for the same purpose concurrently. Awards are made to enable students to study at a HEI in the United Kingdom (UK), and award holders are expected to remain resident in the UK, and close to the institution at which they are registered, throughout the period of their award. Award holders are expected to attend their institution and to maintain regular contact with their supervisor and other institutional authorities throughout their award. The only exceptions to these requirements are periods of absence due to fieldwork, study visits or conferences that are an essential part of the course of study. Award holders are normally expected to take up their awards on 1 October of the year in which they applied for funding. Payment of awards will usually begin in early October. A later start date may be possible in exceptional circumstances, for example, in case of illness, or where a student needs to give notice to an employer. A formal application to delay the start date of an award must be made to the AHRC through the relevant institutional authorities, who should provide written support for such a request. If an award holder is unable to take up his/her award in the year for which it was awarded, 24

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