We offer over fifty fully-funded PhDs each year through the Techne AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership programme. Students take their doctorates at one of the partner universities in the South East of England, and typically receive financing for both their fees and maintenance.
The Techne Doctoral Training Partnership provides support across the full range of arts and humanities disciplines, including practice and performance-led research study, in, for example, dance, design, photography and art, also museum studies and conservation, as well as the highest levels of practice in analysis, critical thinking, theory and writing, from archaeology and cultural geography to literature, linguistics, classics and theology. Our member universities share a commitment to excellence in specialist areas key to the future of creative economies: design; performance; digital futures; heritage within and beyond the humanities; critical thinking and analytic skills.
We are keen now to meet our next generation of techne doctoral students.
Further indicative subject areas for PhD Funding 2020 in the Arts and Humanities can be found on our Techne subjects page.
How Techne can help your doctoral ambitions in 2020
As well as the financial support for your PhD in 2020, Techne offers a developmental framework for you as a researcher, with research training, supportive community networks, professional and public engagement opportunities and a space for both independent and collaborative scholarship. Through Techne we provide sites for patient and holistic dialogue across conventional divisions of thinking, making, and action, and see this as a vital apprenticeship for PhD students approaching the future of the workplace by 2030.
Our ethos is for what Peter Galison describes as a ‘trading zone,’ a means to foster collective innovation whilst embracing methodological diversity (Galison, Image and Logic, 1997) Our cohort-building activities and training allow the emergence of student-centred spaces for exchange between practice, theory, and creative, applied research study, and enables models of multidisciplinary collaboration and knowledge generation within and beyond the arts and humanities.
As a Techne doctoral student you will be helping to shape the future of arts and humanities research and its allied professions. To help you towards that ambition we work with our university members and between consortium partners to build and enable mutually beneficial exchanges between individual researchers and the wider knowledge economy.
With a diverse cohort including many students moving into PhD study from creative industries and practice, we are able to foster a community of exceptionally knowledgeable researchers. Our experience of working with postgraduate students who arrive with existing high-level professional skills and networks means we are able to develop the co-production of training and development opportunities, building knowledge exchange into that training. Our PhD funding includes numerous opportunities to develop essential skills for an academic career in the arts and humanities. Our residential writing retreats for example offer an annual programme to PhD students that includes article, book-proposal, and grant-writing labs and which draws our research students together on the common ground of the craft of critical writing.
What does it mean to study for a PhD in the Arts and Humanities?
There is a shared belief across all the Techne member universities and partner institutions that scholarly excellence in research in the arts and humanities makes a vital contribution to an understanding of being, imagining, and making the human, as well as securing the specific skills needed for the future vitality of these areas.
In offering funded PhDs in the arts and humanities for 2020 we are continuing our five years’ work in nurturing the next generation of researchers and the future of scholarship in these disciplines, promoting research that is emerging, innovative, interdisciplinary and helping experimental methodologies to thrive - creating, refining and sharing knowledge through practice of all kinds.
What can we understand from the term "technē" in doctoral research?
We called our doctoral training consortium "technē" to draw on the ancient Greek word to describe craftsmanship, craft or art and the human ability to make and perform. In doing so we were made ever more aware of its relationship to other Aristotelian notions of thinking, knowledge and its application. Our aim was to develop and fund PhD programmes that encouraged the dynamic movement between episteme, poesis, and phronesis; deep specialist knowledge; creativity and reflexive ethical action in the world. Thinking, making, and action.
When we talk then of the "craft of PhD research study" we think of how craft in any form entails an ‘intimate connection between hand and head… a dialogue between concrete practices and thinking’ that develops rigorous and sustaining relationships between different forms of intellectual labour. (Richard Sennett The Craftsman, 2009). The notion of techne, of craft, is one that suggests practices of in-depth training and of skill, bringing observation, analysis and criticality to projects that make new works – new texts, new process, new images, new objects, new performances.
That craft also recognises and exploits the strength of interdisciplinarity, through which we embrace risk-taking multidisciplinary methods. The notion of research that takes us between and beyond boundaries is one of the central underpinning philosophies of the Techne Doctoral Training Programme and we understand that interdisciplinary topics need special care about how students are selected, supervised and supported. As the British Academy notes, ‘Craft skills are needed for interdisciplinary working - the ability to connect teams, learn new vocabularies, and work across boundaries …’ (Crossing Paths, 2016).
How does the Technepartnership work to support your PhD?
To implement this ethos, Techne partners and members have a collective commitment to valuing inter- and multidisciplinary research, particularly that which pushes the boundaries of arts and humanities research into science and social science domains. We value the interchange between the material, embodied practices of existing fields in the arts and humanities and digital creativity and take a leading role in shaping the research futures of practice-based PhDs.
Techne then creates a sustaining and mutually informing dialogue between the traditional strengths and methods of Arts and Humanities doctoral scholarship and innovative pathways to research futures in the academy and beyond, helping to realise the value of specialist arts and humanities research within the wider creative economy.
More than a funded PhD - Our Arts and Humanities partner organisations for 2020
Our university member institutions collaborate with a range of external partners and this is vital to the technē vision of a dynamic multidisciplinary trading zone of doctoral research in which students experience the processes of thinking, making, and applying their work. Altogether we aim to sustain a critical mass of around 25 regular partners providing our funded research students with a rich network of local and national museums, theatres, archives, galleries, and social and commercial enterprises.
Each of these organisations will be able to contribute to shaping the training of a future generation of arts and humanities researchers and will be able to benefit from highly-skilled students enhancing their research programmes and resources through artist residencies, placements, and problem solving workshops. See the list of partnering institutions in the Techne Doctoral Training Partnership.
Which universities offer a Techne funded phd programme in 2020?
Our member institutions are in the South East of England, in London, Surrey or Sussex. Details on how your application for PhD Funding 2020 in the arts and humanities should be made through these universities can be found on our applications page.