Full STEAM ahead as University invests £3m in PhD students

Full STEAM ahead as University invests £3m in PhD students

Birmingham City University has announced the largest investment into doctoral research scholarships in its 173-year history with the aim of powering cultural, societal and economic improvements in the West Midlands.

£3m will be invested to fully-fund new PhD students to carry out high-quality strategic research that will underpin the University’s teaching and learning, and support collaborations with organisations in the region.

Birmingham City University is already renowned for world-leading research in the creative Arts, which, when coupled with the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) creates multi-disciplinary capability referred to as ‘STEAM’.

The £3m investment will fund 50 doctoral students, known as STEAM Scholars, to study for a doctorate in key research priority areas within the University’s four Faculties, working with the institution’s academics and collaborating with regional organisations. 

The STEAM investment complements existing investments in funding PhD students including the Midlands 3 Cities doctoral training partnership funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Places have been made available for the new STEAM Scholars to take up their studies from September 2016.

STEAMhouse is a £14m initiative which will see Birmingham’s old Typhoo Tea factory in Digbeth transformed into a collaborative working centre for businesses and academics, with a focus on connecting the arts with science, technology and maths to support economic growth and create up to 10,000 jobs.

The BCU Advantage scheme offers organisations and start-ups access to funding opportunities and advice from University experts, as well as providing students and graduates with contacts, training and employment opportunities.

Professor Julian Beer, deputy vice-chancellor at Birmingham City University, said: “Right now, Birmingham and the West Midlands are going through an unprecedented period of change.

“The Combined Authority has just been launched and we are one of the country’s most significant hotspots for new start-up businesses. All of this means we have some genuinely unique opportunities to link the University, its expertise and its research to what is happening in the City and our investment in 50 new PhD students is integral to this.”

Earlier this year the government placed an increased importance on postgraduate research studies such as Master’s degrees and PhDs, with the introduction of postgraduate loans for the first time. 

Professor Keith Osman, director of research, Birmingham City University, said: “The new knowledge our STEAM Scholars generate will not only inform our own curriculum, but their work will power collaborative research and innovation activities with external organisations.

“We are dedicated in ensuring our research has significant impact and delivers social, cultural and economic benefits across our region and beyond.”


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