I’d like to say thanks, first of all, to all of you who’ve already been hard at work reading PhD enquiries and proposals, offering your assessments, and working with potential PhD applicants. I’m aware it’s a lot of work, and it is hugely appreciated.
With that in mind, I’m writing with some important details about PhD funding applications in advance of the upcoming deadlines, which fall in January.
Applications for PhD funding
The deadlines this year are 25 January 2023 for Queen Mary Principal’s Studentships (QMPS) and 27 January 2023 for London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP) studentships.
Please note that, for the LAHP scheme, primary supervisors need to submit their Supervisor Statement by that same date, 27 January 2023. Candidates cannot finalise their applications until this statement has been submitted via the online portal.
Both funding schemes are open to international as well as UK applicants, and both have ring-fenced awards for UK students who identify as coming from a Black, Asian or Ethnic minority background. Do please alert any applicants you’re working with who may be eligible for these.
In addition, the Faculty offers a Stuart Hall Foundation studentship open to applicants who meet one or more eligibility criteria (which include but aren’t limited to: being first generation in family to attend HE; eligibility for free school meals; caring responsibilities for an ill or disabled family member). Applicants who wish to be considered for this will also be considered for the general QMPS awards.
Detailed information on all PhD funding schemes for English can be found here:
Queen Mary Principal’s Studentships
QMPS awards are made on the basis of the application to QMUL, if a candidate indicates that they wish to be considered. There is no separate application form for funding. Existing PhD students in their first year are also eligible to apply; they need to apply separately, via the School’s Research Student Administrator, Kat Henley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It is vital therefore that the Research Proposal and Statement of Purpose on the admissions application are as strong as possible, to give candidates the best chance in the funding competition. Detailed guidelines on these can be found on the webpages by following the link above.
Where possible, prospective supervisors should advise candidates on their applications and give feedback on drafts.
Do also impress upon candidates that the Statement of Purpose is an important part of the application, particularly when it comes to assessing the preparedness of the applicant and the ‘fit’ of the project to the supervisors’ expertise and to the institution.
The closing date for applications is 25 January 2022 at 5pm. Once all applications have been received, a selection panel will choose which candidates to nominate to the Faculty.
Across the School as a whole we are allowed to make up to 6 nominations, plus 2 for the BAME awards and 1 for the Stuart Hall Foundation award. This is still only a small fraction of the applications we are likely to receive.
Supervisors of nominated candidates will be asked to submit a short supporting statement which will be used for the next round of the competition, when the Faculty makes the final selection of awards.
These have a separate application route and candidates need to apply directly to LAHP via its online portal. All the relevant information, including the application form and details of the Black and Global Majority studentships, can be found here:
The guidelines and assessment criteria are roughly similar to those for QMPS but the application form is subdivided differently. It will require some additional work for applicants to revise their proposals to the LAHP format.
The closing date for applications is 27 January 2023 at 5pm.
All applicants need to give the names of two supervisors. The lead supervisor (or one of the co-supervisors) must submit a Supervisor Statement by the same date. The candidate cannot finalise and submit their application until this has been received.
The Supervisor Statement should be submitted via the online portal at the link above. The supervisor is asked to comment separately on the quality of the proposal (200 words), the preparedness of the applicant (150 words) and the feasibility of the research (150 words).
The website explains the assessment process and the criteria used.
As you’ll be aware, many candidates apply for both QMPS and LAHP awards (in some cases, for a different institution). Needless to add, some of the best applicants may be offered funding elsewhere and choose not to come to QMUL, which can be frustrating if you have invested time in the application. But we have a good record in supporting and retaining really good applicants and in winning QMPS and LAHP awards, as is evident in our PhD cohort this year. So — thanks again for all the work you put into this important process.
Please get in touch if you have any questions.
Rachael Gilmour (she/her)
Professor of Contemporary Literature and Postcolonial Studies
School of English and Drama | Queen Mary University of London | Mile End Road | London E1 4NS
Latest book Bad English: Literature, Multilingualism and the Politics of Language in Contemporary Britain out now in paperback from Manchester University Press