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Research celebration marks new White Rose College launch

Posted on 19 March 2014

The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities which aims to train more than 300 doctoral students over the next five years is formally launched today.

Formed by a partnership between Yorkshire’s three Russell Group universities - York, Leeds and Sheffield - WRoCAH has received a £19m Doctoral Training Partnership award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The official launch at York was a celebration of the collaborative Arts and Humanities research in the White Rose Consortium universities and featured presentations by research students from all three.

The three universities contributed a total of £4 million to the new initiative. The White Rose College will recruit and train more than 300 fully-funded doctoral students over five years, with the first cohort starting in autumn 2014.

Compared with previous AHRC doctoral funding allocations, the Doctoral Training Partnership award means that the three universities have increased their share to 10.9 per cent of the national total.

The funding is designed to foster a more collaborative approach to doctoral training and equip high-achieving individuals with the skills and experience to become leaders in their chosen fields, ultimately benefitting the UK economy and society. The College will work closely with a range of leading external organisations including museums, galleries, archives and libraries; arts and heritage organisations; creative industries; design, manufacturing and retail; publishing and performing arts; media; and charities and the public sector.

WRoCAH’s aim is to create rich training environments both within and across disciplines. This will include allocation of resources for placement opportunities and additional skills training.

Its founding Director, Professor Julian Richards, said: "The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities will provide the environment, support and opportunities to enable the brightest doctoral students to flourish and equip them for their future careers. Already we have seen the impact of the increased AHRC support and applications from the UK's brightest graduates to embark on doctoral study at the White Rose universities have increased by almost 40% compared with this time last year".

Dr Julian White, Chief Executive of the White Rose University Consortium, added: “This significant award recognises our commitment to broad-based research and professional development for our PhD students. This initiative will generate a cohort of highly trained, pro-active, adaptable and enthusiastic students able to apply their skills to national and global challenges.”

Notes to editors:

  • For more information about the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities please visit     
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For AHRC media enquiries contact Danielle Moore-Chick, AHRC: 01793 41 6021
  • The White Rose University Consortium is a strategic partnership between three of the UK’s leading research universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. Since it was formed in 1997, White Rose has generated more than £130m of additional funding into the Universities to enable the delivery of a range of initiatives including collaborative research, commercial exploitation, joint postgraduate scholarships and industrial partnerships. For more information on the White Rose University Consortium
  • The University of Leeds is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise showed the University of Leeds to be the UK's eighth biggest research powerhouse and the University's vision is to secure a place among the world's leading universities by 2015. More information at
  • The University of Sheffield: With nearly 25,000 of the brightest students from 117 countries coming to learn alongside 1,209 of the world’s best academics, it is clear why the University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading universities. Staff and students at Sheffield are committed to helping discover and understand the causes of things - and propose solutions that have the power to transform the world we live in.

    A member of the Russell Group, the University of Sheffield has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 2011 for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007), recognising the outstanding contribution by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. More information at
  • The University of York is a member of the influential Russell Group of leading universities and is in the Top 100 of the Times Higher Education 2013/14 World University Rankings. Across its eight arts and humanities departments – Archaeology; English and Related Literature; History; History of Art; Language and Linguistic Science; Music; Philosophy; Theatre, Film and Television – and through the work of its many interdisciplinary centres, researchers at York are uncovering new materials, rereading existing work in new ways, informing and refining on-going debates, and boldly changing the terms of those debates.  More information at

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153

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