New initiative to address under-representation in Humanities doctoral study

The Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership (OOC DTP) has today launched a scheme to increase the number of Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP awards made to Black and Global Majority students ordinarily resident in the UK.

In the 2021/22 studentship competition, a minimum of ten awards are available for Home fee status Black and Global Majority students with a place on an Arts and Humanities doctoral programme at the Open University, University of Oxford or University of Cambridge. A minimum of two of these studentships will be awarded to candidates who identify as Black or Mixed Black, Bangladeshi or Mixed Bangladeshi, and Pakistani or Mixed Pakistani, since these groups are disproportionately under-represented in doctoral study in the Humanities. This is a positive action initiative under the Equality Act 2010.

By taking this action, the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP hopes to increase the number and proportion of UK-resident Black and Global Majority students applying for doctoral study and AHRC studentship funding through the OU, Oxford and Cambridge during the lifetime of the DTP. The initiative builds on ongoing efforts to increase the number of postgraduate students from under-represented groups at all three of the partner universities.

Note on terminology

Global Majority refers to people who identify as Black, Asian, Mixed and/or have been racialised as ‘ethnic minorities’; these groups represent over 80% of the world’s population. The DTP recognises the complex and contested nature of such collective terminology and will continue to strive for clarity of expression in this and future initiatives.


Applicants who identify as Black, Asian, Mixed and/or from a Global Majority racial and ethnic group will be eligible to be considered for one of these studentships.

You must be ordinarily resident in the UK, such that you are eligible for Home fees. The university via which you apply is responsible for assessing fee status; for further guidance, please see the relevant university webpages:

You must first apply for admission at one of the partner universities to pursue doctoral research on a topic that falls within one of the AHRC's primary research areas. Your application will only be considered by the DTP if you receive an offer of admission from the university at which you wish to take up your studentship.

We welcome applications from candidates

  • who are studying for or have recently completed a Master's programme and/or those with relevant professional and/or practitioner experience;
  • wishing to study on a full- or part-time basis;
  • of all ages and backgrounds.

Value of award

An Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP studentship covers university fees in full and provides a tax-free stipend for living costs at the UKRI rate (at least £15,609 per year). Awards are made for the full duration of fee liability.

Funding is adjusted on a pro-rata basis for part-time students and where the award is for a period of less than 12 months in any year.

Those in receipt of studentships through this initiative will be eligible for the same benefits as other UKRI-funded students, including additional support for research expenses and individual skills training, funded sick leave (up to 13 weeks in any 12 month period), funded maternity leave, and Disability Support Allowance (DSA).

How to apply

You should apply to the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP standard route competition at the same time as applying for admission to a doctoral programme at the Open University, the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge. Full details of how to apply are available on our webpage:

The first stage of assessment is completed by the admitting university. To be considered for nomination to the OOC DTP under the Black and Global Majority studentships initiative, you must

  • submit a completed copy of the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP Application Form;
  • tick the box to say that you wish to be considered for OOC DTP/AHRC studentship funding;
  • disclose ethnicity information in the monitoring section of your university’s admissions system.

If eligible, the university through which you are applying will automatically consider you for an OOC DTP studentship.