New PhD Research Programme in Arts and Humanities Launched by Minister for Education

Posted on: 21 November 2008

30 HEA Funded Scholarships in New Cross- Institutional PhD involving TCD, NUI Galway, UCC Launched

The Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe,   launched a new PhD programme,  one of Europe’s leading arts and humanities PhD research programmes, in Trinity College Dublin.

The new PhD programme,  ‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’, is delivered in cooperation with research hubs at three of Ireland’s leading universities: the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, NUI Galway; the Long Room Hub,TCD; and the Graduate School of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences,  UCC.

‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’ will provide students with a PhD in their chosen discipline of the arts and humanities in four years of research and training. The programme is designed to integrate knowledge and use of new technologies and related professional placements into the traditional PhD. To that end, ‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’ has been funded by the Higher Education Authority’s Strategic Innovation Fund as part of the Government’s commitment to develop graduate education, and has been significantly augmented by funds from the all-Ireland collaboration, Humanities Serving Irish Society, which has in turn been enabled by the HEA’s research funding programme, PRTLI 4.

‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’ has now recruited its full cohort of students after an international competition, with an intake of 30 students from Ireland, Europe, North and South America. These students are developing their research through the vehicle of a structured four year research degree.

“The students are engaging with the research knowledge and skills of academics from the three universities”, explained Dr Crawford Gribben, at TCD. “They are being encouraged to develop their research interests, ideas and skills in challenging, supportive interdisciplinary contexts. Students’ research interests will develop through a series of foundation year modules which are being delivered by online learning media and video conferencing.”
‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’ are designed to prepare students for life after graduation. Participants will benefit from a career training scheme that provides thorough preparation in research skills transferable to a wide variety of settings. They will also have access to placements and mentoring systems in a broad range of organisations, including media, the cultural and creative industries, public administration and academe.

TCC course director nuig, nicolas allen,  tcc student at tcd, amy prendergast, minister for education and science, batt o'keeffe, tcc student at niug, sheila walsh and provost of trinity college, dr john hegarty.

TCC Course Director at NUIG, Nicolas Allen,  TCC student at TCD, Amy Prendergast, Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe, TCC student at NIUG, Sheila Walsh and Provost of Trinity College, Dr John Hegarty. 

The PhD programme has been made possible through the vision of Professor Nicholas Canny at the Moore Institute, Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Erasmus Smith Chair of Modern History at TCD, and Professor David Cox, Head of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at UCC.  Three academics have also been appointed to lead the programmes in the three institutions:  Professor Nicholas Allen at NUI, Galway, Dr Crawford Gribben at TCD and Professor Brendan Dooley at UCC. 

The new programme has been welcomed by  the Academic Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, Professor Nicholas Canny: “This challenging, innovative and exciting inter-institutional graduate training programme in the arts and humanities is setting an example in resource sharing which the sciences must follow.”

Commenting on its significance, TCD Provost, John Hegarty, said: “The integrated PhD in ‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’ shows that Trinity College Dublin, with its partner institutions UCC and NUI Galway, is setting the pace in interdisciplinary research in the arts and humanities. Texts, Contexts, Cultures represents an exciting new beginning for higher education in Ireland – and for higher education itself.”

 Director of Glucksman Ireland House at New York University, Professor Joe Lee  concluded:”The creation of the integrated PhD in ‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’ is a long overdue initiative in Irish higher education. Placing Ireland among the leaders of research development in the arts and humanities, it offers exciting new opportunities for staff and students alike.”

Full details on the course  are available on