New PhD Research Programme in Arts and Humanities Launched by NUI Galway, TCD and UCC in Cross-Institutional Initiative

Posted on: 16 January 2008

31 Scholarships Funded by HEA’s PRTLI  For New Arts and Humanities PhD ‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’

An innovative new PhD programme for research in the Arts and Humanities which will be delivered by NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork has been launched.   Thirty-one scholarships funded under the Higher Education Authority (HEA) PRTLI 4 are now available for the new integrated PhD entitled ‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’. The new research programme is a radical departure in PhD training where postgraduate students in the Arts and Humanities will have the opportunity to develop research skills in challenging interdisciplinary contexts.  They will present their research outputs in multi-institutional and student-led events which will be developed through a series of foundation year modules. Online learning media and video conferencing will also be utilised as well as wide-ranging guidance from supervisory panels made up of leading scholars drawn from the three participating universities.
Funded initially by the HEA Strategic Innovation Fund as part of the Irish Government’s commitment to develop graduate education, ‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’ has been significantly augmented by new funds from the all-Ireland collaboration ‘Humanities Serving Irish Society’ enabled by the HEA’s recent research funding programme, PRTLI  Cycle 4.

‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’ will provide students with four years research training, access to new technologies for a wide variety of careers, and placement and training in appropriate work situations. The ‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’ title points to the significance of the core element that lies at the heart of research in any of the Arts and Humanities disciplines – the book, letter, painting, sculpture as a ‘text’ and an intersection of contexts and cultures.

 It is uniquely positioned 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.

The new programme has been welcomed by the President for Research 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.”

TCD Provost, Dr John Hegarty added: “The integrated PhD, ‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’ shows that Trinity College Dublin, with its partner institutions University College Cork and NUI Galway, is setting the pace in interdisciplinary research in the Arts and Humanities. This new interdisciplinary and cross- institutional PhD research programme 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, also stated: “The creation of the Integrated PhD, ‘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.”

For full details of the integrated PhD, ‘Texts, Contexts, Cultures’ and the PRTLI fully-funded four-year scholarships click on Prospective students should contact Professor Nicholas Allen at NUI Galway (, Dr Crawford Gribben at Trinity College Dublin (, or Dr Hiram Morgan at University College Cork ( The deadline for receipt of applications is March 1, 2008.