Research training and professional development

As a doctoral researcher in Humanities, you will be encouraged to think about the impact of your research and your career aspirations, while you will also be given the opportunities to gain the experience and skills to realise your ambitions.

The University of Manchester provides funded opportunities for personal and professional development to maximise your talents. From workshops and events tackling key research skills and tools, to placements, internships and exchanges, you’ll find many ways to broaden your networks and personalise your training to meet your needs and enhance your experience.

As part of my PhD, I had the opportunity to undertake a four-month internship in Parliament working for the Welsh Affairs Select Committee. I also had the opportunity to undertake a one-month overseas institutional visit, which was a funded programme to go and work with an academic at Purdue University in Indiana.

I think the placement in Parliament really helped me to think of myself as an academic in a world of policymaking, and it really helped me to accrue skills that were really beneficial to my research. Being in Indiana and working at Purdue was also a defining moment for me, bringing my research over and speaking to the political science faculty.

Anna Sanders / PhD student

Expert supervision

One of the most important factors for successful development is the relationship you’ll have with your supervisors.

All our academic supervisors are research active and will support you throughout your research and help you develop rigorous, creative and original research practice.

We're not here simply to 'supervise' – we seek to discover and co-produce new knowledge with students as our partners.

You can expect to meet with your supervisor at least once a month to discuss progress on your project, where your supervisor will assist be able to offer support on anything you might be contending with.

An inspiring environment

As a postgraduate researcher, you'll be joining a large and diverse community of internationally-recognised academic experts in an environment that will stimulate intellectual debate and development.

You’ll be supported to present your ideas at international conferences and workshops that provide relevant professional opportunities. You’ll also be encouraged to publish, and we have strategies to help you achieve this goal.

You’ll have access to funding for fieldwork and conference activities. All five schools in the Faculty of Humanities have funding available to support students undertaking fieldwork abroad and presenting papers or posters at academic conferences.

The support to succeed

The Faculty of Humanities has a dedicated Researcher Development Team that will support your professional development throughout your PhD and beyond.

Our Researcher development programme will enable you to become more aware of your developing researcher identity, equipping you with the skills you need during your PhD and preparing you to integrate with the research community.

In addition, we consider all our postgraduate research students to be developing intellectual leaders. This is recognised in our Developing Intellectual Leaders Programme, which supports a small group of students through a series of interventions designed to help them take control of their professional development and make the most of their leadership potential.

In addition to expert teaching and tuition, you’ll have access to excellent facilities such as our world-leading library and archive collections, common learning areas and personal workstations.

PGR Knowledge Exchange

We support postgraduate researchers to collaborate with external partners via placements and other cross-sectorial projects that bring research outside academia.

Our PGR Knowledge Exchange Programme is designed to support you in engaging with external partners, create impact with your research and develop skills and networks that can boost your professional development and employability both inside and outside academia.

We foster cross-sectorial collaboration, co-creation and knowledge exchange through a series of different schemes and initiatives


Global connections

The international exchange scheme is currently on hold due to COVID-19. We will offer these opportunities again as soon as it is safe to do so.

As a leading research university, we have established connections all over the world.

We are keen to support our postgraduate researchers to fully participate in the international research community through conference attendance, fieldwork and institutional visits and exchanges.

We have a number of established Postgraduate Researcher Exchange programmes across the globe, including:

  • Indiana University
  • University of Copenhagen
  • National University of Singapore

These exchanges offer an excellent opportunity to visit another institution, access research resources and experience the academic culture and professional networks of another institution/country.

To support postgraduate researchers to take part in these exchanges, the Faculty offers financial support. Successful applicants receive up to £3,000 towards travel expenses, accommodation, subsistence, educational materials and/or other education-related costs for anything from two weeks to a maximum duration of a three-month visit.

The total value of the award depends on the duration and location of the exchange and is made at the discretion of the Faculty, based on a banding for the costs of overseas travel and accommodation.

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs)

We collaborate with other higher education institutions and external partners to provide additional opportunities for our postgraduate researchers.

The Faculty is part of a wider network of institutions and cultural partnerships through its membership of NWCDTP (North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership).

This is an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded DTP which offers postgraduate studentships and training across a full range of arts and humanities disciplines.

The NWSSDTP (North West Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership) is one of 15 ESRC-funded doctoral training partnerships in the UK and brings together the Universities of Manchester, Lancaster, Liverpool and Keele.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) studentships are available across the full range of social science disciplines and students have access to research expertise and training across the four constituent Universities.