The Courtauld Institute of Art, one of the world’s pre-eminent centres for the study of the history and conservation of art, has been awarded post-graduate funding for 44 PhDs and 60 MAs over the next five years through the new Block Grant Partnership Scheme of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).  The Courtauld Institute was one of only three institutions out of the 48 successful universities that were graded at the very highest level. 

For this new £199 million partnership scheme, the AHRC conducted an exhaustive peer review process followed by a three-day review session by a Moderating Panel of 18 members from across the UK’s arts and humanities research community.  The panel agreed that for The Courtauld  “overall, this was a very strong bid…. The allocations represent an excellent achievement reflecting the high quality of your proposal.”  

Only Research Organisations that have shown strong evidence of excellent strategic planning for, and delivery of, high quality postgraduate research and training in the arts and humanities have received Block Grant Partnerships. The Courtauld particularly excelled in its core subjects - the History of Art and Architecture and Conservation. Its newly established MA in Curating was also recognised.

This very welcome funding will enable The Courtauld to plan strategically to support the highest quality postgraduate research and training by allocating awards to five annual cohorts of UK and EU postgraduate students.  It will also allow The Courtauld to recruit the best students to take up these awards and, in partnership with the AHRC, to manage the five-year portfolio of awards.

The world-renowned Courtauld Institute of Art is an independent college of the University of London.  Its expertise and teaching range from antiquity through to contemporary.  The Courtauld Gallery houses one of Britain’s best-loved collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces as well as numerous other important paintings and works on paper from the Renaissance through to the 20th century. 

Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art, said of the funding award: “We are delighted that the excellence of our postgraduate research training in art history, conservation and curatorship has been recognised through this major partnership grant.  With secure funding for five years we will now be able to support post-graduate students of the greatest quality and potential. Research lies at the heart of The Courtauld's mission. The greatest impact, and perhaps the most long-term effect of our postgraduate research culture is best evidenced through the leadership roles our alumni achieve in academia, museums and galleries, and throughout the cultural and heritage sectors.”

Potential applicants wishing to find out more, or for details of how to apply, should visit:    

Arts & Humanities Research Council
Each year the AHRC provides approximately £100 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from languages and law, archaeology and English literature to design and creative and performing arts.  In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,000 postgraduate awards.  Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded.  Arts and humanities researchers constitute nearly a quarter of all research-active staff in the higher education sector.  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 further information, please contact:

Sue Bond Public Relations
Tel. +44 (0)1359 271085, Fax. +44 (0)1359 271934
E-mail.,                                    6/3/2009