Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDP)

The Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDP) scheme gives non-HEI (non-higher education institution) partner organisations with a proven track record in postgraduate research the opportunity to apply for a cohort of a minimum of three doctoral studentships per year over a three-year period.

The aim of the CDP scheme is to support excellent collaborative research training by:

  • giving non-HEI organisations greater autonomy in the selection of doctoral projects they would like to support and supervise
  • providing non-HEI organisations or consortia with a firm funding horizon of collaborative doctoral awards to support their research training strategy, and to enable the development of enhanced programmes of doctoral study that provide students with career development opportunities outside the standard academic route
  • fostering collaboration between CDP-holding organisations and consortia in the development of wider training and development opportunities for the doctoral students they support

Please note: any students interested in AHRC-funded doctoral studentships should contact the research organisation, university or consortium at which they wish to study directly to obtain information on how to apply and eligibility. There is no route for prospective students to apply directly to AHRC for a studentship.

Student feedback for the scheme

The following student feedback was quoted in the report AHRC-funded collaborative studentships: their nature and impact on partners, subject areas and students (page 23 to 26).

“The collaborative nature of the project meant I learnt how to deal with different people with different priorities and needs, and also how to properly think about who I am talking to as I needed to explain work to people from different backgrounds in completely different ways. These are skills that helped me hit the ground running in my job.”

“I can’t envisage another situation where someone in their early 20s having just completed BA and MA studies would be in a position to co-curate an exhibition and its accompanying catalogue for an institution like Tate.”

“I am certain that the experience gained through working with a world-renowned heritage organisation during my project helped me to secure a heritage-based role subsequent to the PhD project.”

Download the report to learn more about the impact of the Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships and Collaborative Doctoral Awards.

Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships: fourth round (CDP4)

The fourth round of the CDP funding opportunity closed on 6 September 2022. Following the assessment process AHRC has awarded 15 Collaborative Doctoral Partnership awards for CDP4.

AHRC will provide funding for 156 doctoral studentships through the 15 CDP4 awards over the next three academic years. The first cohort is set to begin their studies in October 2024.

CDP4 award holders

The 15 CDP4 award holders include:

  • The British Library
  • The British Museum
  • The Collections and Communities in the East of England Consortium: University of Cambridge, Colchester and Ipswich Museums, Norfolk Museums Service and Peterborough Limited
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England: Historic England and English Heritage Trust
  • Imperial War Museums
  • Museum of the Home in partnership with Queen Mary, University of London
  • The National Archives
  • National Gallery and Bowes Museum Consortium
  • National Museums Northern Ireland
  • Portsmouth City Council in partnership with University of Portsmouth
  • REACH (Revisiting and Enhancing Approaches to Collections and Heritage) consortium: National Maritime Museum, British Film Institute, Historic Royal Palaces, National Portrait Gallery and National Trust
  • Science Museums and Archives Consortium: Science Museum, BT Archives, Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British geographers), Royal Society and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Tate
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Welsh Culture and Heritage Consortium: Amguddfa Cymru Museum of Wales, National Botanic Garden of Wales and National Library of Wales

History of the scheme and information for student applicants

The scheme launched in 2012 and there have been three previous funding rounds. The first cohort of studentships began in 2013 (CDP1). The CDP2 awards commenced in 2016 and supported four annual allocations of studentships. In the third CDP competition, awards were made to 14 award holders, initially for three annual allocations of studentships, later extended across four years in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 50 studentships per year are supported via this route.

AHRC plays no part in the assessment and selection of students. The CDP studentship projects will be advertised by higher education institutions (HEI) partners and the CDP award holders on an annual basis in 2024, 2025 and 2026.

CDP1 award holders

  • British Library
  • Glasgow Life
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England: English Heritage
  • Imperial War Museums
  • National Gallery
  • Royal Geographical Society: Institute of Royal Geographers and Royal Society
  • Science Museums Consortium: Science Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, National Media Museum, National Railway Museum in York, Locomotion National Railway Museum in Shildon, BT Archives
  • Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium: National Museums of Scotland, RCAHMS, National Galleries of Scotland, Historic Scotland
  • Tate
  • The British Museum
  • The Thames Consortium: The National Archives, National Maritime Museum and National Portrait Gallery
  • Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)

CDP2 award holders

  • British Library
  • Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England: English Heritage
  • Imperial War Museums
  • National Gallery & The Bowes Museum Consortium
  • Oxford University Museums Consortium: Oxford University Museums (Ashmolean Museum, Museum of the History of Science, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and Pitt Rivers Museum)
  • Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium: National Museums of Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland, Historic Scotland, National Library of Scotland
  • Sports Heritage Network: National Football Museum, World Rugby Museum, National Hockey Museum, National Horseracing Museum, River and Rowing Museum, Rugby League Cares and the MCC Cricket Museum
  • The Thames Consortium: The National Archives, National Maritime Museum and National Portrait Gallery
  • Science Museums and Archives Consortium: Science Museum group, BT Archives, The Royal Society and the Royal Geographical Society
  • Tate
  • The British Museum
  • Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)

CDP3 award holders

  • Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales
  • British Library
  • Historic Buildings & Monuments Commission for England: Historic England and English Heritage Trust
  • Imperial War Museums
  • Museum of London Archaeology
  • National Gallery, Bowes Museum and York Museums Trust Consortium
  • Oxford University GLAM (Gardens, Libraries and Museums) Consortium: Ashmolean Museum, Bodleian Libraries, Museum of the History of Science, Oxford Botanic Gardens & Arboretum, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Pitt Rivers Museum
  • REACH (Revisiting and Enhancing Approaches to Collections and Heritage) Consortium: National Maritime Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Historic Royal Palaces, British Film Institute, and the National Trust
  • Science Museums and Archives Consortium: Science Museum, BT Archives, Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British geographers), Royal Society and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium: Historic Environment Scotland, National Museums Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland, National Library of Scotland and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
  • Tate
  • The British Museum
  • The National Archives
  • Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)

Last updated: 14 September 2023

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