About Us

Launched in 2012, the Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDP) scheme grew out of the original Collaborative Doctoral Awards programme (CDA) first introduced in 2005. To date, more than 600 studentships have been awarded. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the scheme offers fully funded studentships for study towards a Doctoral degree. Successful candidates are jointly supervised by subject specialists at both their Higher Education Institute (HEI) and at one of the 25 museums, libraries, archives or heritage organisations that make up the CDP Consortium.

Aims and Objectives
The scheme provides an exceptional opportunity for doctoral students to acquire new skills within a research-led, professional environment. Students are also encouraged to engage with the wider public and to present their research to non-specialist audiences.

It also seeks to facilitate collaboration between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and a diverse range of non-HEI partners, including cultural organisations, businesses and community groups.

Programme Development
Research topics are developed on an annual basis by the cultural organisation and HEI working collaboratively to identify specific areas for research. In developing a CDP proposal, the cultural organisation will ensure that the studentship and proposed area of research contributes substantively to their organisational objectives and is suitable for research at PhD level. The proposals are then assessed and judged on academic quality within the organisational context, and the remit of the AHRC.
Once agreed, the studentships are advertised by the HEI and the cultural organisation, through the CDP network, and the AHRC website.

The diversity of collaborating cultural partners within the consortium means that a wealth of research has been undertaken since the scheme’s inception. Current projects include subjects as wide ranging as a review of the global impact of Spanish influenza, the Manchester motor industry 1896–1939, the material and visual culture of Jacobite exile 1716–60, and the development of deaf heritage.

More information on research currently being carried out by CDP students can be found here.

Each studentship is a fully funded AHRC research studentship covering three years of tuition fees at the university and maintenance (living costs), with additional funds available to support some research costs. These studentships are covered by standard AHRC rules and guidance for research students they fund and support.

The three years of study can be extended in certain situations through the Student Development Fund. For more information see the Resources page

Details of currently available studentships can be found here.

CDP partner organisations usually provide other financial support for research.

The CDP consortium Training and Cohort Development
The organisations that support the CDP scheme offer a joint programme of training and related activities open to all CDP students. This is in addition to specific opportunities offered by individual museums, galleries, libraries and other organisations.

Our training programme is not intended to duplicate research skills training provided by our students Universities. It provides introductions to research and work in our sectors, or provides a distinct work based perspective of topics also cover in University training. We hope, through the joint CDP activities to develop a body of researchers who  make significant contributions to the UK’s museums, galleries, heritage, libraries and archive sectors.

A tailored programme of events and workshops supports students’ own career planning throughout the doctoral process. Recent training events included:

• ‘Making Money’
• ‘Career Development’
• ‘Public Engagement’
• ‘Approaches to Object-Based Scholarship’

Funding is available from the CDP consortium to support student travel to, and accommodation at, Cohort Development events.

For more information see the Resources page.

If you have specific questions about the CDP please visit our FAQs  or contact the CDP administrator at CDPadmin@vam.ac.uk.

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