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Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) scheme

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

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

  • Giving non-HEI organisations greater autonomy in the selection of PhD 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 PhD 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 PhD students they support.

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."

Student feedback quoted in AHRC-funded collaborative studentships: their nature and impact on partners, subject areas and students’, JD Hill and A Meek, British Museum, May 2019, p.23-26

Download the full AHRC-funded collaborative studentships: their nature and impact on partners, subject areas and students report  to learn more about the impact of the Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships and Collaborative Doctoral Awards.

Read our inspiring CDP/CDA alumni career development stories on the Alumni page.

History of the scheme and information for student applicants

The scheme launched in 2012 and there have been three rounds. The first cohort of studentships began in 2013 (CDP1). The CDP2 awards commenced in 2016 and have supported four annual allocations of studentships. The final cohort of CDP 2 studentships commenced in October 2019. In the third CDP competition, awards have been made to fourteen award holders for three annual allocations of studentships; the first cohort will begin their doctoral studies in October 2020. Around 50 studentships per year are supported via this route.

The AHRC plays no part in the assessment and selection of students. The CDP 3 studentship projects will be advertised by higher education institutions (HEI) partners and the CDP award holders on an annual basis in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

View the full list of CDP Award holders below:

CDP 1 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
  • The British Museum
  • The Thames Consortium: The National Archives, National Maritime Museum and National Portrait Gallery
  • Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)

CDP 2 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)

CDP 3 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)