Collaborative Skills Development

The Collaborative Skills Development (CDS) scheme supported the development of innovative, collaborative training packages for PhD students and Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in the arts and humanities. The scheme is no longer running, but the following information may be useful for reference for staff, researchers, and students intending to manage similar activities within their institutions.

In 2013, the scheme had three strands:

  • The Organisation-led strand offered funding of up to £60,000 to enable Research Organisations (ROs) to offer training and skills development activities to groups of students and ECRs in several institutions, involving a variety of different partners.
  • The ECR-led strand offered funds up to £5,000 to support ECRs to establish and run collaborative training and researcher development activities primarily for the benefit of other ECRs. 
  • The Student-led strand supported doctoral students to establish and run smaller-scale collaborative activities, with an award limit of £3,000. 

Proposals were collaborative, involving at least one RO and another partner.

Applications to specific rounds of the CSD scheme proposed the development of skills within one of the following areas:

  • Partnership working including public engagement: To support postgraduate students to engage effectively with collaborators outside of academia, including community groups and the public, private and third sectors.
  • Entrepreneurship and the Creative Economy: Delivering activities and strategies that enabled postgraduate students to develop their research in an entrepreneurial context, including Enterprise learning.
  • Research Skills Enrichment: Supporting new activities that enabled postgraduate researchers to enhance their research skills by engaging with disciplines outside of their own in order to add value to their current research and/or develop their research in a new direction.

Proposals were eligible from any discipline within the AHRC’s subject remit. Applicants were welcome to propose innovative forms of skills development and training for students and ECRs. Applications proposing conferences and workshops, placements and internships, business plan type competitions and entrepreneurs-in-residence, study visits and electronic resources were also accepted, to name just a few examples.

Further Information

Full call guidance (PDF, 501KB)

Top Tips for Applicants (PDF, 165KB):

We encourage any students and ECRs who are considering running similar programmes to refer to the ‘top tips’: these have been compiled by previous award holders.

Previous Award Holders 2011 and 2012 (PDF, 193KB):

This document includes a list of all awards made under the Skills Development 2011 and Collaborative Skills Development 2012 (organisation-led and student-led) calls.

Previous Award Holders 2013 (PDF, 109KB):

This document shows a list of all awards made in the 2013 Collaborative Skills Development call, encompassing organisation-led, ECR-led, and student-led calls.

Case Studies:

The following case studies aim to highlight a selection of projects funded through the scheme, to outline some of the key challenges encountered by award holders, and to share ‘top tips’ from previous award holders.