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AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships

Current arts and humanities doctoral activity is taking place under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships programme. This provides funds for six doctoral studentships each year for three years, and commenced in 2013.

Each student is supervised by a member of the British Library curatorial staff and an academic partner from a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI). Our HEI partners receive and administer the funds from the AHRC for the studentship and, in collaboration with the Library, co-supervise the research and training of the student. The Library also provides the student with staff-level access to our collections, expertise and facilities, as well as financial support for research related costs of up to £1,000 a year.

Assessment Process

Our open competition approach to the AHRC CDP over the last three years has generated over 130 research proposals across 50 different HEIs resulting in a portfolio of postgraduate research collaborations that stretches from Stirling to Bristol. We want to maintain a track record of excellence on a national scale and thus intend to continue our open approach to project/student selection.

Theme proposals from BL staff are assessed on their potential to: make a unique research difference through the relevance of our expertise and our collection to A&H research; contribute to the development of curatorial best practice, research methodologies, or stewardship considerations; promote interdisciplinarity; and create outcomes that engage user groups beyond academia.

HEI applications to BL research themes are assessed according to five criteria: development of the research theme; the proposed academic supervisor’s research interests and expertise; the ability of the HEI to support the student’s research and training needs; track record of collaboration with non-HEI partners; and the articulation of potential benefits to the student, the HEI and the Library.

Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships for 2015

The six research topics and Co-Supervisors for the Library’s 2015 Collaborative Doctoral Awards are as follows, please click for a description:

Studentships based on these themes will be advertised by the HEI institutes and the Library, and applications will be invited in open competition. Successful students will contribute to the final agreed research topic.

Applying for a partnership

The competition for AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships for 2015 has now closed. Future competitions under this scheme will be announced on the Library’s website.

If you have any questions, please email

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