AHRC Doctoral Training Partnerships and the British Library

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AHRC Doctoral Training Partnerships offer the British Library a welcome opportunity to work with some of the UK’s leading academic institutions. We are committed to working with Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) consortia, and other stakeholders, to enhance our strategic offering to postgraduate and early career researchers, contributing to the development of the UK research skills base.

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As the national library of the UK, we are open to collaboration with all UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) working across the arts and humanities and beyond. In respect of postgraduate and early-career training, we have identified the following areas of partnership working and collaboration. We would be happy to discuss this with any interested HEIs, consortia or other academic networks in the context of the AHRC’s Call for Proposals for the next phase of the DTP programme (DTP2).

PhD placements

The Library is keen to work with DTPs to promote its PhD placement scheme. We run an annual call for applications, inviting PhD researchers to apply to undertake any of our selected placement projects. Our expectation is that any PhD student given approval to undertake a placement at the Library is in receipt of a stipend – to a level at least equivalent to the RCUK national minimum doctoral stipend – for the duration of the placement. We would therefore expect DTPs to provide financial support to cover stipends and any costs associated with their students commuting or relocating to the site of the placement. We will reimburse expenses incurred by the student in undertaking exceptional work-related travel during the course of the placement (e.g. conference presentations, stakeholder meetings).

Research networking

The Library is keen to know about PhD research that uses our collections and online resources. Our Research Development team can support your cohort by helping to put them in touch with our curators and reference specialists, as well as with our own cohorts of collaborative PhD students and early-career research fellows. Where appropriate and feasible, we can help share details of ongoing or recent PhD research with our online audiences through guest posts on relevant BL Blogs or through case studies on our website.

Doctoral Open Days

Our annual programme of Doctoral Open Days offers first-year PhD students an introduction to the practicalities of using the Library and help in researching our physical and online collections. We are keen to work with DTPs in publicising these events and gathering feedback.

Promoting BL collections and expertise

Subject to availability and staff capacity, our Research Development team can contribute to DTP cohort events by giving talks and workshops about the Library’s collections, resources, expertise and other relevant opportunities for PhD and early-career researchers.

Joint training workshops

Whilst for reasons of capacity we are unable to commit in advance to specific DTP training programmes, the Library remains open to proposals and suggestions for collaborative activities, particularly where this promotes the research potential of our collections. The Library’s Research Development team welcomes proposals from DTPs for joint workshops, seminars, conferences or digital collaborations that have the potential to deliver mutual benefits and achieve shared objectives.

Collaborative doctoral awards

The British Library is a member of the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) scheme. We select a limited number of strategic CDP research themes each year through internal staff consultation. We welcome the opportunity to work with DTPs to publicise these themes to HEIs and the research community. We also welcome suggestions for other forms of collaborative research support and supervision, in so far as these collaborations can be developed in line with AHRC regulations, with our strategic priorities as an Independent Research Organisation, and with our own responsibilities and remit as the national library of the UK.

To discuss these areas of potential collaboration under the next phase of the AHRC DTP programme, or to propose other forms of partnership working in the area of postgraduate and early-career training, please contact Research.Development@bl.uk

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