Call for Proposals for AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships

British Library PhD students

Academics at UK universities are invited to submit proposals for AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships with the British Library. We will support up to four co-supervised PhD projects, to start in October 2019, developing our specially selected research themes.

Published date:

The British Library’s is now accepting applications for AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDP) proposals. The application deadline is 23 November 2018.

AHRC CDPs provide funding for PhD research drawing on our collections, resources or expertise. The research is co-supervised by the Library and selected academic partners at a UK universities or Higher Education Institutes (HEIs).

Each year, the Library selects a limited number of strategic research themes around which to develop these partnerships. For CDPs starting in October 2019, the selected research themes are:

(Click on the links for more details about each theme and the BL co-supervisor)

Please note: The British Library has an allocation of 4 studentships from the AHRC for this round of the CDP programme. Consequently, not all of the six themes above will be developed into CDPs. In January 2019 we will select one HEI partner for each of the 4 CDP studentships that we are able to allocate. This will be done through an assessment panel taking account of:

  • the development of the research theme by the applicant and how well this complements British Library collections, resources or expertise
  • the fit of the proposal to the overarching aims and objectives of the AHRC CDP programme
  • the fit of the proposal to the applicant’s research interests and expertise
  • the ability of the HEI to manage co-supervision with the Library, support the student's training and development needs, and promote research engagement and impact
  • the track record of the applicant/the HEI in collaborating with non-HEI partners

Once selected, the HEI academic supervisor may further refine the research topic with the Library supervisor in order for each partner to gain maximum benefit from the collaboration. The successful PhD candidate will contribute to the development of the final agreed research project once recruited.

How to apply

Applicants must be academics of postdoctoral standing based at UK universities or HEIs.

To apply, download and complete the application form and send it via email, along with a 2-page CV, to

If your proposal is for there to be joint HEI supervisors, please provide a CV for each supervisor.

The British Library expects all applications to have been given the consent of the applicant’s Head of Department.

The application deadline is 17.00 on 23 November 2018.

Further details

CDP studentships are awarded by the AHRC for three years. As part of the award, additional Student Development Funding (equivalent to a further six months of funding) is available. This may be used to extend the studentship to support individual student training or professional development needs that are agreed as part of the project.

In addition to AHRC funding for the studentship, the British Library provides financial support to the student for research-related costs of up to £1,000 a year.

We provide our collaborative doctoral students with staff-level access to our collections, expertise and facilities. The students also benefit from the dedicated cohort development programme delivered by the Library in tandem with the other museums, galleries and heritage organisations affiliated to the AHRC CDP scheme.

You can find out more about the British Library's collaborative PhD programme on our website.

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