Doctoral research

Doctoral Students British Library

We support postgraduate research through our Reading Rooms and online resources, through collaborative projects, and through research training events.

These partnerships explore and open up our collections to enhance our engagement with different research and public audiences.

Collaborative doctoral research

We co-supervise doctoral research in partnership with universities from across the country, covering a range of disciplines and subject areas. This includes projects developed through the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships programme as well as co-supervision of PhDs funded through Doctoral Training Partnerships (see below).

Please click here to see the wide range of current doctoral research projects with the Library.

Doctoral training partnerships

We work closely with university partners to support postgraduate research training initiatives across all disciplines. We work with UKRI doctoral training consortia on an ongoing basis as strategic partners and/or by providing co-supervision for specific doctoral research projects. This includes collaborations with the following:

Current PhD opportunities

 There are currently no opportunities for collaborative doctoral studentships.

PhD placement scheme

Our annual placement scheme offers doctoral researchers from all disciplines the chance to develop and apply transferrable skills and expertise outside the university sector. Projects cover activities ranging from cataloguing, conservation and interpretation to policy research, resource development and research engagement.  

To be added to our PhD placement mailing list and be kept up-to-date about all future placement opportunities at the British Library please email Research.Development@bl.uk.

Doctoral Open Days

For first-year PhD students, our annual programme of Doctoral Open Days offers an introduction to the practicalities of using the Library and help in navigating our physical and online collections. 

For 2021, we decided to move to a free online programme. Instead of on-site events, we offered PhD students the opportunity to meet our expert and friendly staff via a series of webinars which began with a general introduction to the Library, followed by 7 further modules on specific collection areas and periods.

Visit this page to find out more about the PhD webinars offered between 13 January and 3 March 2021 and to access the resources from our introductory module.

To subscribe to our mailing list and receive updates about future Doctoral Open Days or PhD webinars, please email Research.Development@bl.uk.

Please note that our events usually fill up quickly, so if you are planning to join us please make sure to register early to avoid disappointment. 

EThOS

Our free e-theses service allows you to access over 500,000 PhD thesis records online. An immediate full-text download is available for over 170,000 theses. Visit ethos.bl.uk

 

Future opportunities for Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships and studentships for forthcoming projects will be advertised here when available. 
Future opportunities for Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships and studentships for forthcoming projects will be advertised here when available. 
Future opportunities for Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships and studentships for forthcoming projects will be advertised here when available. 

Case studies

More Case studies
…Working with the British Library has enabled me to get my research out there beyond academia.…

How smartphones are changing storytelling: Alastair Horne, PhD student.

…You get to know how people work in an institution like this... it's something I would like to do as well.…

Exploring the working life of a twentieth-century scientist through the archive of John Maynard Smith.

…I am incredibly lucky to be working within an institution that encourages self-reflection.…

Researching Hans Sloane’s books, one of the foundation collections of the British Library.

…A PhD can be a lonely journey, but collaborative PhDs are certainly not that.…

Investigating constructions of identity in the works and archive of the writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.