About our Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships

Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDPs) are partnerships between heritage organisations and higher education institutions, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

CDP studentships provide opportunities for collections-based research across the arts and humanities, and are designed to support the research interests of the heritage sector. Each student has at least one supervisor at a heritage organisation and one at a university.

Twelve heritage organisations, or groups of heritage organisations, hold CDPs and work together as a consortium. Find out more about the AHRC CDP Consortium.

As well as working within their host heritage organisations, the students have a chance to get to know the wider heritage sector and extend their networks.

The AHRC CDP Consortium offers training to all CDP students (about 50 per cohort), dealing with topics such as object-based research, creating exhibitions and finding funding.

How is The National Archives involved in the CDP scheme?

We belong to the Thames Consortium, which consists of:

The AHRC has allocated three CDP studentships per year for four years to the Thames Consortium, starting in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Through its CDPs, the Thames Consortium aims to:

  • deliver excellent research that benefits students and the academic community and supports the strategic objectives of the organisations in the Consortium
  • encourage inter- and cross-disciplinary research in the arts and humanities and promote integrated access to collections
  • share expertise and communicate research outputs, linking research to public engagement
  • support partnership working, both within the Consortium itself and between the heritage and academic sectors
  • help students develop experience and skills that will benefit their future careers.

Selection process

Each year the Thames Consortium puts out a call for proposals, which are produced jointly by members of staff in the Thames Consortium organisations and academics at higher education institutions.

The Thames Consortium then works with an external academic panel to select which CDP studentships to nominate to the AHRC.

Subject to confirmation by the AHRC, the selected studentships are advertised to prospective students in the spring of each year.