Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships

The Thames Consortium is inviting expressions of interest from potential co-supervisors of Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDPs) starting in the academic year 2018-19.

The Thames Consortium consists of:

Three CDPs will be available in partnership with the Thames Consortium starting in 2017-18, subject to confirmation by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

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.

For 2017-18, The Thames Consortium is encouraging expressions of interest for CDPs that are interdisciplinary or could be done in partnership with more than one organisation in the Consortium.

How to make an expression of interest

If you are interested in co-supervising a CDP with the Thames Consortium, please complete the expression of interest form and read the expression of interest form guidance.

To complete the form, you will need to be a member of academic staff at a Research Organisation directly supported by the UK research funding councils. The form is for potential supervisors, not for students. Students cannot apply for the scheme at this stage. Students who are interested in a CDP studentship and are seeking more information on the scheme should consult the AHRC-CDP consortium website.

Please return your form by Thursday 14 September 2017 to one of the email addresses below:

You can also use these email addresses if you have any enquiries about the form.

The expression of interest is the first stage in a selection process that will take several months. Details of the timetable are shown below.

Selection process

Interest in the CDP scheme is likely to be intense, and the Thames Consortium is only able to select three studentships to nominate to the AHRC. The selection process will therefore be very competitive.

The Thames Consortium will review all expressions of interest received by the deadline of 14 September, and will select up to ten of these to be worked into full CDP proposals. Expressions of interest received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Decisions will be based on the following selection criteria:

  • Importance, originality and innovativeness of the proposed research.
  • Likely contribution to the objectives and priorities of the Thames Consortium.
  • Demonstrable links to the Thames Consortium’s collections, holdings and research interests.
  • Availability of members of staff within the Thames Consortium with expertise to co-supervise the project.

The Thames Consortium will contact all applicants in early October to inform them whether or not they are being invited to submit a full CDP proposal. Each full proposal will need to be completed jointly by the potential HEI and heritage supervisors. The development of a full proposal in partnership is likely to take a number of weeks.

Owing to an anticipated high number of expressions of interest, the Thames Consortium will only be able to provide brief feedback to applicants who are not invited to submit a full CDP proposal.

An external academic panel will review the full CDP proposals and make the final selection of three studentships to nominate to the AHRC. This panel will score each proposal based on the AHRC’s grading scale and consider its academic quality, the suitability of the proposed project to PhD-level research, and the potential benefits to the heritage organisation and the student. If a proposal includes a named student, this student’s CV and suitability to undertake the project will also be considered.


Thursday 14 September 2017: deadline for expressions of interest.

By end of September 2017: all expressions of interest will be reviewed by the Thames Consortium, with a limited number selected to be developed into CDP proposals.

Early October 2016: all applicants will be informed of the outcome of the Thames Consortium’s review. A limited number of applicants will be invited to jointly complete full CDP proposal forms with members of staff in the Thames Consortium.

End of November 2016: deadline for full CDP proposal forms, which should be done in partnership between the potential heritage and HEI co-supervisors.

Early December 2016: all CDP proposal forms reviewed by the Thames Consortium.  The consortium will contact all applicants to confirm whether their proposals will go through to be selected by the external academic panel in January. Most proposals will be expected to go through, but this is not guaranteed.

Mid-January 2017: external academic panel meeting. The panel, which will be externally chaired and include academics with expertise in relevant fields, will select three studentships to nominate to the AHRC. All applicants will be informed of the outcome, with feedback offered to unsuccessful applicants.

March 2017 (subject to confirmation by the AHRC): selected studentships will be advertised to students, to start in October 2017.