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Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships

The Thames Consortium is inviting expressions of interest in supervising Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDPs) which would start in the academic year 2019-20.

The Thames Consortium consists of:

Three CDPs will be available in partnership with the Thames Consortium starting in 2019-20, subject to confirmation by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

For 2019-20, The Thames Consortium is encouraging expressions of interest for CDPs that align with the shared research priorities of the institutions.

Expressions of interest must link to one or more of the following areas of research:

Accessibility of collections:

  • Working on under-researched caches of material.
  • Finding innovative ways to present our collections and engage more people with them, particularly in the digital environment.
  • Finding new means to reach diverse communities, encourage different approaches to collections or highlight the range of people represented in collections.

Borders and boundaries:

  • Research examining the reflexive relationships between the individual and the state in a national and international context.
  • Research to inform contemporary debate on Britain’s place in the world.
  • Unpacking the relationship between biography and identity.

Read more about the CDP scheme.

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 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 17:00 on Monday 17 September 2018 to one of the email addresses below:

You can also use these email addresses if you have any enquiries about the form, or if you would like to discuss your project idea with a member of staff at the relevant Thames Consortium organisation.

Selection process and timetable

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 and select up to ten expressions of interest to be worked into full CDP proposals. Expressions of interest received after the deadline of Monday 17 September 2018 at 17:00 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 university 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.


  • Monday 17 September 2018 at 17:00: deadline for expressions of interest.
  • End of September 2018: all expressions of interest will be reviewed by the Thames Consortium, with a limited number (up to ten) selected to be developed into CDP proposals.
  • Early October 2018: 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.
  • Friday 23 November 2018: deadline for full CDP proposal forms, which should be done in partnership between the potential heritage and university co-supervisors.
  • Early December 2018: 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 2019: 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 2019 (subject to confirmation by the AHRC): selected studentships will be advertised to students, to start in October 2019.