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).

Each student has at least one supervisor at a heritage organisation and one at a university.

These studentships provide opportunities for collections-based or applied research across the arts and humanities. Twelve heritage organisations, or groups of heritage organisations, hold CDPs and work together as a consortium. Visit the AHRC CDP Consortium website to find out more.

As well as working within their host heritage organisations, the students have a chance to get to know the wider heritage sector, extend their networks and belong to a cohort of CDP students (about 50 per cohort). The AHRC CDP Consortium provides training to the students, dealing with topics such as object-based research, creating exhibitions and finding funding.

How is The National Archives involved in the CDP scheme?

The National Archives belongs to the Thames Consortium, which includes:

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

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

Current CDPs at The National Archives

A number of students are currently doing AHRC-funded CDPs across the Thames Consortium, covering a range of subjects and disciplines. The following students are based at The National Archives:

Started in 2013

  • ‘Experiences of war widows and orphans during the 1640s and 1650s’
    Hannah Worthen (University of Leicester), supervised by Dr Andrew Hopper (University of Leicester) and Dr Katy Mair (The National Archives)
  • ‘Aspects of trusts in Chancery: 1660-1840’
    David Foster (Queen Mary, University of London), supervised by Professor Michael Lobban (London School of Economics) and Dr Amanda Bevan (The National Archives)

Started in 2014

  • ‘Visualising historic time and visually representing uncertainty’
    Sam Cottrell (Royal College of Art), supervised by Dr Stephen Boyd-Davis (Royal College of Art) and Dr Sonia Ranade (The National Archives)
  • ‘Women in Chancery: an analysis of Chancery as a women’s court of redress in 17th century England’
    Charlotte Garside (University of Hull), supervised by Dr Amanda Capern (University of Hull) and Dr Amanda Bevan (The National Archives)
  • ‘The Home Office and public disturbance, c.1800-1832’
    Nathan Bend (University of Hertfordshire), supervised by Dr Katrina Navickas (University of Hertfordshire), Dr Robert Poole (University of Central Lancashire) and Dr Paul Carter (The National Archives)

Started in 2015

  • ‘Investigating methods for information exploration and discovery in big digital archives’
    Philip Webster (University of Sheffield), supervised by Dr Paul Clough (University of Sheffield), Dr Sonia Ranade (The National Archives) and Graham Seaman (The National Archives)
  • ‘Vagrancy and poverty in the post-emancipation Anglophone Caribbean, 1834-1900’
    Ayshah Johnston (University of Newcastle), supervised by Dr Diana Paton (University of Newcastle) and Dr Dan Gilfoyle (The National Archives)

Started in 2016

  • ‘Satire, news and topical reading during the second and third Anglo-Dutch Wars, 1665-1675’
    Jack Avery (University of Bristol), supervised by Dr Edward Holberton (University of Bristol), Dr Katy Mair (The National Archives) and Dr James Davey (National Maritime Museum)
  • ‘The 1797 naval mutinies at Spithead and the Nore’
    Callum Easton (University of Cambridge), supervised by Dr Renaud Morieux (University of Cambridge), Dr James Davey (National Maritime Museum) and Bruno Pappalardo (The National Archives)

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.

Apply for a CDP starting in October 2017

Find out more and apply for a CDP studentship at The National Archives and the University of Leicester starting in 2017.