The Thames Consortium, comprised of The National Maritime Museum, The National Portrait Gallery and The National Archives has been awarded six Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDPs) per year for three years to support doctoral students. The CDP studentships are distributed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to sustain and promote high-quality research and skills in the sector. Maintaining the skills base in the arts and humanities is vital, and The National Archives will now be able to extend more opportunities for interdisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and training. We are pleased to be involved and thrilled that students will have access to a museum, an art gallery and an archive through which to explore their themes.

Current Studentships Available

More information and guidance on the application procedure for the following studentships will be available shortly.

Investigating methods for information exploration and discovery in big digital archives, in partnership with the University of Sheffield.

Vagrancy and poverty in the post-emancipation Anglophone Caribbean, 1834-1900, in partnership with Newcastle University.

CDP research priorities for 2015-2016

The application date for this round of the CDP competition has now closed. Details on the 2016-2017 competition will be available in the spring. If you would like to be sent an alert when the 2016-2017 competition opens please contact the research team at


  • the mechanics of the central government machine (13th-17th centuries)
  • land ownership, transfer and inheritance in the medieval and early modern periods
  • common law, politics and power in medieval and early modern England and Wales
  • early modern letter writing, literature and record keeping
  • developments in early modern science, technology, art and material culture
  • legacies of Empire
  • British foreign policy in the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • transatlantic relations during the Cold War
  • popular radicalism in the 18th and 19th centuries 
  • attitudes to vagrancy and poverty in the 19th century
  • surgeons at sea: Royal Navy medical officers' journals
  • the social impact of the First World War

Heritage science

  • sustainable stewardship: targeting wider collection management issues in order to provide solutions for sustainable stewardship of The National Archive's collections and exploring the potential of modeling and technology to provide evidence for decision-making
  • managing material change: for example, understanding materials, degradation processes and the relationship of materials to their environments, to enable The National Archives to predict the long-term stability of its holdings  


  • challenges in identifying and managing sensitive historical digital records
  • challenges in identifying and linking individuals across multiple series of digital records
  • archival digital collections as historical big data: challenges in understanding, exploring and visualising large digital collections
  • challenges in documenting and managing the context, provenance and integrity of the historical digital record during digital transfer from creating bodies to archives