CDP 2021 call for projects: Guidance notes & application form

We are currently inviting proposals for CDP projects to commence in October 2021

Download the application form



Project proposals are invited for the new round of the Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDPs) for projects starting in October 2021.

The CDP programme provides exciting opportunities for collaboration with UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Funding is available for up to three doctoral studentships (subject to funding) commencing in 2021 which will be taken up by students who will work across, and will be jointly supervised by members of staff from a UK HEI (other than Oxford University) and an Oxford University GLAM institution.

CDPs facilitate new Arts and Humanities research that is embedded in GLAM institutions, develop new perspectives on the museums and their collections, share knowledge with a range of audiences, and train a new generation of scholars working between the academic and heritage sectors. Awards have been made in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 in the fields of Art History, Ancient History, Classics, Archaeology and Museum Studies.

Research projects may involve any aspect of GLAM’s operations and profile, including not only collections history and other object-focused studies, but also other aspects such as education, conservation, architecture, communities, media and communication, art, or information studies. Projects can be on any topic within AHRC’s remit provided that the proposed project falls within AHRC’s areas of subject coverage, represents excellent research and is feasible for collaborative study at doctoral level.

The GLAM CDP programme includes a commitment to supporting the development of partnership bids that offer projects as Positive Action Targeted Studentships for UK BAME researchers, as a route for addressing under-representation in doctoral training for the cultural and heritage sector. For the 2021 Oxford GLAM CDP round, every successful application must be advertised as a Positive Action Targeted Studentship for BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) applicants. Collaborating HEI partners will need to confirm that their department or university has completed an evidence-based Memorandum of Justification that demonstrates under-representation of BAME students, or will do so before the studentship is advertised.

Potential supervisors – who can be any member of staff at a GLAM institution – are encouraged to discuss their projects with Professor Dan Hicks at and/or Dr Harriet Warburton at before submitting a proposal.

In order to be considered for the 2021 round completed forms must be submitted by email to by: Monday 14 December 2020 by 5pm.

Each of the six GLAM institutions (the four museums, and the library and gardens) will have its own internal approval deadlines and review procedures before this date, and so potential supervisors should make contact with the relevant research lead as soon as possible. Dr Harriet Warburton can advise on the approval procedure and timings within the different GLAM institutions.

The following guidance notes can also be downloaded as a Word document.



Guidance notes

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Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) is a group of six institutions: Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum, the Bodleian Libraries and four museums: Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, History of Science Museum, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and Pitt Rivers Museum. Together, we represent the largest group of university gardens, libraries and museums in the UK and are a leading global centre for cross-disciplinary collections-based research, teaching and curatorial practice. They collectively hold 8.5 million objects, 13 million printed items, and 8,000 plant species – representing the history, science, culture and knowledge of all major global civilisations. Our collections range from fossils, geological specimens and scientific instruments to books, art, and material culture from across the globe and all periods of the human past, from prehistory and classical antiquity to the modern world. Since 1602, Oxford University’s gardens, libraries and museums have cared for a unique material archive of thought about art, the humanities and science. Today they are a world-leading centre for collections and libraries scholarship, education, exhibitions practice, public engagement, digital curation, knowledge exchange, and the global accessibility of cultural heritage.

Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) studentship programme provides AHRC-funded PhD studentships that are jointly supervised through a partnership between a member of staff at an Oxford GLAM institution and an academic from a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) (excluding Oxford University). The PhD will be awarded by the partner HEI. The studentships are funded through an award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through the Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme. The studentships are fully funded for eligible students. Further information can be found here and at the programme hub.

The GLAM CDP began in October 2016 with studentships open to the Museums. From 2020 the programme widened to allow studentships to be supervised by staff from Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum, and the Bodleian Libraries. The programme is led by Professor Dan Hicks (Pitt Rivers Museum) and is coordinated by Dr Harriet Warburton (GLAM).  Further information can be found here.

The aims of the CDP at Oxford are:

  • To develop excellent research within the six GLAM institutions;
  • To build a series of strong and innovative partnerships from Oxford’s museums, libraries and gardens across the full range of Arts and Humanities disciplines;
  • To support the development of a number of Positive Action Targeted Studentships for UK BAME applicants, in order to begin to address under-representation in doctoral training in the cultural and heritage sector.

Oxford University GLAM are offering up to three new fully-funded doctoral studentships (subject to funding) to commence in 2021. Each proposal from an OU GLAM institution and partner HEI will be for one studentship only.

Download the application form.

Potential supervisors should complete the application form with close reference to these Guidance Notes. Note that much of this form can later be directly copied/pasted into the AHRC’s electronic submission system, Je-S.

 NB this is based on the schedule from previous years but may need to change dependent on the Covid-19 situation.

  • September-November 2020. Each of the six GLAM departments has its own internal approval deadlines and review procedures before this date, and so potential supervisors should begin dialogue with the relevant research lead as soon as possible. The internal deadlines and contact person for each GLAM department are below. Please note that the application form does not need to be finalised for these internal deadlines but your submission should be sufficient that the project concept can be approved. Please also copy Hattie Warburton ( into the correspondence.
GLAM department Deadline Contact person
Ashmolean Museum 28 October Prof Chris Howgego (
Bodleian Libraries 10 November Dr Chris Fletcher (
History of Science Museum 12 November Dr Stephen Johnston (
Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum tbc Prof Simon Hiscock (
Museum of Natural History 30 November Prof Paul Smith (
Pitt Rivers Museum 10 November Dr Chris Morton (
GLAM 2 November Dr Hattie Warburton (


  • 14 December 2020. Completed forms must be submitted by email to by: Monday 14 December 2020 before 5pm.
  • Late January 2021. Panel reports decisions to project applicants.
  • Early February 2021. AHRC Check and confirm remit of chosen projects and issue interim award letters to allow recruitment to start.
  • February-March 2021. Completion of Je-S form by HEI partner, full award letter issued by AHRC.
  • March-June 2021. Student recruitment.
  • March-June 2021. Agreement of draft collaboration agreements between GLAM and HEI partners.
  • March 2021 (date tbc). National CDP supervisors’ information/networking day
  • September 2021 (date tbc). National new student/supervisor launch event
  • September-October 2021. New students start work. HEIs update the Je-S student data portal with student details.

The topic of each studentship application should be developed through close collaboration between the proposed supervisory team – from both the partner HEI and OU GLAM institution. Projects may focus on collections-based research or on any other aspect of garden, library and/or museum practice, including (but not limited to) the history of collections, public programming and engagement, knowledge exchange, education, archival research, and digital curation.

Potential supervisors are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposals with Professor Dan Hicks, and also with the Heads of Department (in both the HEI and the GLAM institution), with the Research Office (in both the HEI and the GLAM institution), and with any other members of museum staff involved in or affected by the potential research project.  The relevant GLAM and HEI Head of Department for each proposed supervisor must give consent for their involvement.

All studentship proposals must fall within AHRC’s areas of subject coverage. However, there are no thematic priorities for Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums.

For details of current CDP projects go to the GLAM CDP project page here

Applications will be assessed according to five criteria:

  1. Academic excellence.
  2. Feasibility. The feasibility of the proposed research, including the strength of the partnership, the suitability and track record of the supervisors.
  3. Innovation. The degree to which the proposal represents a new or unexpected collaboration across AHRC’s subject areas, which have not previously been developed by the GLAM institution(s) in question.
  4. Impact. The potential impact of the research within academic, cultural sector and public spheres, and how it addresses the aims of the Oxford CDP scheme.   As part of this, the degree to which the embedded nature of the studentship brings genuine ‘added value’ (rather than just, for example, allowing access to collections that any researcher could gain).
  5. Student development. The extent to which the project will help the student develop professional skills for use in the cultural, heritage, or university sectors.  

Named students are not permitted in the project application process. An open call for student applications for each chosen project commencing in October 2021 will be issued in early 2021, in a recruitment process led by the HEI supervisor in close partnership with the OU GLAM supervisor.

Prospective students should watch for announcements of funded studentships in January-March 2021 on the AHRC-CDP website here and the GLAM CDP website here. We will also advertise studentships via HEI and GLAM instiutional Twitter accounts and relevant subject specialist networks and JISCMail groups.

The doctoral studentship will be awarded by AHRC to the partner HEI. The studentship award pays the student’s university fees (at the UK fees rate) and a maintenance grant (stipend) in line with the standard AHRC doctoral awards for four years (or part-time equivalent).

The studentships can be offered to either UK or international students but the full UKRI rules for international students are not yet known (August 2020). For more details see the UKRI webpages on UKRI-funded postgraduate programmes to open to international students here.

In addition to the studentship award for fees and maintenance, Oxford University GLAM institutions also provide up to £2,000 per annum per student (claimable via the GLAM department’s expenses claims procedure) per annum towards the student’s travel and other costs related to working across two locations, plus an additional £200 per annum per student towards the UK CDP consortium’s training programme . For more information see the section on Cohort Development Events on the AHRC CDP hub here.

The following guidance notes are numbered to correspond to the relevant sections on the ‘Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships 2021 Project Proposal Form’.

Section 1: Title and abstract

For successful project applications these sections can be copied and pasted from this form into the AHRC Je-S form and AHRC project nomination form (returned by GLAM Research and Impact team rather than PI).

Sections 2-3: Co-supervision between the HEI and Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums

Applications are invited from partnerships between potential doctoral supervisors based at an Oxford University GLAM institution and a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI). A minimum of two supervisors are required. However, studentships with more than two supervisors from more than two institutions (for example, one HEI collaborating with  two or more GLAM supervisors) can be proposed. The AHRC encourages projects which include a second supervisor from both the HEI and the partner as back-up in case one supervisor absents themselves from the project either temporarily or permanently.

The HEI partner will be responsible for administering the studentship in line with the AHRC’s terms and conditions. When the nominated PhD projects have been approved by the AHRC they are set up as Doctoral Training Grants to the HEI and will follow the same process for activating grants and funding students as for successful applications made under the Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) Open call (i.e. the funding award is made directly to the collaborating HEI, it is not made to Oxford University GLAM).

The HEI supervisor is formally the lead supervisor for the studentship. They and their department should demonstrably provide the right expertise and support for the topic. The GLAM partner will share the supervision of the studentship with the HEI partner. The student is expected to spend a significant period of time researching with Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums, and to attend training and other activities that the CDP Consortium and the GLAM institution(s) organises for them in Oxford and elsewhere, including London. The GLAM institution will be expected to pay £2,200 per student per year (max. £8,800) towards travel and research costs and towards the central UK training budget, therefore it is important that the proposal is approved internally by the HoD and relevant research committee (or equivalent body).

Potential supervisors from OU GLAM institutions are strongly advised to contact Professor Dan Hicks at and/or Dr Harriet Warburton at before submitting a proposal for a project.

Informal enquiries from potential UK HEI partners (excluding Oxford University) who are unsure of whom to approach within Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums are welcome. These should be sent to Professor Dan Hicks and Dr Harriet Warburton at the above addresses.

Separate applications from the same supervisor, with different partners or topics, are acceptable. However, the number of supervisory commitments will be one element of assessing feasibility, and since there are only four studentships then competition is likely to be strong.

Section 4: Project details

Section 4 should be used to describe the planned research project. This should include allowance for the student’s own choice of path within the bounds of the overall project.  In Section 4.1, please summarise the research to be undertaken using the following headings:

  • What is the project about? Aims and Objectives?
  • Why is the project important and original?
  • What are the key research questions to be addressed?
  • Methodology. Outline of research likely to be undertaken – the data to be collected and studied; fieldwork or research visits in the UK or abroad required; the type of approach or analysis to be used etc.
  • What is the likely timescale for the project to be delivered successfully
  • What scope is available to the successful student candidate for moulding the project?
  • What will be the expected outcomes?
  • If this is either a practice-based or -led proposal the CfS should identify a research question or questions that will be addressed by both the practice and critical work undertaken during the degree. The application must also articulate a research question(s) that the proposed practice addresses or illuminates and clarify the proposed weighting of the practice and critical components of the thesis. The CfS should also set out a clear rationale in which the relationship between practice and theory is justified.

Section 4.2 should list which disciplines are involved if the project is interdisciplinary, which is information required for the AHRC project nomination form.

Section 4.3 asks whether the proposal is for a practice-based research project.

Sections 4.4-4.5 should outline any ethical or logistical issues which might need be to addressed within the HEI or GLAM institution in order to facilitate the research project.

Section 5: Summary of the partnership

Please note that we welcome both new and established partnerships but this section should outline the rational for and strengths of the proposed partnerships including how the proposed project might lie outside the established disciplinary connections of the GLAM institution involved.

Section 6: Impact

Please address both the academic impact of the project and also the potential impact on the GLAM institution(s), referring to strategic priorities and objectives. This is also an opportunity to describe why this studentship could only work within a collaborative doctoral partnership. For successful project applications these sections can be copied and pasted from this form into the AHRC Je-S form.

Section 7: Student recruitment

The project application form should include details of what skills will be needed by the students, what additional training and development will be available to them, and what opportunities will be available for professional development unrelated to their thesis. Please include information on where you will publicise the PhD studentship and how you propose to manage the recruitment process to ensure this opportunity is made accessible to the widest possible pool of potential candidates.

Section 8: Positive Action Targeted Studentships

For the 2021 Oxford GLAM CDP round, every successful application must be advertised as a Positive Action Targeted Studentship for BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) applicants. Please confirm that your department or university has completed an evidence-based Memorandum of Justification that demonstrates under-representation of BAME students, or will do so before the studentship is advertised.

Section 9: Student development

Please provide details of options for use of the student development phase/s of the project. AHRC will provide funding for up to four years of stipend and fees. The four year period should include one or more periods of non-research career development activity for the student such as placements, training courses, working on exhibitions or other museum skills, or other professional development. AHRC allow a degree of flexibility over the length, timing and format of these periods of training but they recommend that the studentships should be thought of as 42-45 month studentships for research and writing-up, with an additional 3-6 month stipend to cover time and funding for this professional development activity (i.e. 48 months in total). Up to 3 months of this stipend could be used as cash to pay for courses, etc. For more details please contact

Section 10: Supervisors

Potential GLAM supervisors can be any member of staff at a GLAM institution and do not necessarily require supervisory experience or a list of publications, so long as the HEI supervisor has these.

Section 11: HEI department

Please provide an overview of the research environment of the HEI department or faculty, including the support it will provide to the successful CDP student (including research support available), its experience of engaging with external partners in this box. Also outline what support is in place in your department or across your HEI to promote the health and wellbeing of PhD students and any other relevant pastoral services.


Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums, August 2020