CDP 2020 Call: Guidance Notes & Application Form

We are currently inviting proposals for CDP projects to commence in October 2020

Download the application form (.docx)



Project proposals are invited for the new round of Oxford's Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDP) for projects starting in October 2020.

The CDP programme provides exciting opportunities for collaboration with UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Funding is available for four doctoral studentships commencing in 2020, 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 a 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 and 2019 in the fields of Art History, Ancient History, Classics, Archaeology and Museum Studies.

Research projects may involve any aspect of the museums’ operations and profile, including not only collections history and other object-focused studies, but also other aspects of museums 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. Applicants interested in developing their bid as a Positive Action Targeted Studentships are encouraged to discuss the process at an early stage.

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

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



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Oxford University's Gardens, Libraries and Museums comprise the four museums - Ashmolean, History of Science, Natural History and Pitt Rivers - together with Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum and the Bodleian Libraries. 

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. The Gardens, Libraries and Museums collectively hold 8.5 million objects, 13 million printed items, and 6,000 different types of plant – world-class collections representing the history, science and culture 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. 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's Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) studentship programme provides funded PhD studentships that are jointly supervised through a partnership between a member of staff at a 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 students ordinarily resident in the UK. Further information can be found at the AHRC CDP programme hub

The GLAM CDP scheme began in October 2016 with studentships open to the museums. From 2020 the programme is widening 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 on the GLAM Collaborative Doctoral Parnerships website.

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

GLAM is offering up to four new fully funded doctoral studentships to commence in 2020. Each proposal from a GLAM institution and partner HEI will be for one studentship only.


Download the CDP Project Proposal 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.


In order to be considered for the 2020 round completed forms must be submitted by email to by: Friday 22 November 2019 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 as soon as possible.

The following guidance notes are numbered to correspond to the relevant sections on the ‘Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships 2020 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.

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.

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: Summary of the proposed research

For successful project applications these sections can be copied and pasted from this form into the AHRC Je-S form. 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. Please note that we do allow practice-based research within this programme.

Please summarise the research to be undertaken using the following headings:
a) Research Context;

b) Within which of AHRC’s areas of subject coverage does the proposal fall?      

c) Aims and Objectives;

d) Methodology (including what elements of the relevant GLAM collections, activities, etc. the student will work with);

e) Outcomes/figures/illustrations/other visual evidence is allowed as part of the description of the research.

Section 4.1 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.

Sections 6-7: Impact

For successful project applications these sections can be copied and pasted from this form into the AHRC Je-S form.

Sections 8-9: 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 9 can be used to input details of the HEI’s ability to support the project as a Positive Action Targeted Studentship for UK BAME applicants, in order to begin to address under-representation in doctoral training in the cultural and heritage sector. If applicable, this section should include the HEI’s evidence-based Memorandum of Justification and provision for mentorship. For more information on this option please contact Professor Dan Hicks at

Section 10: 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

Sections 11-12: 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 13: 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 and pastoral support available), its experience of engaging with external partners in this box.

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.pdf. However, there are no thematic priorities for Oxford University Gardens, Libraries and Museums.

Follow the link for details of current Collaborative Doctoral Parntership projects.

Applications will be assessed according to four 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).

Particular students are not usually named in the project application process. An open call for applications for each chosen studentship project commencing in October 2020 will be issued in early 2020, 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 2020 on AHRC CDP website and on GLAM's CDP website We will also advertise studentships via twitter 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 and a maintenance grant (stipend) in line with the standard AHRC doctoral awards for four years (or part-time equivalent).

The studentships can only be offered to UK/EU citizens and residents. The full award is available to students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the studentship and who have no restrictions on the length of time that they can stay in the UK. Non-UK resident EU students would be awarded a fees-only studentship and not a maintenance grant. For full details of the current UKRI residency rules please see the research funding guide 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. For more information see the section on Cohort Development Events on the AHRC CDP website.