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Funding Opportunities

Collaborative Doctoral Awards


Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDAs) provide funding for doctoral studentship projects, proposed by a university based academic, to work in collaboration with an organisation outside of higher education.  They are intended to encourage and develop collaboration and partnerships providing opportunities for doctoral students to gain first-hand experience of work outside the university environment and enhance the employment-related skills and training a research student gains during the course of their award.

The projects also encourage and establish links that can have long-term benefits for both collaborating partners, providing access to resources and materials, knowledge and expertise that may not otherwise have been available and also provide social, cultural and economic benefits to wider society.

The AHRC are keen to see innovative applications that build diverse relationships with the non-HE sectors and would like to encourage further proposals to work with businesses, regional museums, regional arts organisations and community groups.  Any topic within the AHRC’s subject domain is eligible. Selection of successful applications will not be subject to quota systems and there are no priority areas, however, PhD proposals which address AHRC’s research themes are encouraged.

In 2015 AHRC named 12 Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) organisations through which a fixed number of CDAs are also available.  Please see the CDP page for further information on these awards.

Closing Dates


The call for Collaborative Doctoral Awards proposals for studentships starting in October 2016 will close on 7th July 2015.

How to make an application

The JeS application form for the CDA scheme reopened on 1st May 2015.  The 2016 CDA call guidance is available (PDF 299KB, opens in a new window). 

Applications prepared in collaboration with CDP award holders should be submitted directly to the partner organisation as they will not be eligible to the CDA open call.

Further Information

Upcoming Event

As part of the AHRC 10th Anniversary celebrations, the AHRC will be holding an event in early December 2015 which celebrates ten years of the Collaborative Doctoral Awards scheme.  Further information can be found on the event page

Projects funded in previous rounds of the Collaborative Doctoral Awards


The AHRC work with the UK Shared Business Services (UK SBS) to deliver all of our funding activities. All queries regarding eligibility for funding should be directed to AHRC Enquiries (enquiries@ahrc.ac.uk). and queries regarding current awards, should be directed to the UK SBS post award team using the contacts page.