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Funding Opportunities

Collaborative Doctoral Awards and Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships


Collaborative Doctoral Awards​

Collaborative Doctoral Awards are intended to encourage and develop collaboration and partnerships between Higher Education Institution (HEI) departments and non-HEI organisations and businesses.

These awards provide opportunities for doctoral students to gain first hand experience of work outside the university environment. The support provided by both a university and non-university supervisor enhances the employment-related skills and training a research student gains during the course of their award.

The studentships 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-HEI sectors. There have been many CDA awards made for collaborations with larger museums and organisations however the AHRC 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.

The call for Collaborative Doctoral Awards proposals for studentships starting in October 2015 is now closed.

The scheme will reopen again next year and in line with the harmonised timetable for CDA/CASE awards across research councils the call will launch earlier than in previous years.  We will publish the new dates here once they are confirmed and if you are planning to apply in the next round we recommend that you check this page again in spring next year.

Call guidance is updated annually however those planning a submission to the next round can use the current CDA 2015 Scheme Guidance (PDF 212KB, opens in new window) for reference. 

Applicants under the current call will be advised of their outcomes by mid-January 2015.

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




Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships 

AHRC is seeking applications from non-HEI Organisations or consortia to become Collaborative Doctoral Partners with the AHRC to support and provide high-quality doctoral training. 

The Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) scheme was introduced in 2012, with the first cohort of studentships beginning in 2013. It is intended to give non-HEI partners with a proven track record in postgraduate research the opportunity to apply for a cohort of a minimum of three studentships per year over a three year period. 

CDP awards made under this call will cover three annual allocations of studentships (October 2016, 17 and 18), and the scheme runs alongside AHRC’s annual Open Call for Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDAs).

The guidance for the CDP 2014 call for awards starting in October 2016 can now be found below.

CDP 2014 Call Scheme Guidance (PDF 130KB, opens in new window)

Closing Dates


The closing date for applications for Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships is 4.00pm on Wednesday 10th December 2014.

How to make an application

Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme 

Proposals are submitted using the Research Councils Joint Electronic Submission - (JE-S) System (opens in a new window). The application form will be available in JeS from Tuesday 14th October 2014.  The closing date for applications is 4.00pm on Wednesday 10th December 2014.

Please take care to select the JeS call: “Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships 10 December 2014” as you will not be able to submit proposals prepared under another heading.

Please refer to the How to Apply Guide – CDP 2014 Call (PDF 64KB, opens in a new window), when making your application.

If you need any further assistance to use the system, please contact the Je-s Helpdesk on 01793 444164 or on JeSHelp@rcuk.ac.uk. 

Further Information

Collaborative Doctoral Awards 2014

Download outcomes from the tenth round of CDA - 2014 (PDF 18.7kb) (opens in new window)

Projects funded in previous rounds of the Collaborative Doctoral Awards

Download outcomes from the ninth round of CDA- 2013 (PDF 74kb) (opens in a new window)

Download outcomes from the eighth round of CDA- 2012 (PDF 88kb) (opens in a new window)

Download outcomes from the seventh round of CDA- 2011 (PDF 103kb) (opens in a new window)

Download outcomes from the sixth round of CDA- 2010 (PDF 142kb) (opens in a new window)

Download outcomes from the fifth round of CDA- 2009 (PDF 94kb) (opens in a new window)

Download outcomes from the fourth round of CDA- 2008 (PDF 19kb) (opens in a new window)

Download outcomes from the third round of CDA- 2007 (PDF 26kb) (opens in a new window)

Download outcomes from the second round of CDA- 2006 (PDF 26kb) (opens in a new window)

Download outcomes from the first round of CDA- 2005 (PDF 28kb) (opens in a new window)

Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships

In addition to the existing CDA Open Call, the AHRC made awards for Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDP) from 2013. The AHRC made 55 studentships per year available through this route with the intention of giving partners greater autonomy and the ability to develop strong programmes of PhD study.

The following attachment shows the organisations successful in gaining a CDP award in the first round of the scheme, the number of studentships they have been allocated in their annual cohort and contact details for enquiries.

Download outcomes with Contact Details (PDF 69kb) (opens in a new window)

Research Training Framework

In 2004 the AHRC introduced a framework of research training requirements for its doctoral award holders.

Training Grant Funding Guide (PDF 498kb) (opens in new window)

Terms and Conditions of RCUK Training Grants (PDF 255kb) (opens in new window)

RCUK Training Grant Guide (PDF 174kb) (opens in new window)

Guidelines for Use of Research Training Support Grant (PDF 78kb) (opens in a new window) 


​The AHRC work with the UK Shared Business Services (UK SBS)  to deliver all of our funding activities. All queries regarding eligibility for funding and applications in progress and also queries regarding current awards, should be directed to the UK SBS team dealing with your subject area using the contacts page.