Collaborative Doctoral Awards

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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.

In 2013 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

Closing Date: 07/07/2015

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 CDAs scheme reopened on 1st May 2015. The 2016 CDAs call guidance is available.

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

From October 2016 Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDA) will be embedded in our Doctoral Training Partnerships and Centres for Doctoral Training. This will mean no longer running the stand-alone Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme after the current round.  Collaborative doctoral research, where a PhD student is jointly supervised by a University and non-University supervisor, is and will continue to be a key dimension of the postgraduate training supported by AHRC.

We are keen to stress this will not impact on current CDA students and awards, or applications to the current round. There will also be no change to our Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme (which makes awards via major cultural institutions and consortia of non-university organisations). There are further FAQs (PDF, 115KB) available regarding this change.

Projects funded in previous rounds of the Collaborative Doctoral Awards

Collaborative Doctoral Awards funded since 2005 (Excel, 120KB)

Training Grants Funding Guides

Full details of the terms and conditions of awards can be found in the Current Awards section of our website.

Research Training Framework

The AHRC has a framework of research training requirements for its doctoral award holders.


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 ( and queries regarding current awards, should be directed to the UK SBS post award team using the contacts page.

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