How to Apply

Prospective applicants are expected to read the full Guidance Notes before proceeding with an application to the studentship competition, and to make themselves aware of the timeline:

The competition is open to all applicants who meet the AHRC’s eligibility criteria. We will also be hosting two Application Masterclasses for prospective applicants.

Two nomination routes are offered:

The consortium offers a number of established supervisor-led projects which will be available to view on the CDA page on or just after Tuesday 10 November 2020. We also welcome CDA proposals from applicants working with non-HE organisations. 

The studentship competition is a two-stage process:

Stage One: Postgraduate Application

Applicants to both the Standard PhD and Collaborative Doctoral Award routes wishing to apply for a studentship must complete their chosen University’s online postgraduate application form and submit it by 16:00 on Wednesday 13 January 2021.

It is vital that applicants to the Standard PhD route consult their prospective School or Department at the earliest opportunity so that the expertise and capacity to supervise the proposed research can be identified, and to ensure that you will be fully supported throughout the competition process. Schools and Departments may impose their own deadlines for prospective applicants to make contact and you should make yourself aware of those deadlines by contacting the appropriate Subject Area Lead:

2020-2021 Subject Area Leads - Web Version

Stage Two: Applicant Nomination

School/Department-based selection panels then select their strongest nominees on the basis of the applicant’s qualifications, research proposal, relevant experience and references. Those applicants will be asked to complete a Nomination Form, which must be submitted to Northern Bridge by 16:00 on Wednesday 17 February 2021 by the applicant’s School/Department. Nominations made after this date will not be considered.

We strongly recommend that you contact your prospective School/Department as early in the process as possible. Schools/departments may set an earlier internal deadline by which they intend to have a final selection of nominees who they will support through to submission on or before Wednesday 17 February. If you approach a School/Department close to this nomination deadline, it is unlikely they will be able to support your application.

The results of the competition are expected to be announced from Thursday 15 April 2021. This is subject to administrative processes at a student's home institution, and may be later in some instances. Successful candidates are expected to accept (or decline) their award within two weeks of notification of the outcome.