Collaborative Doctoral Awards (Staff-led)
This competition is open to all academic staff at every Northern Bridge Consortium partner institution developing a PhD project proposal in collaboration with a non-HE organisation.
Staff may develop a project with more than one non-HE partner, and partners may be based in the UK and/or - in exceptional cases - abroad. Up to 13 awards are available each year.
The 2022/2023 competition, for projects beginning in October 2023, is open.
A CDA application workshop for all academic staff at NBC institutions interested in pursuing a CDA was held on Thursday 23 June 2022. For those who were unable to make it, you'll find below a video recording of the workshop and the presentation slides:
Workflow and Timeline
Thursday 23 June 2022
The AHRC Northern Bridge Consortium CDA workshop takes place for members of staff at NBCDTP partner institutions interested in making an application.
Early July 2022
The Collaborative Doctoral Award (Staff-led) competition opens.
By the end of September 2022
Subject Area Leads confirmed as assessors and advised on their roles.
Tuesday 11 October 2022: Deadline for the submission of Collaborative Doctoral Award (Staff-led) applications.
Academics, and their non-HE organisations, submit their applications to the NBCDTP using the online form.
Wednesday 12 October 2022
NBCDTP administrators at Newcastle log the applications and prepare the assessment documentation.
Thursday 13 October 2022
All applications and assessment documentation are made available to the relevant Cross-institutional Subject Area Review Panels, and to the CDA Studentship Committee members via MS OneDrive. We will make further guidance available to assessors on Cross-institutional Subject Area Review Panels later in summer 2022.
Thursday 13 October to Wednesday 2 November 2022
The assessment period.
Wednesday 2 November 2022: Deadline for the submission of all Review Panel scores and comments.
Thursday 3 November 2022
NBCDTP Administrators at Newcastle collate the marks and prepare a ranked list of applications to circulate to CDA Studentship Committee members.
Tuesday 8 November 2022
The CDA Studentship Committee meets to moderate and agree the outcome of the Collaborative Doctoral Award (Staff-led) competition.
Wednesday 9 November 2022: Collaborative Doctoral Award (Staff-led) results announced.
NBCDTP administrators at Newcastle will notify all applicants of the outcome of their application, copying in the administrator at the relevant NBCDTP partner institution.
NBCDTP Administrators at Newcastle will update the NBCDTP website and advertise successful projects above. Any further advertising is devolved to schools and subject areas.
Supervisors and non-HE partner organisations then begin their recruitment campaigns.
Schools and departments can choose their own deadlines for the internal receipt of applications from prospective student applicants, and any supporting documentation they require (bearing in mind there is a Monday 13 March 2023 deadline for sending details of the successful student applicant to the NBCDTP), and are encouraged to use NBCDTP marking and assessment criteria for selection.
Monday 13 March 2023: Deadline for the submission of Collaborative Doctoral Awards (Staff-led) Student Details (i.e. the successful student candidates) to the NBCDTP.
Successful awards and their selected students are not reassessed, but will be ratified by the Studentships Committee.
Please note that at the time of launching in July 2022, the 2022/2023 Studentship Open Competition timeline is yet to be finalised. The date of the Studentships Committee is tentatively scheduled for Thursday 6 April 2023, and outcomes to be announced from Tuesday 11 April 2023, but this is subject to change.
Student recipients of Collaborative Doctoral Award (Staff-led) awards may be informally notified of their success by the project leads, but will not receive a formal studentship offer until the outcomes of the open competition are also announced.
How to Apply - Information for Staff (including exemplar applications from previous years)
The application form must be completed online:
Northern Bridge Consortium Collaborative Doctoral Awards Competition (Staff-led) Project Proposal Application
Please observe the maximum word counts and mandatory questions. You'll not be able to submit the application if word counts are exceeded, mandatory questions overlooked, or if a letter of support from the non-HE partner(s) is not attached.
If you encounter any technical issues with the form, please notify email@example.com as soon as possible.
Please ensure that the form is submitted by Tuesday 11 October 2022. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered under any circumstances.
- For further information about CDAs issued by the AHRC: AHRC Guidance on Collaborative Doctoral Awards
- CDA Marking and Assessment Criteria, for guidance on how applications are assessed.
- CDA Application Questions, for reference.
Examples of previously successful CDA application forms:
Please note that we do not anticipate that new applicants will directly copy language from the applications below, and it would not be appropriate to copy a project methods outline.
Constitution-making in Sudan
Research Analysts Department, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Rift Valley Institute, and Professor Justin Willis, Durham University
Defending the Nation or Violating Human Rights? The Autobiographical Memory of Former Border
Soldiers of the GDR after 1990
Stiftung Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Foundation), Berlin, Germany and Professor Daniel Siemens, Newcastle University
Developing an Inclusive Conception of Skilful Action
Difference North East and Dr Katherine Puddifoot, Durham University
Experimental Fiction and the Literary Museum: The Legacy of Laurence Sterne
The Laurence Sterne Trust at Shandy Hall and Dr Helen Williams, Northumbria University
Glass: In Search of Creative Environmental Histories
National Glass Centre and Dr Noam Leshem, Durham University
Historicising Nerys Johnson
The Laing Art Gallery and Dr Victoria Horne, Northumbria University
Histories, Collections and Practice: Gender and the Regional Art Gallery
The Laing Art Gallery and Dr Claudine van Hensbergen, Northumbria University
The Importance of Youth in the Early Modern Economy: Apprentices and their peer-networks, 1605-1800
The Stationers’ Company (The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers) and Professor Jeremy Boulton, Newcastle University
Managing ‘Wildness’: Creative Writing and Landscape Restoration
Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Assistant Professor Tony Williams, Northumbria University
Mapping the Cultural Geography of Sam Henry’s Irish Song Archive
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Museum Services, and Dr Frank Ferguson, Ulster University
Mapping Irish Erth: using deep mapping to curate an historic landed estate as a three-dimensional educational and cultural resource
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and Professor Annie Tindley, Newcastle University
Museum Exhibitions ‘in Flight’: Displaying and Conserving Aircraft as Suspended Objects
Royal Air Force Museum and Professor Andrew Newman, Newcastle University
Nostalgia and the transformation of working-class heritage
Beamish: the Living Museum of the North and Professor Julie-Marie Strange, Durham University
Peer Power: Scotland and northern England under the 5th and 6th dukes of Buccleuch, c.1820-c.1914
Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust and Professor Annie Tindley, Newcastle University
Placing Astronomy: Landscape, Space and Science at Armagh Observatory, 1790-1916
Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, and Dr Oliver Dunnett, Queen’s University Belfast
Systemic Inclusion: Representation and Diversity in UK Literary Festivals
Sabotage Reviews and Dr Jenna Clake, Teesside University
Trauma, textiles, and technologies: participatory sewing of electronic-textiles as a metaphor for post-traumatic healing
Changing Lives (CL) Women’s Services and Dr Angelika Strohmayer, Northumbria University
From 2022/2023, we expect all projects to undertake a recruitment process, rather than nominate a student at the point of application to the CDA competition.
Successful projects and Person Specifications will be advertised on these pages following the announcement of the results of the competition, from Wednesday 9 November 2022. If you wish to make any changes to the Person Specification (e.g. the deadline for the Expression of Interest), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northern Bridge Consortium cannot fund any further advertising. This is devolved to supervisors and projects leads, individual schools and departments, and the non-HE partner organisations, who are welcome to promote their award via their own networks, etc.
Project leads can choose their own deadlines for the internal receipt of Expressions of Interest and can request any supporting documentation they require, such as references. When short-listing and selecting student applicants for interview, please refer to the Northern Bridge Consortium's marking and assessment criteria for applicants: Applicant Assessment Aide
A Northern Bridge Academic Director must be present at all interviews. Once project leads have set their shortlist and interview dates/times, please notify email@example.com. We'll confirm which Academic Director will join your interviews.
Once you have selected the successful student applicant:
1) Details should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 16:00, Monday 13 March 2023, using the CDA Student Details Form. Please attach a copy of the student's CV - maximum 2-pages. There is no requirement to send references or evidence of qualifications (though you may request these as part of your selection process).
2) The selected student should also complete an Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form and send this themselves to email@example.com by 16:00, Monday 13 March 2023. The data will only be used for general statistical and monitoring purposes. The form will be viewed by the Education Assistant Manager (Northern Bridge Consortium DTP) only. The data collected are anonymised and are processed and held separately.
3) You can informally advise the student of their award.
4) If they have not done so already, please remind the student that they must submit a postgraduate application form to their host institutions's Postgraduate Admissions Service. Collaborative Doctoral studentship Awards are conditional upon the successful student receiving a formal unconditional offer to study the appropriate PhD programme by their host University, and on the student's subsequent registration.
5) Successful projects and their selected students are not reassessed, but those awards will be ratified by the Studentships Committee. This is tentatively scheduled for Thursday 6 April 2023.
6) Students will receive a formal studentship offer from their host institution following the Studentships Committee, from Tuesday 11 April 2023. (Please note, the student's offer of a place on a doctoral programme will be managed separately by the host university's Postgraduate Admissions Service.)
Information for Prospective Student Applicants
For further information about these Collaborative Doctoral Awards (Staff-led), and to submit an expression of interest, student applicants will be required to review the "Person Specification" on their project of interest and to contact the named lead by the stated date. Applicants may be required to submit accompanying documentation, which will be detailed in the specification, and to be interviewed.
Please note that the successful projects will be announced no sooner than Wednesday 9 November 2022, and will be available to view from that date and not before.
Student applicants who are successfully recruited to a project are still required to meet the AHRC's eligibility criteria and to submit a postgraduate application form to their host university. This should be done as soon as they are informally notifed by the project leads that they have been successful, and no later than Thursday 6 April 2023.
Please note that Collaborative Doctoral Studentship Awards are conditional upon the successful student receiving a formal unconditional offer to study the appropriate PhD programme by their host University’s Postgraduate Admissions Service, and on the student's subsequent registration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please submit any queries to your local contact at the institution you are based. We'll list FAQs here as we receive them.
How are the applications assessed?
We ask applicants to state the proposal's primary subject area. Applications are assessed by a Cross-institutional Review Panel comprising the academic Subject Area Leads in each NBC partner institution, so an application in Archaeology for example would be jointly assessed by the Archaeology Subject Leads at Newcastle, Durham and Queen's University Belfast. A panel chair is responsible for recording the agreed marks and comments, and returning them to the NBCDTP. The assessment results are collated by the NBCDTP administrator at Newcastle, then moderated by a committee comprising the Northern Bridge Academic Directors from each partner institution to ensure consistency of marking, etc. The final results are then ranked.
Are there any research priorities or steers?
No, the only stipulation is that the proposal falls within the AHRC subject area remit. The open studentship competition Marking and Assessment Criteria will guide you as to what the assessors are looking for in terms of quality.
Can the supervisory team comprise colleagues from NBC partner institutions?
Yes, cross-institutional supervision is permitted but is not a requirement and does not effect eligibility. A supervisory team based solely at the host institution will not disadvantage the application. The composition of the proposed supervisory team must comply with the host institution’s Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Students (or equivalent). In most cases that will usually mean the primary and secondary, or joint-primary, supervisors will be members of academic staff at the host institution, (as well as the external advisor(s) from the non-HE partner organisation). Additional supervisors may be appointed from an NBC partner institution, or any other HE or non-HE organisation if appropriate to the research proposal, and if permitted by the host institution. Please note, however, there is no financial remuneration for external supervisors and advisors via the NBC. A financial arrangement, if any, will be at discretion of the host institution, and cannot be funded by the NBC by any means.
What is the value of the award?
- Tuition fees paid at a rate equivalent to the Home UK fee. Successful international candidates should be prepared to fund the difference between the Home and International tuition fee rate by alternative means. Under no circumstances can this be funded by the NBC. An applicant’s host institution may offer an additional scholarship to the value of this difference, but this is not guaranteed. Applicants should check with their host institution for further guidance.
- A minimum stipend per year for living costs, which is paid in regular instalments. Awards increase every year, typically with inflation. As an indicator, the level for 2021/2022 is £16,062. CDA award-holders will receive an additional £550 per annum to help fund collaboration with the non-HE partner (for travel, accommodation, etc.).
- Award-holders are eligible to apply to a fund reserved to support primary research costs to include, for example, conference attendance, fieldwork, language training, overseas research visits and placements with a non-academic partner.
- Please note award-holders will not have a personal research account on which to draw.
- The duration of the award is 3.5 years.
Are there recommended partner institutions that NBC would like the proposers to use?
No. We do have a number of strategic partners, but applicants should not feel limited to this list. Previous and current collaborations include projects with a number of diverse organisations:
Research Analysts Department, FCDO and the Rift Valley Institute; Historic Environment Scotland; National Trust; The Literary and Philosophical Society; Changing Lives (CL) Women’s Services; The YMCA Newcastle; National Library of Wales; Berlin Wall Foundation; BALTIC; National Museums, NI; Open Clasp; Northumberland Wildlife Trust; Blackfriars Restaurant; Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.
Projects Now Recruiting for Entry in October 2023
Northumbria University and Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children's Books
This project will focus on changing historical cultural constructions of childhood in books for children, creative responses to these constructions, and contemporary children's understanding of them. The context is a major, unique primary resource incorporating material from c.1930 to date, including original artwork and writing by key adult creators such as Edward Ardizzone and Judith Kerr. It will map and respond to key changes in the illustration and writing of childhood in children's books through cultural analysis and creative practice, exploring changing materials, techniques and technologies, and the interaction and collaboration between those involved in the production process.
Please note that projects successful in the 2022/2023 competition - opening in July 2022 - will be advertised no sooner than 9 November 2022.