Collaborative Doctoral Awards (Staff-led)
This competition is open to all academic staff at every Northern Bridge Consortium (NBC) DTP partner institution developing a PhD project proposal in collaboration with a non-HE organisation. Staff may develop a project with more than one partner, and partners may be based in the UK and/or abroad. Up to 13 awards are available each year. The 2021/2022 competition, for projects beginning in October 2022, closed on Tuesday 2 November 2021.
Projects that were successful in this year's competition are listed below and are currently recruiting. Prospective applicants interested in any of the advertised projects should read the full details of the project, note the person specification requirements in Section 4 of the form, contact the project's lead - as specified on the form - and ensure they submit an Expression of Interest and required supporting documentation by the stated deadline.
Postgraduate application deadlines will vary at each institution. Please contact the local institutional contact to confirm the application deadline for the CDA project you wish to apply to.
Projects Now Recruiting for Entry in October 2022
Art, Activism & Archive: The Histories and Legacies of Stuart Marshall
Northumbria University and LUX
Situated between UK artists' video distributor LUX and the Department of Arts, Northumbria University this project proposes the first extensive scholarly and creative exploration of the complete works of former Newcastle Polytechnic educator and co-founder of LUX: the artist, filmmaker and activist Stuart Marshall (1949-1993). The project will gather, critically analyse, and creatively re-contextualize archival material to assess the significance, impact and legacy of Marshall’s work within histories of fine and media arts and transnational activism and within contemporary web 2.0 culture. Creative research outputs will bring new knowledge to academic researchers and to non-academic beneficiaries within public culture.
The Importance of Youth in the Early Modern Economy: Apprentices and their peer-networks, 1605-1800
Newcastle University and The Stationers’ Company (The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers)
This project uses the apprentice records of the Stationers' Company to explore the thesis that peer relationships forged between apprentices – that is their peer-to-peer social bonds – were fundamental to their subsequent career development. Many apprentices did not complete their apprenticeship or were never made ‘free’ of the guild they joined, yet scholarship assumes that it is the association with a master that is definitive of a successful apprentice career. This study uses quantitative and qualitative data to understand the role of the peer-network in establishing and advancing the careers of the Stationers’ apprentices and to re-evaluate the apprenticeship system.
Theatre of the Cosmos: Performance, Space and Science at Armagh Planetarium, 1968–2016
Queen's University Belfast and Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (AOP)
The project aims to investigate scientific performance and public understandings of space science at Armagh Planetarium, the longest-running planetarium in the British Isles. Its presence as part of the iconic skyline of the City of Armagh, alongside its role as a public space of science during ‘the Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, makes it a unique focus for research across cultural geography, performance studies and the sociology of science. The student, working between Armagh Planetarium and QUB Geography, will use archival and ethnographic research methods to explore the performative spectacle of space science and its reception in society at Armagh Planetarium.
Mapping and Interpreting 90 years of Illustrating and Writing Childhood in the Collection of Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children's Books
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.
Historicising Nerys Johnson
Northumbria University and the Laing Art Gallery
This research project engages with the Laing Art Gallery’s recently acquired archive and collection of Nerys Johnson (1942-2001), an artist and curator active in the North East of England throughout the late twentieth century. The project offers the opportunity to co-curate an exhibition and produce a thesis that reflexively engages with the historiographic challenge of writing Johnson into accounts of British art history by considering the effects of gender, region and health on her career. Developing inventive approaches to narrating Johnson’s career, this project will provide wider insight into the forms, functions and critique of the historical archive.
Museum Exhibitions ‘in Flight’: Displaying & Conserving Aircraft as Suspended Objects
Newcastle University and Royal Air Force Museum
This project will research the exhibition and installation of aircraft, and other large objects, in long-term or permanent suspension. The research consists of two, mutually reinforcing sections. The first considers the history and design practice of these installations, and their relevance to visitor experience, utilising a national collection as a primary case study. The second will establish methods for monitoring suspended objects in-situ to ensure the object’s integrity over time. Drawing these together with an understanding of organisational change, the project will address a deficit in collections management/conservation research and practices with relevance for museums in the UK and internationally.
Growth of a Poet's Mind: Creating Interactive Visualisations to Communicate the Temporal Layers within a Literary Archive
Northumbria University and the Wordsworth Trust
This PhD will explore the use of design methods to visualise multiple 'layers of time' within a literary archive, in order to communicate the complex development of a literary work to a museum audience. Working with The Wordsworth Trust, the project will combine creative digital design research methods with curatorial expertise to examine ways to create interactive and visually accessible re-presentations of manuscript material of Wordsworth's epic poem, 'The Prelude', to museum visitors - revealing the detail and scope of the poem's evolution across several decades of the poet's life. The project will generate digital artefacts and new resources which demonstrate methods of visualising temporal qualities of a literary archive and investigate the role of design for creating and externalising knowledge from a cultural collection.
In a change to previous years, all forms are now in PDF format. We have adapted these to allow space for the permitted word counts. We do please ask you to use these forms: they enable us to export the data you provide into the format needed by the NBC automatically, not manually, and avoid past issues with Mac compatibility.
Please ensure that all relevant sections of this form have been completed and the form is submitted to email@example.com by 16:00 on Tuesday 2 November 2021. Nominations received after the deadline will not be considered under any circumstances.
Please also complete and submit Part 2 with the above nomination only if a student has already been provisionally recruited to the proposed project. Otherwise, Part 2 should be completed once a student has been recruited, and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 14 March 2022.
The selected student should complete and attach a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form with Part 2. The NBC is required to submit anonymised statistics to the AHRC on EDI characteristics for all applicants. The NBC Administrator at Newcastle will be able to identify who the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form belongs to but all information reported to the AHRC and to the Studentships Committee will be anonymised, and the forms will not be viewed by other members of NBC staff.
Tuesday 2 November 2021
Deadline for the submission of Collaborative Doctoral Award (Project-led) applications.
Academics, NBC partners, and other non-HE organisations submit their proposals to the NBC using the Part 1 Nomination Form.
Wednesday 3 November 2021
NBC administrators at Newcastle log and prepare the assessment documentation.
Thursday 4 November 2021
All nominations and initial documentation are made available to the relevant Subject Area Leads and their panels, and to the CDA Studentship Committee members via OneDrive.
Thursday 4 November to Wednesday 24 November 2021
The assessment period.
Wednesday 24 November 2021
Deadline for the submission of all assessor's scores and comments for the CDA (Project-led) awards.
Thursday 25 November 2021
NBC Administrators at Newcastle collate and prepare a ranked list and circulate to CDA Studentship Committee members.
Monday 29 November 2021
The CDA Studentship Committee (NBC Academic Directors and CDA Champions) meet to moderate and agree the outcome of the Collaborative Doctoral Award (Project-led) competition.
Tuesday 30 November 2021
Collaborative Doctoral Award (Project-led) results announced.
NBC administrators at Newcastle will notify all applicants of the outcome of their application, copying in the administrator at the relevant NBC partner institution.
NBC Administrators at Newcastle will update the NBC website and advertise successful projects here. Any further advertising is devolved to schools and subject areas.
Supervisors and partner organisations then begin their recruitment campaigns.
Schools and departments can choose their own deadlines for the internal receipt of applications from prospective students, and any supporting documentation they require, (bearing in mind the 14 March 2021 deadline for sending final nominations to NBC), and are encouraged to use NBC marking and assessment criteria for selection, which can be found in the Competition Guidance.
Monday 14 March 2022
Deadline for the submission of Collaborative Doctoral Awards (Project-led) Nomination Forms (i.e. the successful candidates) to the NBC.
Collaborative Doctoral Awards (Project-led) are not reassessed, but will be ratified by the Studentships Committee.
FROM Monday 4 April 2022
Studentship offer letters issued to successful applicants by the relevant department in the student's home institution.
Information for Prospective Student Applicants
For further information about these Collaborative Doctoral Awards and to submit an expression of interest, you will be required to review the "Student Specification" on your project of interest and contact the named lead by the stated date. You may be required to submit accompanying documentation, which will be detailed in the specification.
Please note that the successful projects will be announced on Tuesday 30 November 2021, and will only be available to view from that date.
Prospective applicants to the CDA scheme are required to meet the AHRC's eligibility criteria and submit a postgraduate application form to the relevant institution as outlined in the Competition Guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please submit any queries to your local contact at the institution you are based. We'll list FAQs here.
How are the applications assessed?
We ask applicants to state the proposal's primary subject area. Applications are assessed by the academic Subject Area Lead in each NBC partner institution, so an application in Archaeology for example would be independently assessed by the Archaeology Subject Leads at Newcastle, Durham and Queen's University Belfast. The assessment results are collated by the NBC 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. We will shortly publish the studentship competition Marking and Assessment Criteria, which 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 be penalised for that reason. 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. 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 £15,609. 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.