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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Collaborative Doctoral Awards

Supported by

Arts and Humanities Research Council

The British Museum supports seven new research students a year to study for a PhD at a UK University through the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Collaborative Doctoral Awards scheme.

About the programme

The British Museum supports students researching for a doctorate that support the work of the Museum through the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme. The students are jointly supervised by a member of Museum staff and a supervisor from their University.

Students have the opportunity to base their research at the Museum and learn more about how the cultural heritage sector operates. Topics are proposed by a member of Museum staff in collaboration with a colleague from a UK University and chosen on their academic strengths and clear support for the Museum’s objectives. The studentships are administered by the universities, with AHRC funds supporting academic fees and student maintenance and the British Museum providing additional financial support for travel and related research costs. Students can also take advantage of a joint training scheme run by jointly by all the Collecting and Heritage institutions that support the Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme.

Partnership and collaboration is at heart of these studentships, providing support for the Museum and its research priorities, as well as its academic and non-academic partners.

Programme topics

The Museum has identified research themes which complement its strategic aims and enable students to make an original contribution to knowledge, and scholarly debate.

Themes prioritised for the period 2010 -2015:

  • Objects, meanings and knowledge
  • Food, drink and cuisine
  • Ocean trade and connections
  • Image and authority
  • Technologies, materials and innovation
  • Seeing the divine

Applications for studentships to start in October 2015 are now closed

Proposals for new students are made jointly by a member of Museum staff and a member of academic staff at a UK University. The deadline for proposals in usually November for studentships to start in October of the following year. Successful proposals then advertised to find suitably qualified students in the spring.

The Museum welcomes proposals to examine, or use as a starting point, any of the objects or art works in our collection from any disciplinary perspective. In addition, the Museum is interested in studentships that explore aspects of Heritage Science, Conservation, the work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, Collecting History and all aspects of the work of a museum.

If you are interested in discussing an idea for a proposal, or to explore what ideas they may have please contact a relevant curator, scientist or other member of Museum staff to discuss ideas.

Please note: the Museum cannot receive proposals for students directly from potential students.

Find out more about the Collaborative Doctoral Awards at the British Museum.

Download leaflet 

Further information is available on the Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships website.

Current opportunities

Domesticating the Sumerians in Mandate Iraq: contextualising Woolley's excavations at Ur (1922-1934)

Applications are invited for a doctoral studentship tenable at University College London (UCL) History Department, in collaboration with the British Museum (BM). This doctoral award is funded though the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under its Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships scheme.

The project will be co-supervised by Professor Eleanor Robson at UCL, and Dr Jonathan Taylor at the BM. Closing date: 31 March 2015



Object Journeys: Community co-production of collections knowledge and displays at a national museum

Applications are invited for a fully funded three-year AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award between the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, University of Leeds and the British Museum.

The lead supervisors for the project are Dr. Helen Graham (Leeds), Stuart Frost (British Museum) and Dr. William Rea (Leeds) with additional support from Sian Hunter Dodsworth (Head of Community Partnerships, British Museum).

This project will examine how national museums might best develop object interpretation and displays in collaboration with local and diverse communities. Object Journeys is a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)-funded programme run by the Community Partnerships Team at the British Museum exploring various forms of community collaboration.

The deadline for applications is 12.00 on Friday 17 April 2015; interviews will be held during May in Leeds.



Roman metalwork hoards in Britain

Applications are invited for a fully funded three-year AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award between the School of Archaeology & Ancient History, University of Leicester and the British Museum. The lead supervisors for the project are Prof. David Mattingly (Leicester) and Dr Roger Bland (British Museum), with additional support from Prof. Colin Haselgrove (Leicester) and Dr Richard Hobbs (British Museum). The project will also complement existing projects, especially the British Museum and University of Leicester’s Hoards project , which focuses on Iron Age and Roman coin hoards, and the CDP on Iron Age metalwork hoards.

The deadline for applications is 12.00 on Wednesday 16 April 2015; interviews will be held on 18 May in Leicester.



Thick provenance: interactions between European and local collecting practices refracted through the lens of the mainland Southeast Asia material at the British Museum

The Department of Asia at the British Museum and the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS invite applications from suitably qualified UK/EU candidates for a full-time, 3-year Collaborative Doctoral Award funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Application deadline: Tuesday 28 April 2015