Dust sampling in the Great Court

Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) awards a number of Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentships each year for the Museum to allocate to projects to support our work.

Under the Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) scheme, students are jointly supervised by a member of Museum staff and a supervisor from a UK university. Students have the opportunity to base their research at the Museum and learn about how the cultural heritage sector operates.

CDP applications should come from a member of Museum staff and a member of staff from a UK university applying for funding for a specific project. Successful projects are then advertised to find the right student for the studentship.

Find out how to apply for CDP studentships below. The deadline for applications is usually in late November each year.

For information about working with us on non-CDP doctoral projects, please email cda@britishmuseum.org.

Museum and university collaboration

Studentship topics are proposed by a member of Museum staff in collaboration with a colleague from a UK university. Proposals are chosen based on: 

  • Their academic strengths.
  • How well they support the Museum's research priorities (see below).
  • How the proposal will provide opportunities to develop the student's future career.

The studentships are administered by the universities, with AHRC funds covering academic fees and student maintenance. The British Museum provides additional financial support for travel and related research costs. 

Students can also take advantage of the Joint Cohort Development Programme offered by Collecting and Heritage institutions that support the CDP scheme. 

Research priorities

The Museum actively promotes research to: 

  • Help people learn, understand and be inspired by human history through objects.
  • Support the future care, display or other uses of objects in the Museum's collection, and in other collections.

CDP studentship proposals should support the Museum's Research Strategy. We're particularly interested in projects that: 

  • Have a clear relevance to future temporary exhibitions and permanent galleries.
  • Work collaboratively across Museum departments, e.g. comparing and contrasting cultures.
  • Focus on under-researched parts of the collection.
  • Consider visitor experience at the British Museum.
  • Provide a clearer narrative about the British Museum collection.
  • Support the care and conservation of objects and artworks.
  • Help us better understand the history of the Museum and its collection.

How to apply

  • Download and complete the Museum CDP application form using this guide for completing the application form.
  • Applications are for the studentship project and should come from a member of Museum staff and a member of staff from a UK university.
  • We do not accept applications from students seeking funding for their own project.
  • The deadline for proposals is usually in late November each year.
  • Applications are assessed by a panel with members drawn from universities, other cultural heritage organisations and the Museum.
  • Studentships are then advertised in the spring by the university partner, to recruit the right student for the project.