Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDA) Scheme – Proposals by academics


The London Arts & Humanities Partnership is delighted to announce that its Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) Scheme is now open for proposals for studentship projects to commence in October 2021.

Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDAs) provide funding for doctoral studentship projects, developed as a partnership between an HEI-based academic in collaboration with an organisation outside higher education. They are intended to encourage and develop collaboration and build partnerships with a wide range of organisations in the public, private and third sector, including grass-roots and activist organisations.

CDA projects provide opportunities for doctoral students to gain first-hand experience of work outside the university environment and enhance the employment-related skills and training a research student gains during the course of their studies.

CDA projects also encourage and establish links that can have long-term benefits for both collaborating partners, providing access to resources and materials, knowledge and expertise that may not otherwise have been available, as well as social, cultural and economic benefits to wider society.

LAHP welcomes applications for projects across all subjects and approaches in the arts & humanities. It particularly encourages applications in three priority areas:

  • Exploration of under-represented collections, histories, knowledge, traditions, or practices across the arts and humanities;
  • Transformative methods of engagement and/or practice to address inequity, marginalisation and/or barriers to inclusion in the arts, culture and heritage sectors;
  • Collaborative arts & humanities research with a wide range of organizations (third sector, policy, voluntary, grassroots and/or activist) on under-representation, diversity and inclusion.


Q&A Sessions

As we will be holding two online Q&A sessions on 28th July and 15th September (both 3-4pm), please sign up via the online form to book your place by midday the day before and we will send you the Zoom link to the meeting.


To Apply

Those wishing to propose a CDA project to commence in the 2021/22 academic year can find full details of the scheme below and download the LAHP CDA Application Form

[*Please note you should only complete this form if you are an academic member of staff at one of LAHP’s eight HEIs working in collaboration with a non-HEI partner organisation.
Non-HEI-partner organisations and students wishing to submit a proposal should make contact with academic staff at one of the LAHP HEIs

Submitted proposals will be reviewed by the LAHP CDA Award Panel and evaluated against the criteria set out below. The highest ranking proposals will be awarded funding.  All studentships will be funded for 3.5 years with the opportunity to apply for a funding extension to 4 years (the stipend for 2020/21 is £17,285). This will depend on the additional skills and training needs identified by the supervisor together with the student and partner during the first year of the project. The awarded candidate will also be entitled to a £550 per annum stipend top-up.  

Completed application forms should be submitted to along with:

  • Project description of no more than two sides of A4 (excluding references) as highlighted on page 2 of the proposal form.
  • Signed letter of support from the non-HEI partner
  • (where applicable) the CV of the student nominated in the proposal.

The deadline for proposals from HEI academic staff/non-HEI partners for CDA studentship projects (commencing in the 2021/22 academic year) is Friday 16th October 2020 at 17.00.

Any queries should be directed to


July 2020

  • July: CDA scheme opens for project proposals

October 2020

  • Friday 16th October at 17.00: CDA scheme closed for project proposals 
  • November: Suitable proposals are selected for recruitment by the LAHP CDA Awards Panel
  • November: Outcomes of proposals communicated to supervisory teams

January – April 2021

  • Friday 29th January 2021 at 17.00: CDA applicants must apply for a place to study within the institution of the first academic supervisor
  • January – March: Recruitment of students to projects without nominated students
  • April: LAHP Studentship Award Panel approves nominated students as recipients of a LAHP CDA studentship
  •  30th April: Outcome of students to be awarded a CDA studentship conveyed to supervisors

October 2021

  • 1 October: Student commences PhD study
The four criteria for assessment of LAHP2 DTP Collaborative Doctoral Award proposals, and their percentage weightings, are listed below. All applications will be assessed by the LAHP CDA Award Panel using the same criteria.

  1. Quality and originality of the proposed research  – Significance, originality and clarity of research proposal; Relevance of proposed research to LAHP CDA priority areas; Underpinning ideas, aims and research questions; Research design, methodology and/or sources; Suitability of proposal for doctoral research. (30% weighting)
  2. Quality of the  proposed collaboration – Added value of the research collaboration; Nature of the commitment from the partner organization; Additional developmental or training opportunities that will arise through the collaboration between the student/academic team, their broader academic environment and the partner organization; Distinctive forms of experience in areas related to research design and methodology, analysis, dissemination, research management, networking, knowledge transfer offered by partner. (30% weighting)
  3. Clearly defined potential for cultural, societal and / or economic impact in collaboration with the partner organisation –Benefits gained from the collaboration for the HEI, non-HEI partner and student; Benefits in terms of wider impact; Role of partner organization in realizing the potential impact; Collaborative opportunities that will lead to cultural, societal and / or economic impact.(20% weighting)
  4. Feasibility of the research – Relevance of the research areas of supervisors to the proposed work and appropriate supervisory experience; Synergy with the research priorities of the department, HEI and LAHP; Suitability of student (if identified) to undertake project; Planned recruitment of student (if applicable), including promotion of the studentship to prospective applicants from BAME and other under-represented groups. (20% weighting)

Where the student will require specialist skills the proposal should identify how these will be ensured through recruitment and/or specific training.

The London Arts & Humanities Partnership DTP (LAHP DTP) Collaborative Doctoral Award Scheme promotes partnerships between researchers within the partnership and end-user (cultural, public, private or third sector) organisations (‘partner organisation’). The partner organisation should be committed to realising mutual benefit from the project in recognition of which it agrees to provide supervisory support to the student and the wider research environment through additional funding and/or in-kind support (which might include things such as: access to archives and collections, office/work space, seminar or industry experts and groups, data, etc). The involvement of the partner organisation should be a genuinely collaborative enterprise, providing real added value to the studentship while also advancing the activities of the partner organisation.

The London Arts & Humanities Partnership offers four routes to Collaborative Doctoral Awards:

  1. Annual Supervisor-led route
    LAHP runs an annual supervisor-led project call open to all supervisors across the Partnership.  This route enables a supervisor or supervisory team to develop a project in partnership with non-HEI partner. Suitable projects will be selected for recruitment by the LAHP Collaborations & Partnerships Committee.
  2. Annual Non-HEI Partner-led route
    LAHP runs an annual non-HEI partner-led project call open to non-HEI organisations.  This route enables an external non-HEI partner to develop a project in partnership with a supervisor at one of the LAHP partner institutions.  Suitable projects will be selected for recruitment by the LAHP Collaborations & Partnerships Committee.  Non-HEI-partner organisations wishing to submit a proposal should make contact with academic staff at one of the LAHP HEIs.
  3. Student-led routes
    3.1  Student-led co-generated project route
    As part of the annual LAHP CDA call a potential student candidate can develop a project in partnership with a selected supervisor from one of the LAHP partners and a non-HEI organisation.  Suitable projects and candidates will be selected for recruitment by the LAHP Collaborations & Partnerships Committee.  Students wishing to submit a proposal should make contact with academic staff at one of the LAHP HEIs.
    3.2 Collaborative Doctoral Award Conversion route
    A LAHP Open Studentship student will be permitted to request conversion of their studentship to a Collaborative Doctoral Award within the first year of their studies should the opportunity develop for the student to align their project with an appropriate non-HEI partner.  Conversion of the original LAHP open call studentship can happen at any time in the first year of study if it is supported by, and has the approval of the supervisor(s) and approval by the LAHP Collaborations & Partnership Committee.
See here for a list of CDA studentships funded by LAHP since 2018.
See here for our Collaborative Doctoral Award Case Studies.