British Association for American Studies


AHRC Collaborative Skills Development Call

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AHRC Collaborative Skills Development Call

July 9, 2014

AHRC Collaborative Skills Development Call

Collaborative Doctoral Awards are intended to encourage and develop collaboration and partnerships between Higher Education Institution (HEI) departments and non-HEI organisations and businesses.

These awards provide opportunities for doctoral students to gain first hand experience of work outside the university environment. The support provided by both a university and non-university supervisor enhances the employment-related skills and training a research student gains during the course of their award.

The studentships 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 and also provide social, cultural and economic benefits to wider society.

The AHRC are keen to see innovative applications that build diverse relationships with the non-HEI sectors. There have been many CDA awards made for collaborations with larger museums and organisations however the AHRC would like to encourage further proposals to work with businesses, regional museums, regional arts organisations and community groups.

Any topic within the AHRC’s subject domain is eligible. Selection of successful applications will not be subject to quota systems and there are no priority areas, however, PhD proposals which address AHRC’s research themes are encouraged.

Highlight Notices for 2015

We welcome applications across all subject areas within AHRC remit under the Collaborative Doctoral Awards scheme.

For the 2015 round of the CDA scheme, we would like to encourage applications in the areas of Design and Connected Communities, so there are highlight notices in place in these two areas.  Up to 5 additional awards will be available to support high quality proposals in these fields.

Design Highlight Notice

Under this highlight notice we are particularly interested in receiving proposals for PhD research within AHRC remit that explores the role of design in service innovation and social innovation. This could involve embedding a design doctoral student in a business or public sector organisation where the application of ‘design thinking’ principles to business challenges can be of mutual benefit to both parties. The successful doctoral student will be able to undertake their research in the context of the resources, experience and challenges of the partner organisation, while the organisation will benefit from having access to a research student who can bring the specialist knowledge, understanding of the user perspective and problem-solving skills of their discipline to the organisation’s operations. The collaboration might focus on demonstrating the value of design thinking to business and public service delivery, to policy development or to social innovation.

CDA partner organisations on Design proposals may be in the public, private or third sectors. We appreciate that smaller businesses may not have the capacity to host a CDA award individually, so we would encourage small groups of businesses to collaborate to support a single CDA award. These can be built on existing links or completely new partnerships.

Connected Communities Highlight Notice

Under this highlight notice, we are particularly interested in receiving proposals for PhD research within the AHRC remit that addresses the aims, objectives and themes of the Connected Communities programme.  Further information on the Connected Communties Programme can be found on our website.

Each HEI can submit up to two proposals to this call (though each proposal may request funding for multiple, linked PhD projects). For those HEIs submitting one or more applications under the Design or Connected Communities highlight notices they will be allowed to submit up to three applications (or up to four, if proposals are submitted under both). Please note that in order to be eligible to submit three proposals, at least one application must fall within one of the highlight notices; in order to be eligible to submit four proposals, there must be at least one proposal under each of the two highlight notices.

The guidance for the CDA Open Call for awards starting in October 2015 can now be found below.

CDA 2015 Scheme Guidance (PDF 212KB, opens in new window)