Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships

The V&A awards up to three new studentships a year to support doctoral study at UK Universities, funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) scheme.

Since 2005, the V&A has worked with UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) on AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Awards, delivering on a wide range of doctoral projects. As part of the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) consortium that began in 2014, we have been able to award a number of fully funded PhD studentships annually, each of which is jointly supervised by specialists at the V&A and a HEI. The HEI administers the studentship, receiving funds from the AHRC for fees and maintenance. The museum provides additional financial support to the student towards travel and related costs. The programme is helping us to produce a new generation of scholars working between the academic and heritage sectors and we are proud to host a thriving postgraduate community. Further details on the CDP schemes are available from the AHRC and CDP Consortium websites.

Call for expressions of interest

Please note that the V&A is not currently accepting expressions of interest (EoI) for the development of Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentships.

Expressions of interest are sought from scholars wishing to develop CDP studentship projects with the V&A that are of a high quality, appropriate for collaborative study at doctoral level, and relevant to AHRC subject areas and V&A research priorities. Due to the major move in 2020 – 23 of collections from Blythe House in Olympia to a new purpose-built Collections and Research Centre at V&A East, in Stratford's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the V&A is unfortunately not currently able to develop CDP proposals related to the following collections: Asia, Theatre and Performance, Fashion, Textiles or Furniture. However, the museum welcomes expression of interest relating to other parts of its collections and activities.

In 2021 – 22, the museum was particularly keen to encourage applications in the following areas. Applications in these areas were welcome from a range of disciplines, including conservation practice and heritage science.

  • Histories, cultures and practices of colour photography
  • Histories of collecting
  • Legacies of colonialism relating to the V&A’s collections
  • Embodied and other forms of museum-based learning
  • Museums and community engagement
  • Environmental humanities

Studentship projects must be jointly proposed by a member of staff at the V&A and a colleague from a UK HEI. Students cannot submit proposals for projects. Furthermore, in line with AHRC guidance, the V&A no longer supports named students on CDP PhD projects. This is in order to increase accessibility of the V&A’s CDP award by ensuring equal access to the funding and opportunities these studentships afford.

Please refer to the following guidance when preparing your application:

Please address any enquiries relating to the V&A's CDP scheme to:

Information for prospective PhD students

Studentships at the V&A are advertised on the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership consortium webpage between January and October each year, to start in the forthcoming academic year.

The V&A is advertising the following studentships for 2023/24: