2020 WRoCAH Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) Studentships

Guidance Notes for applicants for 2020 WRoCAH AHRC CDA studentships

WRoCAH has at least 8 AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award Studentships to award for 2020 entry.

Click here to see a full list of the Collaborative Doctoral Award Studentship projects offered for 2020




Why should I apply?

Direct experience of work with a partner organisation

Throughout your PhD you will work with a non-academic partner on a piece of applied research that is of direct importance to that organisation. Your PhD will have immediate real-world impact and you will have access to additional support and training with that partner organisation.

“The Collaborative Doctoral Award has opened so many doors for both my research and my post-PhD career development. I have had an enviable level of access to collections, expertise, training, and contacts, as well as the opportunity to contribute my research to the museum’s upcoming redesign and to personally share this research with public, professional, and academic audiences in a range of exciting formats.”
Sophie Vohra, CDA project with National Railway Museum

A comprehensive training programme that supports and enhances your PhD


There are a number of required events and activities that all WRoCAH students will need to attend or complete. These are:

  • 1/2 day Induction 1: Welcome event (October of Y1)
  • 1 day Induction 2: Managing Your Learning (November of Y1)
  • 2 day International Colloquium 1 (in Aarhus, Denmark or Utrecht, Netherlands): What now? Becoming an independent and international researcher (March/April of Y1)
  • Project: Exploring international dimension of research (during Y1, integrated with PhD)
  • 2 day Colloquium 2: Who with? Expanding horizons and partnership working (September of Y1)
  • Project: Researcher Employability Project (1-6 months during Y2, separate from PhD)
  • 2 day Colloquium 3: Knowledge exchange and transfer (November, Y3)
  • Project: Knowledge Exchange Project (during Y3, integrated with PhD)
  • 2 day Colloquium 4: What next? Career planning (c. June of Y3)

Total – 9½ days face to face workshops with WRoCAH over the studentship plus additional project activities.

All the activities of the WRoCAH training programme are specifically designed to directly support and enhance your PhD research, develop research skills essential for the 21st century and develop your post-PhD employability whether that is in the academia or beyond.

WRoCAH offers an energetic and established doctoral student community. Students work, network and learn with doctoral researchers from across the three White Rose Universities, with the engagement and support of the 250+ other students who have joined the College since 2014.

See the breadth of research being conducted by our current students here.

Research and training support

WRoCAH students are trained to be globally-minded researchers who consider the relevance and potential impact of their research from the outset.

Exceptional support and a range of additional funding schemes are available to students to support training activities essential for your research, primary research data visits and running events from small reading groups to large international conferences.


While it may feel a little early to be thinking about what you are going to do after your PhD, a central feature of the WRoCAH training scheme is a Researcher Employability Project spent with an external organisation focusing on just that. While you will be working with a partner organisation throughout your PhD, you may wish to gain experience in a different part of that organisation (if it is a large one) or with a totally different organisation to gain additional experience and exposure. You craft the project as it is intended to enhance employability skills in relation to your individual set of professional skills and your career aspirations.

This project is intended to give you the chance to do something that your PhD cannot offer you so will be in an area unrelated to your PhD research. While this project can be completed with the organisation of your choice, WRoCAH works with Partner organisations all over the world to make sure this opportunity offers you the best and most relevant possible experience.

Click here to read more about the WRoCAH Training Programme.

Guidance Notes for applicants for 2020 WRoCAH AHRC CDA studentships

Guidance Notes for Applicants

Read the Guidelines for WRoCAH AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) Studentship Applicants BEFORE you try to complete the application form.  These include helpful advice about completing the various sections of the application form and has a section for Frequently Asked Questions.

Am I eligible?

If you have any doubts about your eligibility please DO NOT call the WRoCAH office. The Postgraduate Scholarships office at your chosen University will be able to advise you regarding any eligibility queries.

Leeds Postgraduate Research and Operations +44 (0)113 343 4077 pg_scholarships@leeds.ac.uk
Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarships Office +44 (0)114 222 1417 pgr-scholarships@sheffield.ac.uk
York Research Student Co-ordinator +44 (0)1904 32 3374 research-student-admin@york.ac.uk

WRoCAH AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) Competition Studentship awards are for students undertaking 3-year PhD degree programmes.

Residential Eligibility

AHRC studentships are only available to students from the UK or European Union. Applications cannot be accepted from students liable to pay fees at the Overseas rate.  Normally UK students will be eligible for a full award which pays fees and a maintenance grant if they meet the residency criteria and EU students will be eligible for a fees-only award, unless they have been resident in the UK for 3 years immediately prior to taking up the award.

Please read the Conditions of Research Council Training Grants Guide for more information.

If you have any questions regarding your residential or other eligibility for WRoCAH AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) Studentship funding please contact the relevant University postgraduate scholarships team (contact details above).


What do I get?

Value of financial award

WRoCAH AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) Studentship Awards are made at the UK/EU rates set by UKRI and will cover your research degrees fees and, for eligible students, a maintenance grant (£15,009 in 2019/20). An additional annual stipend enhancement of £550 is paid to reflect the additional costs of working with a partner organisation.

Duration of awards

Full-time AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) Studentships are awarded for doctoral research programmes of 3 years (36 months) in duration (or 5 or 6 years part time depending on individual institutional policies on research degrees).

Awards will be made initially for 40 months funding. This is comprised of a basic PhD award of 36 months and assumes that you will:

  • Complete an Internationalisation Project (1 month stipend credit)
  • Complete at least a one-month Researcher Employability Project (1 month stipend credit)
  • Complete a Knowledge Exchange Project (1 month stipend credit)
  • Engage fully with the WRoCAH training programme, attending all compulsory events (1 month stipend credit)

The award duration will be confirmed at the First Year progression point. The final award duration may be more than 40 months if:

  • A Researcher Employability Project of longer than one month is planned
  • Substantial language training is required to support your research (additional whole months may be applied for)
  • You will be required to provide additional documentation to WRoCAH at this point to support any additional months requested

The maximum award duration is 48 months.

Start date of awards

All awards must be taken up on 1st October 2020. No deferrals are possible.

Submission within the funded period

All WRoCAH AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) students must submit their thesis for examination within the funded period.

This is a requirement of the AHRC and a condition of accepting a Studentship.

Practically, it means that your final submission deadline is likely to be earlier than unfunded or alternatively-funded students who may be working to a final four year submission deadline. For this reason it is very important that your research project is crafted and managed carefully throughout to ensure submission before your funding ends, taking into account any leaves of absence or suspensions.

Guidance Notes for applicants for 2020 WRoCAH AHRC CDA studentships

Ready to apply?

The closing deadline for the receipt of applications is 17:00 GMT on Wednesday 29 January 2020.  We cannot accept late applications for ANY reason, including any technical problems you might experience submitting close to the deadline. For this reason it is strongly suggested that you submit your application in good time.

Read the Guidelines for WRoCAH AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) Studentship Applicants BEFORE you try to complete the application form.  These include helpful advice about completing the various sections of the application form and has a section for Frequently Asked Questions.

Click here to access the online application form