Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDP)
Following successful applications to AHRC in 2012 and 2014, IWM has since been awarded a total of 21 Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Studentships. These come on top of earlier awards made under the CDA (Collaborative Doctoral Award) scheme whereby universities approached IWM with suggested topics.
This much-valued scheme has allowed us to plan more strategically. With the certainty that we have an allocation of three studentships each year, we are able dovetail students’ projects with our own strategic aims – be they exhibitions, collections-related projects or aspects of museum practice. This in turn benefits the students, whose embedded experience is richer as a result of knowing that their work is not just valued for its own sake, but of direct benefit to the museum.
CDP students get to immerse themselves in our collections and to produce a thesis based on what they find. Sometimes they will focus on an aspect of museum practice or the museum’s own history – making for a study which combines archival research with oral history or work within a current project team.
IWM’s Research Board and our Collaborative Doctoral Partnership selection board govern how topics are selected internally, how studentship co-supervisions are awarded to universities and how students are recruited.
Students are encouraged to make full use of training and other opportunities both within IWM and from the CDP Consortium. IWM’s students have twice been involved in organising conferences showcasing collaborative doctoral study – Making Connections, a one-day conference King’s College London in January 2014 and What’s it worth? The value and potential of the CDA – a one-day conference held at the British Museum in June 2015.
The overall impact of the CDP programme has been to allow research to take place within IWM that could not otherwise happen. As a result, new knowledge is created and deeper questions asked. PhD students get to understand the museum sector in a ‘hands-on’ way and to acquire professional skills through practical involvement in museum work and projects. Our thinking is enriched and so are our relations with the Higher Education sector.
IWM staff have contributed to the modules ‘Challenging Histories’ and ‘Using film and photographs in research’ offered by the CDP Consortium’s Training programme.