Colour aerial photograph showing a large banked earth enclosure to the right and a white chalk stylised figure of a horse left.
The Iron age hillfort and "White Horse" hill figure at Uffington in Oxfordshire, photographed on 08-JUL-2006 (NMR 24849\03) © Historic England
The Iron age hillfort and "White Horse" hill figure at Uffington in Oxfordshire, photographed on 08-JUL-2006 (NMR 24849\03) © Historic England

Collaborative Research Opportunities

We take a strategic approach to our relationship with research councils and the higher education sector by engaging in a number of collaborative research partnerships with universities. Here you can find out about the partnership opportunities that are currently available. You can also find out more about our research strategy and agenda.

Recent highlights

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Call for Proposals 2020

Historic England is delighted to announce our 2020 Call for Proposals for our AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) programme. The CDP programme provides funding for collaborative PhD studentship projects which support the work of our organisation.

Proposals for studentship projects should be made by a university based researcher in collaboration with a named member of staff from Historic England, who will act as the co-supervisor for the studentship. We are not looking for project ideas directly from potential students.

Proposals must match one of our published CDP Priority Research Areas 2020 and we encourage a range of proposals across these areas that can demonstrate academic originality, are appropriate for collaborative study at doctoral level, and fall into the AHRC subject remit. Proposals must also demonstrate they can provide career development opportunities for the student outside of the main research within the funded 4 year period.

The detailed CDP Priority Research Areas for this Call have been selected for their alignment with the Historic England Research Agenda.

The 2020 CDP Priority Research Areas are:

  1. #diversify – exploring diversity
  2. #understanding – place and place shaping
  3. #value – societal change and resilience
  4. #adapt - climate change and adaptation
  5. #inform – heritage and digital data

Full details on each of these Research Areas alongside the Proposal Form and Guidance can be downloaded below. If you would like to discuss any aspects of the application process or be put into contact with potential Historic England co-supervisors to discuss your studentship project ideas, please contact us at [email protected]

The deadline for proposals is 27th November 2020. Please send your completed form to [email protected]

A panel consisting of internal and external experts will judge the proposals and those that are successful will be advertised as PhD studentships to find suitably qualified students to commence their research in October 2021.

Independent Research Organisation status

In 2017 Historic England, jointly with the English Heritage Trust, became an Independent Research Organisation of the UK Research Councils.

This means that we are now eligible to apply (individually or jointly) for funding from all seven research councils. See the UK Research and Innovation website for more information.

Each year these research councils invest around £3 billion in research covering the full spectrum of academic disciplines from the arts and humanities to social sciences, economics, biological and environmental sciences, physics, chemistry, medicine and engineering. Given the wide span of our historic environment research, we see potential advantages across many of these disciplines and believe that our new status will be an important contribution to our wider efforts to broaden our sources of corporate funding.

The AHRC have recently launched a new report outlining the scope and range of Independent Research Organisation (IRO) research they have funded over the past ten years, as well as examining IRO research funding for the decade ahead. You can download the report from the AHRC website, which also provides examples of research from other IROs. As an IRO Historic England (and English Heritage) are members of IROC - the Independent Research Organisation Consortium for the arts and humanities. 

If you’d like to contact us about research in relation to Independent Research Organisation (IRO) status, email [email protected]

You can also find out more about our research strategy and agenda.

Postgraduate research and skills

Through our Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) programme we've been able to offer three Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) PhD studentships each year from 2013.

Find out more about our CDP programme and opportunities for partnership.

As well as our CDP programme we are a partner with a number of Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP), Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) and similar postgraduate research consortiums across the country. These are made up of consortiums of universities with a range of partners in the cultural and heritage sectors. They receive block grant funding from UK research councils for PhD studentships and related doctoral training.

Historic England is able to offer a range of collaboration opportunities to students within these consortiums.

Find out more about our current DTP partners and priorities for collaborative postgraduate research.

Contact for enquiries

For any enquiries or further information please email [email protected]

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