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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.

Collaborative PhD Studentships Available

We are currently seeking applications for a number of collaborative PhD studentships with University partners around the country! These are fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (fees and stipend) as part of our Collaborative Doctoral Partnership programme.

Find out more!

Recent Highlights

Our first 2 Collaborative Doctoral Partnership students have now published their PhD theses online.

Lithic Scatters and Landscape Occupation in the Late Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic: A Case Study from Eastern England Lawrence Billington, University of Manchester. August 2017.

Religious Heritage in Transition: Sikh Places of Worship in England Clare Canning, University of Leicester. June 2017


One of our co-supervised PhD students, funded through the South, West and Wales DTP, has recently published an entry on the new AHRC blog about his research into the intersection between archaeology and precision farming.

Farming the Past and the Future Henry Webber, university of Bristol. March 2018.


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 Research Councils UK 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 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have recently launched a new report outlining the scope and range of Independent Research Organisation (IRO) research they have funded over the past 10 years, as well as examining IRO research funding for the decade ahead. This can be downloaded from the AHRC website, which also provides some 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

You can also find out more about our Research Strategy and Agenda.

Postgraduate Research & Skills

Historic England and English Heritage run a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) programme funded the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Through this we have 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 consortia across the country. These are made up of consortiums of Universities with a range of partners in the cultural and heritage sectors; who receive block grant funding from the 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 consortia.

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

Henry Webber is a PhD student funded through the South, West and Wales DTP, based at the University of Bristol and co-supervised by Amanda Chadburn (Senior National Rural And Environmental Adviser at Historic England).

He has recently published an entry on the new AHRC blog about his research into the intersection between archaeology and precision farming.

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Phil Pollard
Phil Pollard

Postgraduate Research & Skills Officer

Research Group