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Collaborative Doctoral Partnership

Historic England and the English Heritage Trust hold a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC); which we were awarded over two rounds of competition. Between 2013 and 2019 we have an allocation of 21 AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) studentships (3 per year).

PhD Studentships currently available

Managing archaeological loss in the face of coastal change

The University of Exeter’s College of Life and Environmental Sciences, in partnership with Historic England, is inviting applications for an Arts and Humanities Research Council fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in September 2018 (or as soon as possible thereafter) on the subject of managing archaeological loss in the face of coastal change.

The studentship project will focus on three core areas of enquiry: how frameworks of risk and vulnerability are applied to coastal archaeological sites in South West England; management challenges arising from the identification of risk; and, opportunities for community engagement with the generation of adaptive management practices.

Closing date for applications is Friday 13th April 2018. Please visit the University of Exeter’s website for further details and information on how to apply.


Heritage Data Analytics: Sustainable strategies for large and complex stratigraphic and chronometric data

The University of Sheffield, in partnership with Historic England, is inviting applications for an Arts and Humanities Research Council fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in October 2018 on the topic of Heritage Data Analytics: Sustainable strategies for large and complex stratigraphic and chronometric data.

Our chronological understanding of archaeological sites develops gradually during field and post excavation work. First, we understand the relative chronological and contextual information, as represented by the stratigraphy and cultural finds respectively. Later, scientific (e.g. radiocarbon) dates are obtained and, finally, statistical modelling is used to draw everything together. At present this final stage is extremely laborious and requires considerable expertise because no tools exist to automate anything except the final statistical calculations. The proposed PhD student will develop numerical, analytical and graphical tools to improve this situation, with the goal of semi-automating chronology construction.

Closing date for applications is Friday 9th March 2018. Please visit the University of Sheffield's website for further details and information on how to apply.

Published PhD Theses

Here you can find links to published PhD theses from our Collaborative Doctoral Partnership students:

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

How we identify CDP research topics

Each year we will open a Call for Proposals which invites university academics to develop a PhD project proposal, in collaboration with a named member of Historic England or English Heritage staff who will act as the co-supervisor for the eventual PhD student. 

These project proposals must match one of the CDP Research Areas we have identified for that year's Call; and will:

  • Advance the protection of the historic environment
  • Advance understanding and interpretation of the nationally important sites in the care of English Heritage 
  • Be an area where we would not otherwise be able to carry out research ourselves alone. 

All proposals received in each Call are assessed by an expert Panel, and three successful proposals will be taken forward as PhD studentships, which are then advertised to potential students to commence in October of the next academic year.

The CDP programme provides the perfect opportunity to align practical research with heritage protection outcomes. It also provides skills-sharing to students planning careers in heritage research and management; and by doing that, it helps to address skills shortages in the heritage profession.

Summaries of PhD research projects already in progress can be found at the bottom of the page.

CDP Cohort One (2013-15)

Defining the Potential of Ploughzone Lithic Scatters for Interpretation of the Final Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Landscape
Research Student: Lawrence Billington
Supervisors: Dr Jonathan Last, Landscape Strategy Manager (Historic England) and Dr Chantal Conneller, Dept. of Archaeology (University of Manchester)

Application of Covers to Conserve Historic Marble and Metal Monuments
Research Student: Melanie Keable
Supervisors: David Thickett, Senior Conservation Scientist (English Heritage) and Dr Matija Strlic, Institute for Sustainable Heritage (University College London)

Religious Heritage in Transition: Sikh Places of Worship in England
Research Student: Clare Canning
Supervisors: Dr Linda Monckton, Historic Environment Intelligence Analyst: Social Impacts (Historic England) and Dr Ruth Young & Miss Deirdre O'Sullivan, Dept. of Archaeology (University of Leicester)

CDP Cohort Two (2014-17)

Interpreting Loss of Data from Metal Artefact Decay (rates, reasons and conservation management implications)
Research Student: Samantha Rowe
Supervisors: Dr Amanda Chadburn, Senior National Rural & Environmental Adviser (Historic England) and Dr Glenn Foard, Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (University of Huddersfield)

English Office Buildings c1900 - 1939
Research Student: Jon Clarke
Supervisors: Kathryn Morrison, Assessment Team Manager East (Historic England) and Dr Frank Salmon, Dept. of History of Art (University of Cambridge)

Westminster on Sea: the political and cultural significance of Osborne House, Isle of Wight
Research Student: Lee Butcher
Supervisors: Dr Andrew Hann, Properties Historian's Team Leader (English Heritage) and Professor David Green, Dept. of Geography (Kings College London)

CDP Cohort Three (2015-18)

A Reassessment of Tooth Wear for Determining Age at Death in British Archaeological Remains
Research Student: Sammy Field
Supervisors: Dr Simon Mays, Human Skeletal Biologist (Historic England) and Dr Sonia Zakrzewski, Dept. of Archaeology (University of Southampton)

Livestock and Landscape: changing husbandry, livestock improvement and landscape enclosure in late and post-medieval England
Research Student: Tamsyn Fraser
Supervisors: Andrew Lowerre, Archaeologist-Spatial Analysis(Historic England); Polydora Baker, Senior Zooarchaeologist and Dr Umberto Albarella, Dept. of Archaeology (University of Sheffield)

Paving a Way for Deaf Heritage
Research Student: Gemma Shannahan
Supervisors: Rosie Sherrington, Policy Adviser-Social Inclusion and Diversity (Historic England); Dr Claire Shaw, Dept. of Russian and Dr Mike Gulliver, Dept. of History (University of Bristol)

CDP Cohort Four (2016 - 2020)

Heritage BIM: New ways of digital data management for the historic built environment
Research Student: Joanna Hull
Supervisors: Paul Bryan, Geospatial Imaging Manager (Historic England) and Dr Ian J. Ewart, School of the Built Environment (University of Reading)

'Beyond the List': Critical Examination of impact of statutory and non-statutory heritage lists on the national management of heritage in England
Research Student: Claire Price
Supervisors: Dr Joseph Flatman, Head of Listing Programmes (Historic England) and Dr Gill Chitty, Dept. of Archaeology (University of York)

Army communities at Roman Richborough: an analysis of the Roman military assemblage
Research Student: Philip Smither
Supervisors: Joanne Gray, Collections Curator: Dover (English Heritage) and Dr Ellen Swift, Dept. of Classical & Archaeological Studies (University of Kent)

CDP Cohort Five (2017 - 2021)

Archaeological Palaeoenvironmental Archives: Challenges and Potential
Research Student: Paul Flintoft
Supervisors: Duncan H Brown - Head of Archaeological Archives (Historic England) and Professor Martin Bell, Dept. of Archaeology (University of Reading)

The Evolution of Audley End
Research Student: Caitlin Scott
Supervisors: Charlotte Newman, Collections Curator (English Heritage) and Dr Hugh Willmott, Dept. of Archaeology (University of Sheffield)

Optimisation of Environmental Control in Museum Collections of Bone and Ivory 
Research Student: Chloe Pearce
Supervisors: Dr David Thickett, Senior Conservation Scientist (English Heritage) and Dr Marianne Odlyha, Dept. of Biological Sciences (Birkbeck College London)

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Phil Pollard
Phil Pollard

Postgraduate Research & Skills Officer

Research Group

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