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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).

Available PhD Studentships

The Evolution of Audley End

The University of Sheffield and English Heritage, are pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded three-year doctoral grant 2017-20, to work on the archaeological archives from Audley End House, Essex.

Audley End house, currently in the care of English Heritage, is one of the most important country houses in England, and yet its archaeological archive (produced from excavations in the 1980s) has received surprisingly little academic attention. This Collaborative Doctoral Award studentship will seek to address this by examining the potential of the archaeological archive and surviving historical sources to reveal new information about Walden Abbey; understanding the initial nature of the conversion of the monastery into a house in the 1530s; and providing a contextual summary to the material culture of the successive households. This project will be supervised jointly by Dr Hugh Willmott (University of Sheffield) and Dr Charlotte Newman (English Heritage), and the student will be expected to spend time at both Sheffield and Wrest Park, Bedfordshire.

Closing date for applications: 17th April 2017

Archaeological Palaeoenvironmental Archives: Challenges and Potential 

The University of Reading and Historic England, are pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded three-year doctoral grant 2017-20, looking to maximise the potential of palaeoenvironmental remains for academic research and public science engagement by co-designing new structures for their creation, curation and interpretation based upon a systematic evaluation of current archiving practices.

Research from the Society of Museum Archaeologists (SMA) has found that: there are 9000 undeposited archives, 27% of museums had no further space for archaeological archives, and 70% had no specialist curator (Edwards 2012).  Research funded by Historic England explores the impact of austerity on archaeological archives (SMA 2016). Copley (2010) identified the challenges. The project will combine quantitative research with qualitative and collaborative academic research. Unlike previous research projects (Edwards 2012; SMA 2016) on durable materials, this focuses on environmental archives. This project will be supervised jointly by Professor Martin Bell (University of Reading) and Duncan Brown (Historic England), and the student will be expected to spend time at both Reading and Fort Cumberland in Portsmouth.

Closing date for applications: 5th May 2017

Optimisation of Environmental Control in Museum Collections of Bone and Ivory 

Birkbeck College and English Heritage, are pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded three-year doctoral grant 2017-20, aiming to develop optimum environmental conditions for safe display and storage of museum collections of bone and ivory on the basis of improved damage assessment procedures.

English Heritage holds a very significant collection of archaeological bone, displayed and stored in a much wider range of environments than most other heritage institutions. Managing our bone collection is hence particularly challenging due to a lack of evidence with regards to relatively humidity (RH) and acetic acid response. This will be the first piece of research to address archaeological bone behaviour to fluctuating RH, across the spectrum of collections. This will also be the first time acoustic emission has been applied to archaeological bone. The development of non-invasive analysis to locate a particular piece of bone within the degradation framework will be of significant use in the display of bones. This project will be supervised jointly by Dr Marianne Odlyha (Birkbeck) and Dr David Thicket (English Heritage), with Dr Laurent Bozec of the Eastman Dental Institute (UCL).

Closing date for applications: TBC


Further details and information on how to apply for each of these PhD opportunities can be downloaded below.


How We Identify CDP Research Areas

These studentships are based on research areas we have identified because they will:

Advance the protection of the historic environment
Advance understanding and interpretation of the nationally important sites in the care of English Heritage 
Are in areas we would not otherwise be able to carry out research on by ourselves alone.
They are supervised by both Historic England and English Heritage experts in partnership with University academics.

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.

Available collaborative PhD opportunities are provided below.

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)

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Phil Pollard
Phil Pollard

Postgraduate Research & Skills Officer

Research Group