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AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership grant: South American Featherwork

Birkbeck and the Pitt Rivers Museum (University of Oxford) are offering a fully-funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership grant from October 2020 to undertake full-time or part-time PhD research on South American objects made by indigenous peoples out of feathers, or with feathers attached, in the Pitt River Museum’s collections.


The studentship is funded through the AHRC's Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme

We are looking for a highly promising and appropriately qualified student who will embrace the opportunity to bring together academic research in museum studies with experience and training in a leading British museum.

We want to encourage the widest range of potential students to study for a CDP doctoral training grant and are committed to welcoming students from different backgrounds to apply.

Applicants may come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. anthropology, history, heritage studies, natural history, history and philosophy of science, museum studies, archive and information studies, geography, cultural studies, Latin American studies), but it is expected that the successful applicant will be able to clearly explain the relationship between their existing training/experience and the topic of the doctoral training grant, and indicate how their present research interests relate to the proposed topic area.

Students who are able to show evidence of experience working on museum collections or archive-related topics or fields (e.g. through previous work placements or work experience) are particularly encouraged to apply.

Advice for applicants



Value and length of funding

  • Value
    • The PhD studentship will cover tuition fees at home/EU rate and provide a maintenance award at UKRI rates (currently £17,285 per year, including London weighting). Funding is subject to final confirmation by the AHRC.
    • The AHRC also provides an extra £550 per year for Collaborative Doctoral Award students, while the Pitt Rivers Museum provides additional financial support (up to £2,000 a year) towards travel and related research costs.
    • Fees-only awards are generally available to EU nationals resident in the EEA.
  • Funding length
    • This studentship is funded for three years and nine months (45 months) full time (or part-time equivalent).
    • The studentship may be extended for three months to provide professional development opportunities, or up to three months of funding may be used to cover costs incurred in taking up professional development opportunities.


  • Full doctoral training grants are available to students who are settled in the UK and have been ordinarily resident for a period of at least three years before the start of postgraduate studies.
  • International applicants are normally not eligible to apply for this doctoral training grant.
  • Candidates should:
    • normally hold (or expect to receive before October 2020) a master’s-level degree. If you don't, you may apply if you can demonstrate that you have equivalent experience that has prepared you for doctoral research. This might include work experience on Latin American museum collections or with indigenous communities.
    • meet AHRC residence eligibility requirements. You must have been ordinarily resident in the UK (with no restrictions) for at least three years prior to the start of the grant, other than for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK and EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education.

How to apply

  • Programme application
    • You must submit an online application for the MPhil/PhD Iberian and Latin American Studies programme. Please note that the requirement to have a degree with Portuguese or Spanish as a main component does not apply to this studentship.
    • The form will prompt you to confirm details of any scholarships or grants (for your proposed study at Birkbeck). Please ensure you respond with: 'AHRC CDT BBK/Pitt Rivers'. If this section is not clearly marked, your application may not be considered for the studentship.
    • Check that you meet the entry requirements (including English language ability).
  • Supporting documents
    • A single research proposal document, including your CV, a covering letter addressing your eligibility and a research proposal up to 2,000 words. The proposal should identify how your current academic interests relate to the doctoral project, explain your reasons for wishing to undertake this research and indicate critical contexts for the project. It can also outline how you might wish to refine the project to meet specific research aims of your own.
    • Transcripts of relevant studies and, where appropriate, a letter from your course coordinator predicting the expected degree result (for those who still have to complete their current Master’s-level programme).
    • A sample of writing such as your MA dissertation, or similar.
  • References
    • Referees will be automatically prompted to upload their references after you submit your application.
    • We strongly encourage you to contact referees to ensure they are prepared to upload their reference by the referee deadline (see below).

Closing date for applications

  • Closing date for applications: 20 March 2020
  • Deadline by which all references must be submitted: 25 March 2020
  • Interview date: 27 March 2020
  • Only complete applications received, with both references, can be considered.

Further information