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AHRC CDP Grant: Re-Evaluating the Status of Prints at the British Library

Birkbeck, University of London, and the British Library are pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded Collaborative Doctoral Studentship from 1 October 2024 under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme


The focus of this project is on identifying, researching and analysing the provenance, changing status and visibility of about 500 books of prints in the British Library’s collection, using an 1812 unpublished finding list as a starting point.

This project will be jointly supervised by Kate Retford at Birkbeck (Professor of History of Art, School of Historical Studies) and Felicity Myrone at the British Library (Lead Curator, Western Prints and Drawings). The student will spend time with both Birkbeck and the British Library and will become part of the wider cohort of AHRC CDP funded PhD students across the UK.  

Birkbeck and the British Library are keen to encourage a wide range of potential students to apply for this studentship and are committed to welcoming students from different backgrounds. We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, as currently underrepresented at this level in this area. Applicants should normally have a master's degree, but evidence of equivalent relevant professional experience can also be taken into consideration.

Project details

Value and length of funding

  • The studentship can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis. 
  • AHRC CDP doctoral training grants fund studentships for four years full-time or part-time equivalent. 
  • AHRC CDP doctoral trainings grants also make provision of funding for student development activities to help the student extend their wider skills portfolio and improve their career prospects.
  • The award pays tuition fees up to the value of the full-time home UKRI rate for PhD degrees. The indicative fee level for Research Council studentships for 2024/25 is £4,786. Birkbeck will make up the difference in fees for an international student.
  • The award also pays full maintenance for all students, both home and international students. The National Minimum Doctoral Stipend for the academic year 2024/25 is £19,237. This is a tax-free training grant which increases slightly each year. An additional London Weighting allowance of £2,000/year will be applied for this studentship.
  • In addition, the successful candidate will receive a CDP maintenance payment of £550/year.
  • Further details on UKRI funding for doctoral training can be found on the UKRI website.
  • The successful student will also be eligible for an additional research allowance courtesy of the British Library, up to £1,000 per financial year or part-time equivalent, for the duration of the project.


  • This studentship is open to both Home and international applicants. 
  • To be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria: 
    • be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
    • have settled status, or 
    • have indefinite leave to remain in or enter.
  • Read more about guidance on international eligibility.
  • Applicants should have or expect to receive a master's-level qualification in a relevant discipline or equivalent experience in a professional setting. Relevant disciplines for master's qualifications include, but are not limited to: history, history of art, English literature and museum studies. Equivalent experience might include, but is not restricted to: a strong track record of employment in a library, museum, or heritage institution, that includes responsibility for relevant archival research, collections curation, and/or public engagement activity. Shortlisted applicants will be required to provide a sample of their academic writing ahead of interview.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate an interest in art (ideally specifically in print culture) between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, the museums, galleries, archives and library sectors, and the potential and enthusiasm for developing skills more widely in related areas.  
  • Collaborative doctoral students are expected to spend time at both Birkbeck and the British Library.
  • Applicants must satisfy the standard UKRI eligibility criteria.

How to apply

  • To apply for this studentship, you must submit an online application no later than 5pm on Monday 29 April 2024. Applications received after this date cannot be considered. 
  • Applications are made via the Birkbeck application portal to the MPhil/PhD History of Art programme.
  • The 'Finance' section of the online application form will ask you whether you would like to be considered for a funding scheme and to list any studentships or grants you intend to apply for. Please make sure you specify 'AHRC CDP Re-Evaluating the Status of Prints at the British Library' in this section.
  • You do not need to provide a research proposal or writing sample when applying for this studentship. Instead, please provide a CV and a brief statement in support of your application (max 1,000 words), commenting on your interest in, and qualifications for, the studentship. Please upload these documents in lieu of the research proposal and writing sample when you are asked for these. Writing samples will be requested from shortlisted candidates at a later stage.
  • Interviews are expected to be held at Birkbeck, University of London, on Tuesday 14 May 2024.

Further information

  • If you are interested in applying, you are welcome to contact or for an informal discussion about this opportunity.