Nigel Jeffries studying 'witch bottle' for AHRC project

MOLA to host PhD students in Collaborative Doctoral Partnership

Emma Dwyer

From October 2020 MOLA will be supporting three new research students a year to study for a PhD at a UK university. Through the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) award we hope to extend our strong record for academic collaboration and engagement, build on our status as a UKRI Independent Research Organisation (IRO), and develop future leaders, specialists and advocates for archaeology.

CDPs, funded by the AHRC, are partnerships between museums, libraries, archives and heritage organisations with a proven track-record in supporting and supervising postgraduate research, and higher education institutions. Other award holders include notable cultural, academic and heritage institutions such as Imperial War Museums, the National Archives, the British Museum, The British Library, The University of Oxford and the Tate.

A total of nine PhD projects will be co-designed and co-supervised by our staff in collaboration with colleagues from UK universities. In addition, CDP research students will be able to take advantage of training opportunities offered by MOLA and other CDP holding organisations through the CDP Cohort Development Group.
The CDP projects will be focused on three broad thematic areas that direct our research activities:

  • Our discoveries – the new knowledge, techniques and specialisms that are created through our archaeological work
  • Citizen Science – diversity and engagement, education and citizen science, public programming, and evaluation of our own citizen science projects
  • Archaeology and the contemporary – exploring the value of an archaeological approach to the contemporary world and the impact of archaeology on contemporary society

The CDPs enable us to share our resources with the academic research community and expand the knowledge base, develop our research strategy, improve research networks and exchange ideas and ways of thinking. The CDPs help to address skills needs and gaps in the wider archaeology sector, widen the field of research opportunities and develop connections between MOLA and universities for future high-level collaborative research and training projects.

Our co-supervisors will be given an opportunity to develop their supervisory and academic research skills, and CDP research students will receive practitioner training from us, while communicating the results of their collaborative research to different audiences.
We will be seeking project proposals from UK university supervisors to be co-developed with our staff from July 2019, to recruit doctoral students early in 2020 – look out for further information about the project development process on the MOLA website and on social media.

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