National Museums Scotland is a member of the Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium (SCHC). The Consortium is a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Current opportunities

Applications are being invited for three fully funded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships studentships in partnership with the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews and Durham in collaboration with National Museums Scotland. 

Studentships available to start in September/October 2019


This award is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through the Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium. Subject to AHRC eligibility criteria, the studentship will cover Home/EU tuition fees. The studentship should to be completed within four years (if full-time); part-time study will be considered. For those settled in the UK, it also covers a stipend towards living expenses. The value for the stipend in 2019/20 is £15,009 per annum plus a £550 additional stipend payment. In addition, the Award carries up to £1,000 p.a. of additional support from National Museums Scotland towards travel and related research costs.

An eligible full-time student shall receive a stipend for 36 months with an integrated period of student development training of up to six months to support the cost of training, work placements, and other development opportunities.

Note that UK residency means having settled status in the UK that is no restriction on how long you can stay in the UK; and having been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship, that is you must have been normally residing in the UK apart from temporary or occasional absences; and not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purposes of full-time education.

About the Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium (SCHC)

The SCHC brings together three of Scotland’s national collections plus its national heritage agency, all of whom are internationally respected for their work in researching, documenting and promoting understanding of material culture.

The Consortium has successfully applied for a further three years of AHRC funding beginning in 2016. The new consortium supporting PhD research will comprise National Museums Scotland, the National Galleries of ScotlandHistoric Environment Scotland, and the National Library of Scotland.

Each year the Consortium awards up to six funded studentships which enable a Higher Education Institute and a Consortium member organisation to collaborate on a PhD project.

Further information about collaborative studentships funded by the AHRC can be found at the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Consortium website.

The aims of the Consortium are:

  • Deliver world-class research and high-quality studentships that promote collaboration between the academic community and our work and collections
  • Encourage inter- and cross-disciplinary doctoral research on material culture that contributes to the strategic objectives of the institutions and has public impact
  • Build a supportive training and professional development environment that shares skills across our institutions and promotes integrated access to our collections
  • Maximise the impact and value of the research generated by working collaboratively to provide routes for sharing both between institutions and with a wider public
  • Add economic value by providing training and opportunities that enhance the employability of the students

Doctoral research at National Museums Scotland is directed towards our collections in accordance with our Research Framework. Studentship projects are proposed by a member of our staff in collaboration with a colleague from a UK university. Proposals compete for funding on their academic strengths and on their orientation towards the Museum’s research and strategic objectives.

You can find out more about current CDP research here.

Supported by


Current opportunities

British Collecting in Ethiopia 1769–1960: Explorers, Missionaries, Military Expeditions, and Royal Gifting

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded studentship at the University of St Andrews and National Museums Scotland.

Material Spirits: Objects, Past and Landscape in Contemporary Scottish Whisky

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded Collaborative PhD studentship which will be supervised by Professor Stana Nenadic (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Sarah Laurenson (National Museums Scotland).

Dress and the individual in medieval Scotland 1200–1600

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded studentship at the University of Durham and National Museums Scotland. This studentship is one of six awards made annually by the Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium (SCHC) under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme.
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