Cohort Development Fund

The Cohort Development Fund allows SGSAH to support unique initiatives directed towards supporting the disciplinary and interdisciplinary training needs of doctoral researchers in the Arts & Humanities.

The Cohort Development Fund aims to support SGSAH staff, students and institutions to work collaboratively to develop and improve doctoral training across Scotland, by funding them to:

  • develop/deliver training that is not possible/viable for individual institutions and is in the vanguard of the field(s);
  • develop/deliver training that is innovative in scope, subject and/or delivery model;
  • lead the development of research training in their discipline(s);
  • develop strong and sustainable peer networks among SGSAH staff and students;
  • build capacity among the student body to identify, lead, manage and/or deliver their own training;
  • develop students' capacity in grant proposal writing.
Submission deadline 13 May 2019



Who can apply?

Staff and/or doctoral researchers in arts and humanities at SGSAH member HEIs. We expect that Collaborative Doctoral Training Network applications will be led by staff members, and include doctoral researchers as organisers and/or participants. Proposals for conferences will be led by students, and proposals for training can be made by staff, students or a mixture of the two.

How do I apply?

Please select the relevant application form to download. Complete and return it to by the deadlines shown above.

Innovative Doctoral Training Events

The SGSAH and its Panels are keen to support innovative ideas and encourage applicants to be creative in their submissions. Types of activity might include:

  • Workshops
  • Masterclasses
  • Seminars
  • Visiting speakers

Normally the upper limit will be £2,500 per application, however you should talk to the relevant Panel Chair(s) before making an application. They will be able to advise you of appropriate funding levels, which will depend on the scope and reach of your proposed event.

Events must:

  • Demonstrably meet the aims set out above
  • Have potential for scalability/replicability
  • Include at least three SGSAH institutions in planning and/or delivery, with a single named lead HEI
  • Be aimed at a minimum of 10 students
  • Must be advertised openly to all SGSAH doctoral researchers
  • Include costs for reimbursing travel for doctoral researchers attending an event. Please note that all travel, including that of visiting speakers, can only be reimbursed at standard class and normally at advance ticket rates and that SGSAH institution staff salary and travel costs are not eligible.

Collaborative Doctoral Training Networks

This funding enables groups of staff and doctoral researchers to come together to identify doctoral training needs and develop a costed plan to meet them. These groups might be disciplinary, thematic, inter-disciplinary and so on. Funding of up to £300 is available to support travel and associated expenses (e.g. room hire, catering) to enable the development of a plan for doctoral training in a specific area. Applications should be led by staff members, although it is essential that doctoral researchers are involved as participants. They may also be involved as part of the organising team.

Collaborative Student-led Conference or Symposium

We recognise that conferences are a key route to sharing research and that organising a conference develops a range of skills and abilities. We have therefore decided to support a very limited number - perhaps two or three in total - student-led conferences.

Proposals for student-led conferences or symposia must:

  • Include doctoral researchers from at least three SGSAH HEIs in the organising committee
  • Have a multi-or -inter disciplinary theme, with scope for participation from/contributions by a wide range of researchers and disciplines
  • Be innovative in some way - in subject, approach, method, format
  • Have secured funding from their own HEI(s) or other sources e.g. learned societies, charities
  • Be open to any doctoral researcher to apply
  • Include costs for reimbursing travel for doctoral researchers attending an event. Please note that all travel, including that of visiting speakers, can only be reimbursed at standard class and normally at advance ticket rate and that SGSAH institution staff salary and travel costs are not eligible.

Small awards

Academic staff within SGSAH may also apply to the Cohort Development Fund for:

  • A limited number of travel bursaries for doctoral researchers to attend a particular conference in Scotland;
  • A doctoral training workshop/seminar/masterclass that has been organised to take advantage of an existing conference. This must be aimed specifically or mainly at doctoral level students.

Applications for doctoral training workshops/seminars/masterclasses organised as part of a conference should be made through the normal Cohort Development Fund route. We would not normally expect the costs for these to exceed £750 in total, including travel bursaries.

Further guidance for applicants

Successful CDF proposals are likely to:

  • Be clearly and simply written, avoiding jargon;
  • Be specific about the proposed training outcomes and how these will be achieved through the training method proposed;
  • Articulate the contribution to the training of the participating HEIs;
  • Have considered the Scottish landscape in the relevant field(s) and sought to involve relevant SGSAH partners
  • Be realistic about what is achievable within time limits, particularly where these have already been set e.g. by other events to which the training is linked;
  • Where the training is attached to an existing event or network, articulate clearly the added value provided by the training;
  • Where the proposal is student-led, to have engaged with supervisors and/or other HEI staff for advice and guidance.

We encourage applicants to think carefully about their approach to evaluation, seeing it as a crucial part of the training rather than as an add-on.