Applied Research Collaborative Studentships

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*The ARCS competition for this year is now closed. Please check back in October 2024 for updated guidance and application dates for 2025 submissions* 

Click on the links below to download ARCS guidance documentation in Word and PDF versions with full information about the application process, including an application template and marking criteria.

ARCS 2024 Guidance Application Document (Word Document, 557KB)

ARCS 2024 Guidance Application Document (PDF, 675KB)

ARCS Application Form Template 2024 (Word Document, 32KB)

ARCS Application Form Template 2024 (PDF, 182KB) 

ARCS Nominated Candidate Template 2024 (Word Document, 30KB)

ARCS Nominated Candidate Template 2024 (PDF, 158KB)

You can view a zoom recording of a SGSAH information session on applying for collaborative PhDs from September 2023 by clicking here and entering password Y5cWN1^?

The Applied Research Collaborative Studentships (ARCS) funds doctoral research projects that are developed in collaboration with external organisations across creative, heritage, third and business sectors, normally based in Scotland. The projects designed and supervised by at least two higher education institutions (HEIs) and at least one other partner. 

ARCS are intended to encourage and develop collaboration between SGSAH’s HEIs and non-HEI organisations and businesses across Scotland. 

ARCS provide opportunities for doctoral students to gain first hand professional experience outside the university environment. The support provided by both an HEI and non-HEI supervisor enhances the employment-related skills and training a research student gains during the course of their award. 

ARCS are supported by the Scottish Funding Council, which is meeting 50% of the costs of each studentship. The remaining 50% of costs will be met by HEIs (in a 25-25 split). 


Applications can come with or without a student attached. They must include two HEIs and one external partner. All applications must include one of the following:

  • Abertay University
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Heriot Watt University
  • Queen Margaret University Edinburgh
  • Robert Gordon University
  • University of the West of Scotland

If you require any further information or clarification, then please contact us at