Applied Research Collaborative Studentships

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The ARCS scheme funds projects that are developed in collaboration with external organisations across creative, heritage, third and business sectors, normally based in Scotland. The ARCS scheme is open to applications from any of SGSAH’s 17 HEI members. 

ARCS are intended to encourage and develop collaboration between SGSAH’s Higher Education Institutions (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. 

It is important that the collaboration brings more to the student than enhanced access to an archive or collection, and that they are afforded real opportunities to develop career enhancing skills in addition to an academic qualification. 

The studentships also encourage and establish longer-term links between the partners that can have benefits for both, providing access to resources and materials, knowledge and expertise that may not otherwise have been available and also provide social, cultural and economic benefits to wider society. 

Our ARCS-funded PhD projects will be markers of excellence and originality, enabled by environments where excellent research is supported and conducted. 

Our prestigious 3½ year ARCS studentships offer: 

  • Fully-funded PhD studentships with a stipend of around £19,600 per annum plus fees at UKRI rate 
  • Partnership with a non-academic organisation and cross-institutional supervisory team where beneficial including a minimum of six months working within the non-academic organisation 
  • Access to additional funding to cover travel between partner organisations 
  • A core training programme to develop the doctoral researcher’s skills as a future research leader 
  • Access to advanced inter/disciplinary training through SGSAH’s innovative Discipline+ Catalysts 
  • Connection and collaboration with organisations across the creative, cultural and heritage sectors through SGSAH’s three Knowledge Exchange Hubs. 
  • Extra funds to gain additional skills through training and internships 
  • Opportunities to travel abroad to carry out research and fieldwork 
  • Access to the richness of Scotland’s research expertise and collections 
  • The chance to join an engaged and committed cohort of doctoral researchers working across the full range of arts & humanities disciplines 
  • Opportunities to lead the development of networks and funded training events across Scotland 
  • Membership of the SGSAH – a partnership of 17 HEIs in Scotland supporting 1,750 doctoral researchers in the Arts & Humanities 

Click here to view and download the ARCS Application Form Templates and Guidance documents for 2024

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^?


Industry partners who don’t currently have an HEI partner confirmed for a potential project to submit a brief proposal to SGSAH (click here for online form)

By 10th June 2024

Industry proposals circulated by SGSAH to HEIs for their consideration

W/C 17th June 2024

HEIs who wish to collaborate on a project to respond directly to the partner organisation

By 2nd Aug 2024

Industry partners review responses and select HEI/supervisory team to work with

By 6th Sep 2024

Full CDA applications submitted (student may be attached at this stage or after studentship is funded): Application system open between 1st-13th Feb 2025

By 13th Feb 2025

Applications reviewed by external panel

March/April 2025

Successful partnerships informed

April 2025

Studentship opportunities advertised (if no student attached)

April/May 2025

Student profiles to SGSAH for panel review (if no student attached at point of application) and students appointed to projects

June 2025

Studentships begin

October 2025