Further guidance

Further guidance on the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP review process and on completing the OOC DTP Application Form is available below, or can be downloaded as a Word doc

The review process

 

There are three stages to the selection process for OOC DTP studentships: i) institutional review, ii) consortium-level review, and iii) confirmation of awards by the OOC DTP Management Board.

Stage 1: Institutional review

The first stage of the selection process will be completed by the university through which you have applied for an Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP studentship. On the basis of local recruitment and selection procedures, each university will nominate a select number of applicants to be considered by the DTP.

Stage 2: Consortium-level review

At the second stage, your application will be assessed by one of four DTP Studentship Selection Panels, which will be composed of senior academics from the Open University and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The Studentship Selection Panel members will review and score applications individually before meeting to discuss and rank the applications. Assessment by the Studentship Selection Panel members is on the basis of your OOC DTP Application Form only. Panel members will not have access to academic references or any other documents that you might have submitted during your application for admission.

Stage 3: Confirmation of awards

At the final stage of the selection process, the Studentship Selection Panels’ scores will be moderated and combined into two ranked lists by the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP Management Board: one list for the standard route studentship applications, another for CDA studentship applications. The Board will then determine the number of awards to be made from each list.

 

 

DTP Studentship Selection Panels will look for evidence that your proposed research is clearly articulated and well-conceived (‘quality and feasibility of proposal’) and that you have the appropriate skills and experience to complete a doctorate in the field proposed (‘preparedness for research’). This evidence will be evaluated in relation to sections two and three of the OOC DTP Application form.

Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP scoring criteria and descriptors

Category

Descriptor

Score

Quality

Quality and Feasibility of Proposal

Promising, ambitious and original project, matched by the applicant’s strengths. This is highest priority for funding. The proposal has clearly articulated aims and focus, and is feasible within the given time and resource limitations. The research proposed is well situated in the relevant literatures, and the project is well-conceived. The research methodology is appropriate. The proposal clearly shows the potential impact of the research.

16-18

Excellent

Well-conceived and viable project which also demonstrates the applicant’s potential. The proposal is original and rigorous. It is feasible within the timeframe.

13-15

Very Good

Project requires honing and development but has clear potential and viability. The proposal has originality and rigour but could be better designed or elaborated. Despite good potential, there are one or more areas for obvious improvement.

10-12

Good

Poorly-conceived project or overworked subject. The proposal does not display originality. It does not engage with the relevant literature; weak methodology. Should not be funded.

7-9

Fair

The proposal has significant and serious flaws, and should not be funded.

4-6

Weak

No identified project; general indication of interests only. Should not be funded.

1-3

Poor

Preparedness for Research

Excellent background knowledge and research-related skills for the proposed project. Applicant demonstrates outstanding potential and preparedness in relation to skills (such as languages or transferrable skills), training and previous research or fieldwork experience. Any skills gaps have been identified and there is a feasible plan to address them early in the proposed project.

16-18

Excellent

Solid background knowledge but may require further specific training. Applicant demonstrates strong potential and preparedness in relation to skills, training and previous research or fieldwork experience. Any crucial skills gaps have been identified and there is a plausible plan to address them.

13-15

Very Good

Gaps in background knowledge, which could be remedied by guided reading. The applicant shows satisfactory potential and preparedness in relation to skills, training and previous research or fieldwork experience. Most of the small and large skills gaps have been identified and there is a plausible plan to address them. 

10-12

Good

The applicant shows some potential and preparedness in relation to skills, training and previous research or fieldwork experience. Some skills gaps have not been identified or the plans for addressing such gaps may not be plausible within the timeframe.

7-9

Fair

The applicant has not identified the skills or preparation necessary to the project, and there are significant gaps that mean the project is unlikely to reach a successful conclusion.

4-6

Weak

Serious lack of subject-specific or relevant training and/or generally short on background knowledge and skills.

1-3

Poor

 

Guidance on completing the OOC DTP Application Form

 

The application process and timeline varies depending on which institution you are applying to for funding. Please follow the guidance given in the How to Apply pages.

 

 

The OOC DTP Application Form is a fillable pdf that includes a number of free text fields and some drop-down menus. Most computers have pdf software pre-installed that will allow you to fill in the form. If the computer you’re using does not, free pdf reader software is available to download online, e.g. Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Rich text formatting is enabled in certain fields, e.g. in the Research Proposal section. You may copy and paste into the fields but please be aware that where word limits apply, fields will be character limited. Also, text boxes are limited in size. The default font for the form is Arial 10. If you use a much larger font, your text may not fit. Please check carefully after pasting text into the form fields.

If you have any technical issues accessing and completing the pdf form, please get in touch with the DTP on enquiries@oocdtp.ac.uk.
 

 

Before submission, please check the file size of your completed form (right-click on the file and view properties). If your completed form is 2MB or larger, you are advised to resave by selecting ‘Print’ and then ‘save to/print to pdf’. This will reduce the file size so that it can be emailed or uploaded to university admissions systems as required.

Please note: After saving via the 'print to pdf' function, you will not be able to edit any form fields. You are advised to save initially using your pdf software, so that you have a copy that you can edit later if required.

Please save the file using the following naming convention: ‘OOC2022_University_Surname, initial’.

 

 

Answers in Section 1 will not be used in the evaluation of your application for studentship funding. Guidance on completing each field is given in the table below.

Form field Guidance on how to complete

Student/Applicant ID

Please give your university student or applicant ID, if known.

Surname/Family name and initial(s)

Please give your surname or family name and initial(s). Please do not include your title or full first name.

University

Please use the drop-down list to select the university through which you are applying for an OOC DTP studentship. You may not apply for studentship funding through more than one university in the consortium in any one year.

Department/Faculty/ School

Please list your department, faculty or school, e.g. Faculty of History.

Name of programme

Please give the name of the doctoral programme to which you have applied, or are currently taking (if applying as an on-course student), e.g. PhD in Music.

If you have already started, please list the start date (MMM-YYYY) and mode (full/part time)

If you have already started your doctoral programme, please list the start date (MMM-YYYY) and mode (full/part time)

If you are new to doctoral study, please leave this field blank or write N/A.

Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA)?

The DTP offers studentship funding through its standard and its Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) route. If you are applying for one of the CDAs advertised on the OOC DTP website, please give the title as advertised on the OOC DTP website.

If you are applying for a studentship via the standard route, please leave this field blank or write N/A.

AHRC Subject Areas

The Open-Oxford-Cambridge DTP supports discipline-based projects in all of the subjects covered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), but also welcomes interdisciplinary research and research in emerging fields of study and creative practice.

To be eligible for support, however, an application must clearly demonstrate that at least 50% of the proposed research falls within an AHRC Primary Research Area, as demonstrated by the focus of the research questions and/or problems. The project’s principal academic audience should also fall within the AHRC’s remit, i.e. that the research seeks to contribute predominantly to an AHRC subject.

Further information about subject eligibility is available elsewhere on our website: OOC DTP Studentship Eligibility information.

Area 1

Please use the drop-down menu to select the primary subject area of your . If your subject is not listed in the drop-down menu, please select ‘Other’ and specify by overwriting the text.

Please note: Areas are listed according to AHRC subject cluster rather than in alphabetic order.

Area 2

If your project is interdisciplinary, please use the drop-down menu to select the secondary subject area of your proposed research. If your subject is not listed in the drop-down menu, please select ‘Other’ and specify by overwriting the text. 

Please note: Areas are listed according to AHRC subject cluster rather than in alphabetic order.

 

 

Answers in this section of the form will be used to assess the quality and feasibility of your research proposal. You are advised to discuss your proposed project with a prospective supervisor.

Your proposal should clearly articulate the aims, objectives, originality and significance of the research. It should engage with appropriate literature, outline methods and address potential impact. It should also include a plan for completion. You may copy and paste text into the form, but please note that each field has a set character limit. In-text citations count towards the limit. You may to wish use a short author-date style for referencing; please do not use footnotes.

It is important that you write in clear, precise English, and that you express your ideas in a way that is accessible to non-specialists. The Studentship Selection Panel members will not necessarily be experts in your particular field, so it is advisable to avoid or explain discipline-specific jargon or terminology.

If you are applying for one of the OOC DTP’s Collaborative Doctoral Awards, you are expected to discuss your approach to the project with the university and/or partner supervisor ahead of submitting your application. The advertised project details should inform your own research proposal, but should not be copied verbatim into the application form.

Guidance on how to complete specific form fields is given in the table below.

 

Form field Guidance on how to complete

Research project title

Please give a brief working title for your proposed research project. The assessors understand that this is likely to change during the course of your studies.

Introduction

Please introduce your proposed research project (in no more than 200 words). This section should succinctly outline: the main research question and/or issue that you intend to address; the broad field of study within which your research falls; the significance of your project, e.g. how it might contribute to scholarship in your particular field.

You may copy and paste text into this field. Please note that it is limited to 1600 characters.

Research context, questions and significance

Elaborating on the introduction, please explain (in no more than 500 words) the context, questions and significance of your proposed research. This section should identify the key literature in the field and explain how your research seeks to intervene in, and/or contribute to, this area of scholarship. You should set out your research questions clearly and explain why they are important. When considering the significance of your research, you should identify which disciplines and/or fields of study will benefit from this project. If relevant, you could also indicate the significance of your research to organisations and audiences outside academia, e.g. if there is potential for impact in the cultural sector or in policy.

If you are applying for one of the OOC DTP’s Collaborative Doctoral Awards, you should address the potential impact and benefit of the project on the partner organisation and its audiences.

You may copy and paste text into this field. Please note that it is limited to 4000 characters.

Research methods, project plan and timetable

Please explain (in no more than 500 words) how you intend to answer your research questions as set out in the previous section. This should address you research methods and a project plan and timetable.

Methods: Your focus here will vary depending on your discipline and research topic. This section may address: key materials and/or sources for your research (e.g. texts, archives, collections, databases, field sites, research participants); specific research methods and/or methodological approaches; any ethical issues that you will need to address in undertaking your research.

Plan: You should include a short plan for completing the project within the period of the award. This should outline the time it will take to research and write up each section of your proposed project.

Please note, the AHRC expects students to submit their thesis for examination by their award end date. Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP students who are new to doctoral study will be funded for three years and three months in the first instance (or pro rata, if part-time); award holders may be eligible for extensions to funding on the basis of research and/or training needs, up to a maximum of four years total.

You may copy and paste text into this field. Please note that it is limited to 4000 characters.

Reference list

Use this section to provide details of key works referred to in your research proposal, up to a maximum of 20.

You may copy and paste text into the form field.

 

Use this section of the form to demonstrate that you have the core qualifications, skills and experience required to successfully undertake your proposed doctorate, as well as a plan to acquire and/or develop your skills for this purpose.

The Studentship Selection Panel assessing your application will not have access to all of the documents you submitted to your university for admission. It is important that you outline your prior qualifications and experience in this section, and relate how these have equipped you with the skills and knowledge to enable you to undertake your proposed course of study. If you have professional experience that informs your ability to conduct the research successfully, please include here.

Guidance on how to complete specific form fields is given in the table below.

 

Form field Guidance on how to complete

University education or equivalent

Please use the table to provide details of any university qualifications, e.g. undergraduate and master’s degrees, including information on the institution, the degree course, the start and end dates and result (if known).

If you have already started a programme of doctoral study, please include here.

Research-related skills: qualifications, training and achievements

Please list up to five language and/or other research-related skills that you have acquired and that are directly relevant to your proposed project. Please do not include any other CV information here.

For example, if your research involves work on 18th-century French archives, you should indicate your competency in French and any training you may have had in palaeography. Please give brief details of any professional qualifications, training courses and/or academic achievements (e.g. prize, award or publication) that evidence these skills, with institutions and dates where relevant.

Studentship Selection Panel members understand that you will need to acquire and/or develop skills during your programme of doctoral study and training. In the next section of the form, you should outline any training needs for skills you need to develop.

Preparedness for research statement

 

Expanding on the summary CV information outlined above, please explain how your qualifications, skills and experience equip you to undertake your proposed project. You should also outline any skills that you need to acquire and/or further develop to ensure successful completion of the project, and explain (briefly) how you expect to address these training needs. Please ensure that you clearly relate your skills and experience to the proposed research.

 

You may use this section of the form to mention any individual or personal circumstances that have significantly impacted upon your prior educational opportunity. This might include (for example) details of disability, chronic or acute illness, caring responsibilities, educational or socio-economic background.

Information provided here will not be used in the initial scoring of your application by the Studentship Selection Panels, but might be taken into consideration during the ranking of applicants. It will not be used by the DTP for any other purposes.