What is the ‘value’ of CDA partnerships in their formative and developmental stages?
Origins introduces critical questions about the current relationship among universities, Independent Research Organisations and the heritage sector. It prompts a reflection about the role of cultural and educational policy in facilitating and fostering collaboration. We consider the foundations of the CDA scheme alongside the challenges, merits and problems of working collaboratively. Panellists from diverse policy, heritage and academic contexts explore the scope, criteria and funding of CDA doctorates as well as their own involvement as stakeholders in the process.
Questions will include some of the following:
- How do you define value? Is it already established in CDA proposals?
- What are the challenges and possibilities of CDAs in so far as their scope is often defined and/or framed a priori?
- What do you think has prompted the trend to generate and extend CDA partnerships in the Arts and Humanities?
- How do you see your involvement as a stakeholder in the genesis of a CDA project? Can different stakeholders hold competing interests? How are they negotiated?
- What makes a successful application for CDA funding? Is this different from other AHRC proposals?
- How does the funding of CDA projects make them ‘valuable’ and where does this fit with cuts to funding in museums, libraries and archives? Might CDAs provide money, time, labour and expertise that museums can no longer acquire elsewhere?
Questions from panellists:
- How can supervisors and students navigate the co-supervisory component of the degree: what happens if supervisors give contradictory advice, for example? (Margot Finn)
- What sorts of challenges do CDA students face in terms of balancing the expectations of their different supervisors; and what support is available to them if tensions emerge? (Ian Lyne)
- How does the CDA student negotiate the question of ‘original knowledge’ in a predesigned project and how can that be supported in the project’s origin? (Jade French)
- CDAs are about collaboration: ‘exchange, or dialogue that requires work from all parties’. Are students prepared with the necessary project management skills to get the most out of a CDA? (Jade French)
Ian Lyne, Associate Director of Programmes, AHRC
Dr Ian Lyne is an Associate Director of Programmes, and joined the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in 2012. He previously worked as Head of Policy in the Research Councils UK Strategy Unit, and as Head of Skills and Careers in the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Ian joined the Research Councils in 2004 after working at the Universities of Exeter and Durham, and prior to this was a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Warwick. Ian is one of two Associate Directors in AHRC and he has lead responsibility for AHRC’s postgraduate training programme, including the Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDA) and Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) schemes. His remit also covers: Fellowships and research leadership development; Career development for arts and humanities researcher with and outside academia; Research capability in modern languages; Supporting the contribution of arts and humanities to public policy; Equality and Diversity in AHRC’s funding and policy; and Research Integrity and good research conduct.
Margot Finn, Chair in Modern British History, UCL and Trustee of the V&A
Margot Finn is Professor of Modern British History at UCL, where she currently co-supervises (with Sarah Longair of the British Museum) a CDA on the Museum’s East African collectors and collections. The author of monographs on English radical politics and on debt and credit in English culture, Margot is currently completing a book on the family and the East India Company. Her Leverhulme-funded East India Company at Home project http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/eicah/ explored the Company’s material cultures alongside museum and community-based researchers. She is a trustee of the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Jade French, CDA Student at University of Leeds, Halton Speak Out and The Bluecoat
Jade French is a writer, curator and visual artist who has been running participatory arts projects since 2008. Jade predominantly works alongside people with a learning difficulty to explore the intersections of art, disability & social change, but has broader interests in art gallery accessibility, co production and cultural policy. After initiating and winning an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in 2014, Jades current Ph.D research is a practice led study in collaboration with The University of Leeds, self advocacy charity Halton Speak Out and arts gallery The Bluecoat. The research aims to explore the potential for participatory curatorial practice by people with learning difficulties to act a site for self advocacy, resulting in a curated exhibition at the Bluecoat in Autumn 2016.
Research Profile: http://www.fine-art.leeds.ac.uk/people/jade-french/
Alastair Owens, Reader in Geography, Queen Mary, University of London
Alastair Owens is Reader in Geography at Queen Mary University of London. His research focuses on nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain and involves close collaboration with a number of museums. He has supervised a completed CDA project with the V&A Museum of Childhood as part of ‘The Child in the World: Empire, Diaspora and Global Citizenship’ programme, and has two students currently working with the Geffrye Museum (on a programme on ‘Home and Work: Connections and Transition in London from the Seventeenth Century to the Present) and one with the Ragged School Museum examining the early work of the child philanthropist Dr Thomas Barnardo. Two new AHRC CDA funded students will begin their doctoral research this autumn, one working with the Bank of England on war bond holding and the First World War and the other as part further programme with the Geffrye Museum on ‘ Home and Religion: Space, Practice and Community in London from the Seveneeth Century to the Present’. A short film showcasing Queen Mary Geography’s various collaborations with museums can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8RxJVlhWnM