Skip to main content

Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships

The Northern Bridge funding competition includes opportunities for PhD students to work with partner organisations. These organisations are 'non-HEIs' - i.e. not Higher Education Institutions. These organisations may be museums and galleries, archives, heritage organisations, businesses, or charities.

Anyone interested in developing a 'Collaborative Doctoral Award' partnership should contact the Director of Postgraduate Research, Dr Toby Osborne.

Student-led applications are submitted in January, as part of the standard PhD application process.

How to apply.

Supervisor-led Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships have in the past included partnerships with Tyneside Cinema, the Bowes Museum, and Blackfriars Restaurant.


Current Projects

Constitution-making in Sudan

A collaborative doctoral research project

Partners: Durham University; Newcastle University; Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Rift Valley Institute

In 2019, the Sudanese government was brought down by a popular movement. After more than thirty years of authoritarian rule, Sudan has entered a ‘transition’ period: the deal signed between the leaders of the protest and the armed forces calls for a new constitution to ensure a peaceful and democratic future. This is a moment of possibility for Sudan.

Yet Sudan has been here before. In 1964 and in 1985 protests brought down previous authoritarian regimes. Each time, it proved impossible to agree a constitution that ensured democratic civilian government; each time, Sudan slipped back under military rule. This doctoral research project looks at the history of those previous moments of possible change, seeking to understand both what shaped them, and why they ultimately failed. It will involve both archival work and oral historical interviews with those who have first-hand knowledge of those previous moments of possibility.

This doctoral project has been designed to provide the student with experience in presenting research-based knowledge to policy-makers and to civil society: it will involve placements with the Research Analysts Section at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and with the Rift Valley Institute. The project student will use the skills developed through that experience to present findings to multiple audiences within and beyond Sudan. At a moment of possibility and change, this historical research will inform contemporary debates about Sudan’s future.

The project will begin in October 2021. The project students has already been chosen, and more details on their work, and on the project, will be appearing on this site in the coming months. 

The supervisors for the project are Dr Willow Berridge (Newcastle University; author of Civil Uprisings in Modern Sudan) and Professor Justin Willis (Durham University, co-author of The Moral Economy of Elections in Africa)