The Northern Bridge Consortium is a Doctoral Training Partnership (NBCDTP) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The NBCDTP runs an annual competition to select the best doctoral candidates and provide a comprehensive and attractive package of financial support over the duration of study, which includes payment of tuition fees and a maintenance award (currently £15,009 per annum). This Collaborative Doctoral Award project is supervisor-led in partnership with the Public Record Office Northern Ireland.

Project Summary

The ‘voices’ of the nineteenth and early-twentieth-century poor are not often visible in historical documents, rather we hear from the officials and authority figures who penned surviving records. This original and exciting project draws on new and underused archival material housed at PRONI, letters and petitions requesting assistance submitted to charities and politicians and brings to light for the first time the voices of those experiencing hardship in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Ulster. The project will allow a unique understanding of living conditions, family relationships and issues facing many families across Ulster as they tried to access help.

Further information can be found

Applicants are invited to submit an expression of interest to the Supervisor and the Local NBCDTP Administrator by the deadline stated in the full project details.

How to Apply to the Competition

Full details about the competition, eligibility, application process and timeline are available on the NBCDTP website from the link below under the heading Funding. There are two stages to this process:

Stage 1 – Postgraduate Application (Online) by 4pm on Monday 13 January 2020. Applicants should make an online application to Ulster University. Applicants should insert NBC20 in response to the question relating to how you plan to fund your studies on the Funding Details section of the online application.

Stage 2 - Student Nomination by 4pm on Monday 17 February 2020. Following an internal assessment School/Department-based selection panels then select their strongest nominees on the basis of the applicant’s qualifications, research proposal, relevant experience and references. Those applicants will be asked to complete a Nomination Form, which must be submitted to Northern Bridge by the applicant’s School/Department. Nominations made after this date will not be considered.

Results will be announced to successful candidates on Wednesday 8 April 2020.

Northern Bridge Eligibility Criteria

Prospective applicants to the Collaborative Doctoral Awards are required to meet the AHRC's eligibility criteria which can be found at this link:

Academic Qualifications and Experience

Competition for Northern Bridge studentships is intense, and we require evidence of academic excellence at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as evidence that the candidate has sufficient research skills to undertake the project.

This generally means a first-class or good upper-second undergraduate degree and performance at or around distinction level in a masters degree.

Note that Undergraduate degree (first-class or good upper-second) and Masters Degree should be in a relevant subject (History) or Cognate subject.

In exceptional cases, candidates with lower qualifications may be considered if they can demonstrate that relevant professional practice or work experience has equipped them with equivalent academic and research skills, and preparedness for doctoral study, as per AHRC guidelines.

Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.


Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University