AHRC forward look: spring 2022

Close up of different colour oil paints

The first in a new series of blogs from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) that will share upcoming opportunities with the community.

Spring is the time of year that often signals new beginnings. Nature comes out of hibernation and the days get longer. After a long stretch of winter months, spring ushers in new possibilities.

It is in this context it feels the right time to be writing this blog post. This post will set out some of the exciting opportunities AHRC will be supporting over the coming months.

This blog post is the first of a new series of blog posts that we will be publishing in response to feedback from our communities.

Clarity and transparency

The purpose of this blog series is to give greater visibility of our funding priorities and upcoming programme of opportunities and activities. We hope that offering clarity on our direction and deadlines will help our stakeholders, across the breadth of the arts and humanities research and innovation community, with forward planning.

This is part of a wider AHRC objective to promote the highest standards of efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency within all aspects of our operations and planning.

I look forward to being able to share some of the exciting opportunities on the horizon over the coming months.

Funding opportunities launching soon

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It is set to be a busy time across the breadth of our research priorities.

We will release opportunities as pre-announcements increasingly earlier on the funding finder and we will use the blog to highlight some of the new releases.

Our aim is to give you early sight and therefore more time to plan ahead for applications.

A few of the opportunities launching over the coming months include:

Design Future Observatory: Design Exchange Partnerships

We are launching the next phase of our ambitious, five-year long programme, to bring together design-led research and industry.

Opportunities will include Design Exchange Partnerships. These partnerships will support design researchers throughout the UK to be co-located with public, private and third sector organisations to address challenges relating to net zero goals.

The pre-announcement will be live in April 2022.

Later in the year we will also launch our Future by Design Partnerships. We will release more information about these soon.

Capacity Building Digital and Data Skills pilots

These pilots are part of our programme to create a national capability for digital innovation and curation in arts and humanities.

We want to award up to five grants of £300,000 to £400,000 each. They will enable grant holders to develop tools and resources, and design and pilot training programmes to build researchers’ confidence in the use of digital tools and methods.

This opportunity is expected to launch at the end of April.

Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDP) scheme

The CDP scheme is available to non-higher education partner organisations with a proven track record in supporting postgraduate research. It gives them the opportunity to apply for a cohort of a minimum of three doctoral studentships per year over a three-year period.

The opportunity opens in April 2022. Find out more about the CDP scheme.

International opportunities

We are working with partners under the Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage on a new opportunity on ‘Cultural Heritage, Society and Ethics’. It aims to further the understanding of the relationship between cultural heritage (tangible, intangible, digital and natural) and major societal issues through transnational research projects.

The opportunity will be launched in March 2022.

New Generation Thinkers 2023

We have continued to support this early career development scheme to develop engagement skills, and help researchers get their work in front of the public and wider media.

Delivered in partnership with the BBC, we will be launching our 2023 opportunity in summer 2022.

Information will be on the funding finder soon.

Bearded man looking at paintings in art gallery

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Opportunities launching later in the year

A few opportunities we are developing and will be launching later in the year:

Early Career Fellowships working in cultural institutions

We are developing a new pilot fellowship programme for postdoctoral early career researchers seeking to gain experience of working in:

  • independent research organisations
  • other UK galleries, libraries, archives and museums.

Research projects will be co-designed with their host organisation.

We will release more information about this pilot later in the spring.

Additional fellowship opportunities

We will be building on our International Placement Scheme, which will launch a further opportunity this autumn. It provides funding for AHRC doctoral students and early career researchers to study at a number of major international cultural institutions and collections.

We are in discussions with several US partner organisations about providing additional placement fellowship opportunities to advance digital research and digital methods for cultural institutions.

We hope to release more information about these new fellowship opportunities later in the spring.

Collaborating with German researchers

Later in the year we will be launching the fifth annual opportunity of our bilateral with the German Research Foundation which supports collaborations with German researchers on arts and humanities research.

Keep up to date

To continue to be updated with the latest AHRC opportunities:


This content was accurate when the blog post was published on 7 March 2022. If you are reading this after that date, some details may have changed. For the correct information on upcoming opportunities please visit the UKRI funding finder and sign up for email updates via the UKRI website.

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