Forward look blog – autumn into winter 2023

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

It feels like a short time since my last forward look blog charting the spring and summer, but with a new academic year also comes a host of new AHRC investments and activities.

Responsive mode transformation

First a reflection on the changes we have made over the summer to ensure our funding schemes best align with the needs of the community. The first rounds of these schemes are closing imminently. We have seen a strong and positive reaction from you, our community, in both application numbers but also in attendance at a series of webinars in June, July and September to support you during the transition. We will be continuing in our efforts to support you in the new year with additional guidance and blogs as these schemes become embedded. The second rounds of all schemes will launch shortly after the first rounds close.

Research Infrastructure for Conservation and Heritage Science (RICHeS)

The RICHeS programme is designed to maximise the research, development and innovation potential of UK heritage science by delivering a generational step change in sector effectiveness, efficiency and excellence. Over the course of the summer, we have launched three large opportunities which will supply equipment, facilities and a digital research service, to make heritage science and conservation expertise, collections and data more findable and accessible. By allowing a greater range and number of researchers and other users to engage with this cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, RICHeS will catalyse innovative research to improve our understanding of, and ability to care for, our priceless heritage assets. RICHeS funding opportunities include:

Find out more about the programme at the National Heritage Science Forum website.

We have many more funding opportunities live on our funding funder. Here are some selected funding opportunities but the full list is available on the funding finder:

Looking ahead

The transformation of our portfolio continues with the pre-announcement of our investment in focused doctoral awards, Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT). This, along with a host of other new opportunities, means we have a busy autumn on the horizon.

Focused Doctoral Training Awards in Centres for Doctoral Training

The awards follow the release of the CRAC/Vitae report on future doctoral provision and changes to our approach as outlined in Christopher’s Smith subsequent blog and AHRC news story. AHRC will be seeking applications for CDTs in two themes, addressing skills gaps, underrepresentation and research challenges in key areas.

Working in consortia and with partners in academia and wider sectors, CDTs will offer doctoral students a targeted package of training and development opportunities to prepare them for their future careers.

Further details of the CDT themes are available on the pre-announcement, with a full funding opportunity in November.

AHRC-German Research Foundation partnership funding opportunity six

This bilateral funding programme provides opportunities for UK-based arts and humanities researchers to conduct highly integrated projects with Germany-based partners.

UK and German project teams can propose research that makes fundamental advances in human knowledge across the entire breadth of AHRC’s remit, and must demonstrate the added value of international collaboration. The full economic cost (FEC) of the UK component can be up to £420,000.

This is an annual funding opportunity, with this year’s round opening (through the new UKRI Funding Service) on the 10 October 2023 and closing on 20 February 2024.

International Placement Scheme (IPS)

IPS is AHRC’s flagship international mobility scheme which runs annually. It offers short-term fellowships (two to six months) for AHRC-funded doctoral students and early career researchers at eight of the world’s leading cultural institutions in the US, China, and Japan. The IPS has a proud history. Since 2010, the programme has supported over 600 doctoral students and early career researchers by providing dedicated access to the collections, programmes and expertise held at world-renowned host institutions.

Awards range from £2,750 to £11,500, depending on the length of the fellowship, with the launch planned for mid-November and closing date in February.

Hub for Public Engagement with Music Research

This autumn we will be launching a funding opportunity for our first ever Hub for Public Engagement with Music Research. From 10 October 2023, eligible research organisations can apply for up to £812,500 (to be paid at 80% FEC) to work collaboratively with an organisation from outside of academia as a central coordinating hub for four spoke projects across the UK. The hub will be responsible for awarding and supporting the projects, which will involve diverse public participants in exciting and creative music research and engagement activities relating to the following themes:

  • health and wellbeing
  • civic and cohesive communities
  • creative education
  • technological innovation

You can find out more in our pre-announcement and sign up for our webinar on 24 October 2023 at 2:00pm.

Commercialising arts and humanities research: AHRC follow-on fund highlight notice

Following a successful pilot round, we have committed a further £250,000 to support projects that advance or enhance commercial impact from arts and humanities research, or which apply arts and humanities research or methodologies to enable commercial impact that started in another discipline.

We will fund a further five projects at up to £50,000 each (AHRC contribution), with a maximum duration of 12 months.

Funding opportunity dates are being finalised, and it’s not intended for any significant changes to be made to the 2022 to 2023 funding opportunity text.

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