Number of applications per host
Each independent research organisation (IRO) will be able to submit 1 application. IROs will be able to develop 1 additional fellowship application where at least 1 of the following circumstances applies:
- the additional application is being submitted as a part of efforts to support equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), for example applications involving high quality candidates with characteristics that are under-represented in the sector
- the host IROs comprises a group of galleries, museums, archives or other institutions or has multiple sites in different geographical locations and the 2 fellowships submitted would be primarily based at different sites or institutions within the IRO
- the additional proposal is submitted jointly with a cultural or heritage organisation which is not an IRO and would involve the fellow in spending a significant amount of time working in and with the non-IRO organisations, for example through a placement or part-time split site hosting arrangement
IROs which submit 1 additional application will be eligible to receive 1 additional fellowship award through this funding opportunity if both applications are recommended for funding as priorities through the peer review process.
Expression of interest
Individuals interested in these fellowships must submit an expression of interest to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) who will act as the cohort coordination and development team. See ‘Contacts’ section below for information.
The expression of interest is an essential part of the process to enable each IRO to identify and prioritise the candidates that they can support to develop full proposals.
You will be unable to apply to the scheme if you have not been selected through the expression of interest phase and invited by the host IRO to work with them to develop an application to be submitted to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
You must select 1 of the IRO priority research areas (XLSX, 129KB) as the focus of your proposal and discuss your idea with the relevant IRO ahead of preparing your expression of interest.
IROs will be responsible for ensuring that prospective fellowship applicants are supported in finding suitable collaborators within their organisations.
Prospective fellowship applicants must submit an expression of interest form (DOCX, 38KB).
to the cohort coordination and development team by 16 January 2023 by 4pm.
You can approach multiple host IROs to discuss potential fellowships, but you can only submit 1 expression of interest form to the scheme.
Only applicants who are invited to work with an IRO on a full proposal through this expression of interest process may submit a full fellowship application.
After completing an expression of interest form, you will be sent an EDI monitoring form by the cohort coordination and development team. It will not be shared with the IRO.
While it is voluntary to disclose this information, such data allows the AHRC and the cohort coordination and development team to produce statistical reports of the distribution of groups within the fellowship pool. Doing so will enable us to better understand the composition of our prospective fellows’ cohort and examine our practices fully.
Host IROs can submit an additional application as part of efforts to support EDI, for example applications involving high quality candidates with characteristics that are under-represented in the sector. If you want your application considered on EDI grounds you will have the option to declare your protected characteristics on the expression of interest form.
Your request to be considered will be shared with the IRO, however no details of your protected characteristics will be forwarded to the IRO.
Further to this, these details will not be shared at the peer review or final panel stage.
IROs are committed to ensuring that applicants protected characteristics or those with caring responsibilities are supported through the expression of interest process.
Please see the expression of interest equality impact assessment (DOCX, 46KB) for more detail.
If you require additional support, you should contact the cohort coordination and development team or the IRO you would like to work with.
You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.
You can find advice on completing your application in the Je-S handbook.
We recommend you start your application early.
Your host organisation will also be able to provide advice and guidance.
Submitting your application
Before starting an application, you will need to log in or create an account in Je-S.
All investigators involved in the project need to be registered on Je-S.
Any investigators who do not have a Je-S account must register for one at least 7 working days before the opportunity deadline.
- Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’
- Select ‘call search’
- To find the opportunity, search for: Early career fellowships in cultural and heritage institutions 30th March 2023
This will populate:
- council: AHRC
- document type: fellowship proposal
- scheme: AHRC fellowships
- call/type/mode: Early career fellowships in cultural and heritage institutions 30th March 2023
Once you have completed your application, make sure you ‘submit document’.
You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.
Completing the form
The fellow should be the principal investigator of their fellowship project. Research or technical assistants should also be listed on the proposal under the ‘Staff’ heading. If a named individual has not yet been identified they can be added as ‘research assistant’ or ‘technical assistant’.
Briefly describe your proposed activity in a way that could be publicised to a general audience.
If awarded, this content will be made publicly available, and applicants are responsible for ensuring that the content is suitable for publication.
The full economic cost of your project can be up to £250,000. AHRC will fund 80% of this amount. Please see AHRC research funding guide for information on specific categories of eligible costs.
As the amount of time to be dedicated to the fellowship is a known amount, your salary costs should be recorded as a directly incurred cost.
Payroll costs can be requested for staff and any research or technical assistants who will work on the project and whose time can be supported by a full audit trail during the life of the project.
For mentoring cost, an hour per month of the mentor’s time should be built into the budget as a directly allocated cost and entered in the application form in the other directly allocated costs section. Estates and Indirect costs for this one hour can also be charged to the grant.
These costs will be received by the host organisation.
If the fellowship research project involves more organisations, beyond the applicant, all such organisations should be listed in your application on Je-S as project partners. The organisation and contact name of each partner must be provided.
Applications for a project involving more than one host organisation will be welcomed, but:
- the activity to be undertaken at each organisation, and the benefits to each organisation, must be clearly specified. This might include one or more periods working in the partner organisations
- you must specify how this arrangement will benefit the fellow and their career development
- if the project involves the fellow moving between two or more host organisations, you must list all of these organisations on Je-S
If you have a non-independent research organisation (IRO) status UK galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) project partner who will work jointly with your IRO host during your fellowship, you must provide a letter of support from them and upload it on Je-S as part of the application process. If there are more partners, each should issue such a letter and you should upload them all.
If you are successful and you are awarded a fellowship grant, you must also establish a collaboration agreement between the parties before the fellowship commences. AHRC does not offer a template for such an agreement. It is the responsibility of the partners to write it.
The questions relating to ethics at the end of the Je-S form must be answered.
Each application must be written in adherence to good practice in EDI.
Please see the full proposal equality impact assessment (DOCX, 59KB) for more detail.
We also encourage host organisations to follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.
In addition to the Je-S form, you must also attach the following to your application:
- case for support (including a professional development plan)
- narrative CV for the fellow
- host organisation letter of support
- project partner letter of support (if applicable)
- work plan
- justification of resources
- data management plan and visual evidence (if applicable)
Case for support (including a development plan)
Your case for support document must be prepared in a sans serif font with a size equal to or greater than 11pt. The margins should be no less than 2cm all around the page.
You have up to 4 sides of A4 to provide information.
You must use the following headings in the case for support:
The focus of the fellow’s project
Outline the proposed work and how it will contribute to the funding opportunity objectives:
- describe the vision and aims of the proposed work. What research questions will you address during your fellowship?
- explain the disciplinary focus of the fellowship, including the connection to the host organisation areas of research interest. This should be explained in the context of the fellows’ expertise, the organisations involved or the broader sector or community
- specify what methodology you will use and why it is suitable for the project
- clearly state how you will meet the objectives of this funding opportunity, and what outputs will be produced as a result of your fellowship project
Suitability of the fellow
Provide the following information regarding yourself as a candidate for a fellowship:
- evidence of your current capability to effectively undertake and deliver against the vision and aims of the activity and produce the desired outcomes and impacts
- knowledge, skills and expertise that you will gain from the proposed fellowship at a cultural or heritage independent research organisation, and how your participation in the fellowship will aid you in your career
Suitability of the environment
Provide the following information confirming that the host organisation is the right environment for your fellowship:
- evidence of the suitability of the host organisation environment for undertaking the proposed fellowship project activity in terms of their collection, research priorities and infrastructure available to the fellow
- appropriate support for the fellow in the host environment with respect to delivery of the vision and outcome of the activity, including line management and mentoring
- a professional development plan for the fellow, outlining how the fellowship will contribute to, and enable, the fellow’s career development, for example through building their skills and experience and their portfolio of research outputs. The plan should include mentoring provision. AHRC expects each host organisation to agree the provision of a mentor for the fellow with the cohort coordination team
This should be written with reference to the full proposal equality impact assessment (DOCX, 59KB).
Your proposal must articulate the positive impact or benefits the project will bring to:
- the fellow, their development, and their career
- the host organisations
- the GLAM sector, for example strengthening its research capacity, diversifying the sector and the narratives it explores
- wider benefits that might be realised, of social, cultural and economic nature
These should be specific, realistic and grounded in the alignment between the fellow’s career aspirations and the needs of the hosting organisation and its strategy.
Please also outline how you will disseminate the findings from your fellowship project, including planned public engagement activity.
Describe how will you project-manage your fellowship. You must provide AHRC with:
- the justification of the funding requested. In-kind or direct support from participating organisations will only be taken into consideration if they are clearly articulated in the letter of support
- the plan for achieving the vision, objectives, outputs and impacts of the fellowship, including the work that will be undertaken, your approach and methodology, resources needed and a timeline including milestones for completion of tasks or work packages
- information on internal project monitoring and evaluation arrangements
- an outline of any risks and a plan for how they will be managed
A narrative CV of a maximum of 3 sides of A4 must be submitted.
You must use the CV template (DOCX, 84KB) that is under ‘additional information’.
Read the R4RI guidance, and follow UKRI guidance on how to complete the template. Please note this guidance is generic and you should refer to specific scheme guidance for how it will be assessed.
This template is a change from the standard AHRC CV format in line with UK Research and Innovation’s ambition to make the research and development ecosystem more inclusive. A CV which simply lists past positions, publications and funding will not adequately support an application.
AHRC doesn’t require a list of publications but you can include a selection of your publications in the narrative CV.
Host organisation letter of support
A letter of support issued by your host organisation of a maximum of 2 sides of A4, font size 11, is mandatory and must be uploaded with your application.
If 2 or more independent research organisation are co-hosting your fellowship, you must submit a host organisation letter of support from each organisation, clarifying which one will take a lead for your employment and managing the award.
The host organisation letter of support must contain a commitment to employing you for the duration of the fellowship, regardless of whether you were in employment at the point of applying, or not.
The host organisation letter of support must:
- be from the host IRO staff member who will support you and work with you on your project
- commit to employing you for the duration of the fellowship (lead IRO only where two hosts are involved)
- confirm the organisation’s commitment to the proposed fellowship project
- articulate the benefits of the collaboration, its relevance and potential impact
- identify the value, relevance and possible benefits of the proposed work to the host
- specify the period of support, the full nature of the collaboration or support and how the host will support you in terms of career development, mentorship, access to facilities
- list all costs incurred (these should be entered on the Je-S form according to the AHRC research funding guide)
Mentors should be agreed with host IRO and cohort coordination team after the fellowship has been awarded to the candidate.
Project partner letter of support (optional, if applicable)
The project partner section is only required if a fellowship includes organisations other than your host organisation. This can include collaborative projects and placements between the IRO host and other UK GLAM organisations or other partner institutions.
If you wish to undertake project or placement activity as part of your fellowship at a non-IRO UK GLAM organisation other than your host organisation, you must submit a letter of support from them. This must be separate to your host organisation letter of support.
If that’s the case, a letter of support of a maximum of 2 sides of A4, font size 11, from your project partners must be uploaded with your application.
It should state the partner’s commitment to the project, list expected benefits to the partner, indicate how this will benefit the fellow’s career development, describe the nature and duration of the partnership, and indicate project partner contributions (both cash and in-kind).
Applications will be rejected if project partner letters of support merely indicate that an organisation is interested in the fellow’s proposed research proposed project and don’t indicate a firm commitment to being involved as the fellowship partner.
Please see AHRC research funding guide for more information about letters of support.
The work plan is mandatory and must outline your timetable for the project and indicate the work to be undertaken in each month of the award. The work plan must clearly outline your time commitment for each phase of the fellowship.
The workplan must be no more than 2 sides of A4.
Justification of resources
This document must clearly explain why you are requesting specific funding as part of your grant application, and how the amount needed was calculated.
The justification of resources should be a maximum of 2 sides of A4.
Data management plan and visual evidence (optional, if applicable)
You can upload any additional visual evidence with your application, especially if practice-based research is involved.
It is good practice to prepare a data management plan, to specify how you will manage the data you will gather during your fellowship.
The data management plan can be up to a maximum of 2 sides of A4, font size 11, and can include diagrams, but these must be within the 2-side limit.
Please see AHRC research funding guide for information on what to include and what questions to address in your data management plan.
You should use your plan as a living document throughout your fellowship.
We expect the data management plan will be revisited each year during the award and as long as is required following the award to take into account any potential changes in, for instance:
- intellectual property
- institutional data management policy
- copyright to ensure legal compliance