Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Early career fellowships in cultural and heritage institutions

Start application

Apply for funding to conduct research at cultural and heritage institutions.

You must:

  • be an early career researcher
  • have either a doctorate in a relevant subject or equivalent professional experience and skills
  • have the support of an eligible host such as an independent research organisation in the culture and heritage sector
  • address an area of interest indicated by your host organisation
  • co-design your research project with your host organisation

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £250,000. AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

This opportunity includes a compulsory expressions of interest (EoI) stage. Please complete an EoI form and submit it to your preferred host via our cohort coordinator at o.cox@vam.ac.uk before 16 January 2023. Only if you pass the EoI stage will you be able to submit an application on the Je-S system.

Fellowships should start between 1 November 2023 and 1 January 2024 and last between 1 and 2 years (longer if part-time).

Who can apply

Fellows

To apply for a fellowship, you must:

  • have a demonstrable commitment to working with the cultural and heritage sector
  • be based, and be eligible to work, in the UK for the full period of the fellowship or eligible to apply for a visa to work in the UK
  • be of postdoctoral standing, which means you meet one of the criteria outlined under the ‘postdoctoral criteria’ heading below
  • fulfil the criteria for contractual eligibility as per AHRC research funding guide

The wider UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) eligibility criteria for funding applies.

Check if you are eligible for research and innovation funding.

Interdisciplinary fellowship proposals in areas such as digital humanities and heritage science, as well as practice-based ones, will be welcomed, but all proposals must have significant arts and humanities research content and fall within the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) remit.

Early career researchers not currently in employment are welcome to apply providing the host IRO commits to employ them for the duration of the fellowship if the application is successful.

Postdoctoral criteria

To be of postdoctoral standing, you must meet 1 of the following criteria at the deadline for applying for the fellowship:

  • be within 8 years of the date of successfully completing your PhD viva or equivalent professional training
  • have no more than 6 years of research experience at post-doctoral level
  • have no more than 6 years of working in a role or roles which included research as a significant component of the role

These durations should exclude any period of career break, for example for family care, health reasons or reasons consequent upon the COVID-19 pandemic (such as home schooling or time on furlough). Where some or all of this period was a paid contract of employment to work part-time, the duration may be adjusted accordingly.

If you have passed your viva before the application deadline with minor corrections, you are eligible to apply. You will not be eligible if you must make major corrections which need to be re-assessed so the final submission of your thesis falls after the application deadline.

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)

Applications are welcomed from fellows in under-represented groups within the sector, for example ethnic minorities and disabled people.

This funding opportunity will include a programme of cohort events for fellows, designed to enable networking and develop skills and meet diverse participation needs.

Details will be provided to successful applicants, but AHRC expects that fellows will actively engage with these opportunities.

Host organisations

To become a host organisation, you must have submitted a research areas of interest form to AHRC and:

Each host must provide a supportive research environment for the fellow, including:

  • line-management
  • best practice in terms of EDI
  • commitment to mentoring
  • training
  • access to facilities
  • support for the fellow’s career development

2 or more independent research organisation can co-host a fellow, provided that 1 of these organisations takes the lead for the fellow’s employment and for managing the fellowship award.

We strongly encourage host organisations to follow the principles of The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

Partnering with UK galleries, libraries, archives and museums

We encourage partnership applications by candidates for fellows for skills training and research collaboration between eligible host organisations with IRO status and one or more of the wider UK galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) organisations. However, this is not mandatory.

It is also possible for host organisations to partner with universities or international organisations.

Who cannot apply

The following cannot apply to be the lead host for a fellowship:

  • UK-based GLAM organisations without the independent research organisation status, except as partners in an IRO-led bid
  • GLAM organisations based overseas
  • IROs outside the cultural and heritage sectors
  • universities in the UK or overseas

The following cannot apply as fellows:

  • people who are already contracted by an IRO to undertake research as a significant part of their current role and who would like to undertake a fellowship at their current place of employment
  • applicants whose proposed projects do not focus on arts and humanities disciplines, methodologies and approaches within AHRC’s remit
  • researchers on career stages from mid to senior
  • researchers who don’t have a PhD or equivalent experience

Resubmissions

You cannot resubmit a previous UKRI application to this competition.

What we're looking for

Purpose and objectives

The overall purpose of this funding opportunity is to enable early career post-doctoral (or equivalent) researchers to gain research and career experience in the galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM) sector.

You must do this through working in a major cultural or heritage host organisation, on a co-designed research project that will also benefit the host organisation.

The objectives of the scheme are to:

  • create new opportunities for early career postdoctoral researchers to build, deepen or broaden their experience of working in, and with, major cultural and heritage organisations
  • develop the fellows’ skills and future research career in areas of relevance to the work, collections and practices of cultural and heritage organisations
  • deliver high quality and impactful research and innovation projects
  • enhance the host organisation’s capacity to undertake research and innovation activities closely aligned with its priorities and strategies, and leading to practical benefits and outcomes for the host
  • address a need across the GLAM sector in respect of the lack of dedicated support at the early stage of research careers
  • promote equality, diversity and inclusion principles
  • strengthen efforts to build and diversify research capabilities in the cultural heritage research and innovation ecosystem
  • further extend the GLAM sector’s engagement with, and contribution to, society
  • catalyse high quality and impactful research and innovation projects

This will be achieved through funding individual fellowships for early career researchers hosted by cultural and heritage independent research organisations, with a complementary programme of networking events and cohort career development activities for the fellows.

Your fellowship is expected to meet all the above objectives.

Research themes

The focus of your proposal must fit within one of the IRO priority research areas (XLSX, 129KB).

Proposals should contribute to AHRC’s objectives and vision on cultural assets and our strategic delivery plan where appropriate as well as address specific areas of research interest identified by host organisations.

Applications will be welcomed from prospective fellows across the full range of disciplines funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), including, but not limited to:

  • archaeology
  • cultural and museum studies
  • history
  • library and information studies
  • creative and performing arts
  • design
  • visual arts

Examples of broad research themes that would contribute to AHRC’s vision include:

  • diversifying histories and narratives, uncovering underexplored collections and opening up opportunities for more inclusive engagement with heritage
  • realising the cultural capital of under-studied collections and other cultural assets
  • contextualising collections and heritages and exploring how they can inform better understanding of ourselves
  • advancing how we conserve and curate our cultural infrastructure to serve the needs of future generations, including innovative applications of digital technologies, data, design thinking or creative methods
  • developing innovative ways for cultural assets to:
    • provide support for diverse, inclusive, healthy, sustainable and prosperous places and communities
    • foster constructive civic discourse
    • help address wider societal challengers

Independent research organisations (IROs) interested in hosting early career fellows funded by AHRC have identified the following specific research themes and areas of interest to guide prospective fellows in preparing their application. Research that:

  • mobilises under-explored collections and under-represented voices. For example:
    • imperial and colonial histories
    • materialities of international encounters
    • indigenous cultures of knowledge
    • botanical collections
  • explores the climate emergency in relationship to cultural and heritage organisations’ assets and practices. For example:
    • collection care
    • business models and institutional practices
    • understanding and communicating climate change and biodiversity loss through collections
    • risk management
    • resilience and non-invasive adaptation of historic building fabrics
  • enhances current and explores future practices in cultural and heritage organisations. For example:
    • discovery tools and network infrastructures
    • community-based research or citizen science
    • engagement and curatorial practices
    • skills and career pathways within cultural and heritage sector
    • innovative applications of digital technologies

As a candidate for a fellowship, you may develop these themes using a range of methodologies, including practice-based, action research and conservation and heritage science approaches.

Read the IRO priority research areas (XLSX, 129KB) for more information on specific research themes identified by host organisations. You will need to request any additional documents listed in the IRO priority research areas from the named contact at the IRO.

Read the contact details for IROs (PDF, 94KB).

You must consult the named contact at the host organisation you would like to work with in advance of your application.

Funding available

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £250,000. AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

The host institution must contribute the remaining 20% of the full economic cost.

The host organisation and the fellow must work together to prepare the budget as part of the application process.

AHRC will make a contribution to the cost of mentoring. However, institutions may provide additional mentoring support alongside other forms of leadership or career development support for early career applicants, as a part of their additional support for the fellowship.

This route can also include collaborative projects and placements between the IRO host and other GLAM organisations or other partner institutions.

Non-IROs may wish to consider collaborating with an IRO host to offer a placement opportunity for the fellow. This would enable the fellow to spend part of the fellowship with the organisation, for example, to work on a specific project or collection. Costs incurred through placements can be included as part of your funding applications.

Duration

Your fellowship can be full-time, part-time or hybrid (a combination of the 2). It can last for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2 years (longer if part-time).

We expect fellowships to start between 1 November 2023 and 1 January 2024 unless exceptional circumstances apply, for example on EDI grounds.

The host independent research organisation will administer the fellowship award and employ you for the period of the fellowship. You will be listed as the principal investigator of your fellowship grant.

You can include the cost of a short period of research assistance or technical assistance (no more than 12 months full time equivalent in total) to support specific activities in support of your research project.

However, the fellow must do the majority of the proposed research activity. We encourage you to refer to the principles of the Research Development Concordat and the AHRC guidance on training and developing early career researchers in the arts and humanities when planning and facilitating the work of your research assistant.

How to apply

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.

Deadline

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.

EDI monitoring

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.

Full proposal

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.

When applying:

  1. Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’
  2. Select ‘call search’
  3. 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

Applicants

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’.

Summary

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.

Financial resources

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.

Project partners

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.

Other questions

The questions relating to ethics at the end of the Je-S form must be answered.

EDI monitoring

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.

Attachments

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).

Planned impact

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.

Project management

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

CV

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.

Work plan

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:

  • technology
  • intellectual property
  • institutional data management policy
  • copyright to ensure legal compliance

How we will assess your application

Expression of interest assessment process

The cohort coordination and development team will share the expressions of interest forms submitted by the candidates with the relevant independent research organisation (IRO).

Subsequently, each IRO will be responsible for shortlisting those projects on which they wish to work with the prospective fellow, to develop into a full fellowship application.

The shortlisting process will be standardised across IROs and will be based upon the following criteria:

  • the significance and quality of the proposed research, including strength and importance of the vision for the fellowship and fit and contribution of the fellowship to the overall objectives for the funding opportunity
  • suitability of the candidate for the fellowship, including relevant skills, capabilities, commitment to work with the galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) sector and the timeliness, contribution and added value of the fellowship to their experience, skills and future career development
  • suitability of the host organisation environment, including their commitment to the project provision of mentoring, access to facilities and other support for the career development of the fellow, as well as embedding the fellow and their research within the wider host environment
  • benefits the project will have to host organisations and placement partner (if applicable)
  • the broader impact on the GLAM sector and, where appropriate, the potential and plans for cultural, economic or societal impacts
  • feasibility of research plans (including realistic timeframes and appropriate attention to ethical and data management issues), plans for achieving research outcomes and producing outputs, and overall value for money

Applications will be anonymised and graded 1 to 6 for each of the above criteria.

Panel review

Each IRO will have their own selection panel and every panel member will have recently completed EDI and unconscious bias training.

The panel will grade all expressions of interest and select a shortlist. Candidates shortlisted will be invited to interview.

The cohort coordination and development team will provide a representative to sit in on all interviews. They will also provide IRO selection panels with application sifting guidelines to ensure parity across the expression of interest phase.

The IRO selection panel at each host organisation will select the projects to be developed into a full application for a fellowship to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Full proposal remit checks

AHRC will check if applications:

  • include all the required attachments
  • are within the remit of AHRC
  • are a fit to the scope of the funding opportunity

If your application doesn’t include a sufficient arts and humanities component to be considered within AHRC’s remit or does not fit our eligibility criteria, it will be immediately rejected. It will not be sent for assessment. No feedback, beyond the reason for rejection, will be provided at this stage.

This funding opportunity has been created to fund activity that would not be possible through other UK Research and Innovation or AHRC mechanisms. If we determine that a project would be better supported through another scheme, the application will be rejected.

Full proposal assessment process

Peer review and panel

Full applications submitted to AHRC will be considered through a peer review stage followed by a panel meeting to provide a 2-stage quality assurance of applications.

Fellowship applicants will be given an opportunity to respond to comments made by peer reviewers through the first stage of the peer review. Where relevant and feasible, applicants should engage with their host IRO contact in preparing their response to reviewers.

The panel will be drawn from within and beyond AHRC’s peer review college, to ensure co-review by non-academic reviewers due to the host environment being GLAM.

At the panel stage, a grade will be agreed for each application and the panel will produce a rank ordered list.

Each application will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • the significance and quality of the proposed research; strength and importance of the vision for the fellowship, fit and contribution of the fellowship to the overall objectives for the funding opportunity
  • suitability of the candidate for the fellowship, including relevant skills, capabilities, commitment to work with the GLAM sector and the timeliness, contribution and added value of the fellowship to their experience, skills and future career development
  • suitability of the host organisation environment, including their commitment to the project provision of mentoring, access to facilities and other support for the career development of the fellow, as well as embedding the fellow and their research within the wider host environment
  • benefits the project will have to host organisations and other participants
  • the broader impact on the GLAM sector and, where appropriate, the potential and plans, for cultural, economic or societal impacts
  • feasibility of research plans (including realistic timeframes and appropriate attention to ethical and data management issues), plans for achieving research outcomes and producing outputs, and overall value for money

Contact details

Get help with developing your proposal

For help and advice on costing and writing your proposal please contact the relevant independent research organisation (IRO), allowing sufficient time for the expression of interest process.

Ask about this funding opportunity

Cohort coordination team

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is acting as the cohort coordination and development team for the scheme. To submit an expression of interest form, enquire if a project fits within the scheme or obtain advice on which IRO to approach, please contact the cohort coordination team.

Dr Oliver Cox

Email: o.cox@vam.ac.uk

Enquiries team, AHRC

If you have a direct question to AHRC about any other aspect of this opportunity, please contact our enquiries team.

Email: enquiries@ahrc.ukri.org

Include ‘Early career fellowships in cultural and heritage organisations’ in the subject line.

We aim to respond to queries as soon as possible.

Get help with applying through Je-S

Email

jeshelp@je-s.ukri.org

Telephone

01793 444164

Opening times

Je-S helpdesk opening times.

Additional info

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) cohort coordination team have organised the following in person and online events to encourage a wide range of applications and provide further information.

Live streamed and in person townhalls for potential fellowship applicants to provide an overview of the scheme and answer questions.

The events will provide potential applicants and galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM) sector organisations interested as acting as project partners with an opportunity to meet representatives from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), scheme coordination and development team and independent research organisations (IRO).

All townhalls will be live streamed and 2 will also be in person events. The townhalls will be held on the following dates between 11am and 2pm:

  • Belfast (Hillsborough Castle), 29 November 2022, in person event
  • London (V&A South Kensington), 6 December 2022, in person event
  • Cardiff (Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales), 13 December 2022
  • Edinburgh (Royal Botanic Gardens), 16 December 2022

Register for the townhall events.

Watch the London townhall event on YouTube.

Please note you will receive a voluntary equality, diversity and inclusion monitoring form following registration for a townhall event. This information will be held by the V&A and will be anonymised in any evaluations.

3 online matchmaking events to give potential applicants the opportunity to book a slot to speak with IRO representatives about their ideas. These online events will be held on the following dates:

  • 21 November 2022, 2pm to 4pm
  • 2 December 2022, 10am to midday
  • 10 January 2023, 2pm to 4pm

Register for the online matchmaking events.

Supporting documents

Full proposal equality impact assessment (DOCX, 59KB)

Expression of interest equality impact assessment (DOCX, 46KB)

Expression of interest form (DOCX, 38KB)

IRO priority research areas (XLSX, 129KB)

Contact details for IROs (PDF, 94KB)

CV template (DOCX, 84KB)

This is the integrated website of the 7 research councils, Research England and Innovate UK.
Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help us test new developments.