Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Embed digital skills in arts and humanities research

Apply for funding to design and pilot digital skills training programmes for the use of digital tools and methods in arts and humanities research.

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for AHRC funding.

Successful project leads will be invited to develop a scalable pilot for a regional or national training centre for digital skills in arts and humanities

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £480,000. AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

Your project can last between six and 12 months.

Who can apply

To apply for this opportunity, you must:

  • be a resident in the UK
  • be employed at, or have a formal affiliation with, a UK research organisation, independent research organisation or research institute that is eligible to receive funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • have an outstanding track record (appropriate to career stage) in digital scholarship in the arts and humanities
  • demonstrate experience in design and delivery of training opportunities, especially of developing, promoting and embedding the use of digital tools and techniques within the arts and humanities research community
  • be able to build and maintain relationships with diverse stakeholders
  • have experience of working with focus groups or advisory groups to gain input
  • demonstrate excellent communication skills, in written and verbal form, including writing informative text suitable for different audiences
  • be actively engaged in postdoctoral research
  • be of postdoctoral standing, that is, either have a doctorate or equivalent professional experience or training
  • demonstrate a level of skills, knowledge and experience appropriate to the nature of the project.

Applicants from all disciplines, not just the arts and humanities, are eligible, but you must show knowledge and understanding of digital skills for arts and humanities.

Who cannot apply

Applicants who have limited knowledge or do not have expertise in both digital skills and the arts and humanities research landscape are not eligible to apply.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

AHRC is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and we want this funding opportunity to be attractive to all eligible candidates.

Principal investigators are entitled to take parental leave in accordance with the terms and conditions of their employment. We will consider requests for a grant to be placed in abeyance during the absence of the principal investigator for parental leave, and the period of the project extended by the period of leave.

We will also consider requests to continue the grant project on a flexible or part-time basis to allow the principal investigator to meet caring responsibilities or due to other justifiable reasons (for example, physical or mental health).

For further details, read the equality impact assessment (DOCX, 46KB).

See our eligible research organisations.

Read AHRC’s research funding guide for further information on eligibility.

What we're looking for


You must address a known digital skills gap (or gaps) within the arts and humanities research community. This includes but is not restricted to:

  • data wrangling
  • software carpentry
  • text and data mining
  • data visualisation
  • managing digital and digitalised assets
  • digital data analysis.

You must include participation from arts and humanities researchers at all stages of their career, from early career to established researchers.

You must include provision for a range of skills. This includes from those with little or no experience of applying digital methods to arts and humanities research, to more experienced users seeking to acquire new skills or improve their proficiency.

Feedback from these pilots will inform the design and implementation of a new national digital skills programme funded by AHRC and UKRI.

Costs and duration

If your application is successful, the full economic cost of your project can be up to £480,000. AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

Your project must last no less than six months and no longer than 12 months.

Your project must start no later than 1 January 2023 unless exceptional circumstances apply (for example, on equality, diversity and inclusion grounds).

You are welcome to include international collaborations in your proposal, as international co-investigators and funding are eligible as part of this opportunity.

How to apply

You should ensure you are aware of and comply with any internal institutional deadlines that may be in place.

Applying through Je-S

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

We recommend you start your application early. You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.

When applying, select ‘new document’ then:

  • council: AHRC
  • document type: standard proposal
  • scheme: large grants
  • call: AHRC Digital Skills Pilots Call July 2022.

Applications must be received by 28 July 2022 at 16:00.

You must have a Je-S account to apply. Please note that it can take a number of days to set up, so AHRC recommends that if you don’t already have an account, you must create it well before the application deadline.

You can find advice on completing your application in the Je-S handbook.

Your host organisation will be able to provide advice and guidance on completing your application.


To apply, you must upload the following information on Je-S:

  • a completed application form
  • an up-to-date CV outlining your relevant experience, no more than two pages
  • a case for change document (instead of case for support document), no more than six pages
  • a justification of resources, no more than two pages
  • a letter of support from your current employing organisation, no more than two pages
  • a letter of support from partners or mentors, no more than two pages.

The case for change document should include:

  • a summary of request (300 words)
  • a case for change in which you explain how the proposed investment would address skill gaps or shortcomings in current digital skills arrangements (1,200 words)
  • a work plan presented as a Gantt chart, setting out work streams, milestones and key deliverables, no more than two pages
  • a theory of change, in graphical or table format featuring your future goals for your proposal, no more than one page.

Except where specifically noted in this funding opportunity, standard AHRC policies and guidelines apply in AHRC’s research funding guide.

How we will assess your application

Applications will be assessed by a panel of experts drawn from AHRC’s and other UKRI peer review colleges against the criteria set out below.

Assessment criteria

Strategic fit

Does the application evidence the community’s need for the proposed intervention? Is the evidence robust and independently verifiable?


Can the proposed programme of activity be developed and delivered within the stated timeframe and budget?

Value for money

Are the proposed costs reasonable and justified?

Due to the short timescales of this opportunity, we regret that it may not be possible to issue comprehensive feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Contact details

Ask a question about this funding opportunity


Include ‘iDAH skills pilot’ in the subject line.

We aim to respond to queries as soon as possible.

Get help with applying through Je-S



01793 444164

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Additional info

In 2021, AHRC launched a multi-year programme to invest in a national infrastructure for Digital innovation and curation in Arts and Humanities (iDAH).

Core to this programme was a commitment to establish three to five national centres to develop and embed the use of digital tools and methods across the arts and humanities user community. And through this, to equip arts and humanities research with the confidence and capacity to develop, as well as apply, digital tools and methods in their research.

The pilots we will commission through this opportunity will be a first step to realising this ambition. They will inform the design and delivery of a distributed infrastructure of national centres to build and enhance digital skills in arts and humanities.

The iDAH programme is part of UKRI’s digital research infrastructure investment. In addition to investing in digital skills for the future, iDAH will also establish a federated infrastructure of secure subject-specific data services to optimise storage of and access to arts and humanities research data.

Supporting documents

Case for change template and guidance (DOCX, 39KB)

Equality impact assessment form (DOCX, 46KB)

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