Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Humanities in the European research area (HERA)

Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) is a network of 26 national funding agencies committed to leading and developing funding opportunities for humanities researchers in Europe, and sharing excellence in research management practices and outcomes.

€76 million
2009 to 2022
Partners involved:
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), European Commission

The scope and what we're doing

Together with the European Commission, Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) has invested in 75 joint research projects, nearly all of which involve UK researchers.

Spanning topics from Bronze Age craft production to jazz culture, Arctic tourism to transnational radio encounters, projects funded by HERA reflect the breadth and depth of humanities research across Europe. By moving beyond national boundaries, these grants highlight the tremendous benefits that can accrue from HERA’s transnational research model.

Find out more on HERA’s website.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has been a key partner in all the HERA funding opportunities, and UK researchers have been extremely successful in leading projects and accessing funds. UK-based researchers represent the single largest cohort of investigators within HERA. Of the 75 Collaborative Research Projects funded to date, 39 (52%) are led by a UK researcher and 46 (61%) include a UK research team.

Read about the most recent HERA funding opportunity Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe on their website.

Collaboration of Humanities and Social Sciences in Europe (CHANSE) is a joint initiative of 27 research funding organisations from 24 countries. The CHANSE Programme builds on the experience of two existing networks, HERA and New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe (NORFACE), which support research in humanities and social sciences respectively. In 2021, a transnational call for collaborative projects focused on the topic of Transformations: social and cultural dynamics in the digital age. The objective of this funding opportunity is to help understand how digital innovations give rise to social and cultural changes, and are also influenced by society and culture. AHRC and ESRC are participating as the UK funders. Successful projects will be awarded in 2022.

Why we're doing it

HERA is dedicated to:

  • pooling national and European funding in order to support innovative, collaborative humanities-focused research across borders
  • enabling investigation of humanities-focused research questions that require transnational and multidisciplinary perspectives to answer
  • supporting knowledge exchange with wide range of stakeholders
  • assisting capacity building for collaborative humanities research
  • sharing knowledge and best practice in joint research programming
  • giving a strong voice to the humanities in the European research area.

Find out more about the HERA Vision 2018 to 2022.

Opportunities, support and resources available

There are currently no open funding opportunities.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

HERA has run four previous joint research programmes. You can find details of all the projects and activities funded on the HERA website.

HERA proactively stimulates impact and has appointed two HERA knowledge exchange and impact fellows. The fellows are charged with supporting funded projects and developing a scheme-wide culture of impact, creating a sustainable infrastructure for impact through events and toolkits (including working with early career researchers), and advocating for the humanities on national and international levels. The two HERA knowledge exchange and impact fellows are Professor Joanna Sofaer (archaeology, University of Southampton) and Professor Tony Whyton (jazz studies, Birmingham City University), both of whom are former HERA project leaders.

Who to contact

UK queries


General HERA queries, Irish Research Council


Governance, management and panels

Read more about how HERA is governed and structured on the HERA website.

AHRC sits on the HERA Board and Coordination group and also led the Knowledge Exchange and Strategy Group.

Last updated: 15 January 2024

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