Where Next


Where Next ideas and submitting your idea

Where Next is a chance for you to help shape the next generation of potential research, innovation and researcher development priorities.

The process is designed to capture and review exciting community-led ideas to inform the development of future research and innovation strategy. This will, for example:

  • help us to support our stakeholders in the most effective ways
  • help us to support the development of new research communities
  • open up new funding opportunities for our stakeholders to apply to

What is a Where Next idea

We are open to all different ideas, whether they are research-led, infrastructure based, public engagement or otherwise. An idea could include expertise across disciplines or development across career stages. They should benefit the research community or the wider economy and society.

A Where Next idea may:

  • highlight a gap in our funding
  • point us to a new area of research
  • suggest a new bold debate
  • be an innovative way for us to engage with a wide audience
  • reveal a new or growing skills gap
  • highlight new ways to support career progression
  • reveal a strategic area where we need to grow and develop

We expect ideas will vary in scale. Some will inform large-scale or recurrent multi-year funding programmes, others may result in a single scoped funding opportunity or even a change to the way we work.

All Where Next ideas should have a strong arts and humanities component.

Where Next ideas may (but do not need to) contribute to delivering AHRC and UKRI current strategic ambitions, as set out in AHRC’s delivery plan and UKRI’s strategy 2022 to 2027 or may help to shape priorities for the future.


There is no direct funding element, Where Next ideas are not research proposals. If your idea can be supported through a funding opportunity on the UKRI Funding Finder, we encourage you to direct it there.

Having no funding allows us to respond more flexibly and responsibly, and to view submissions non-competitively.

Who can submit a Where Next idea

Where Next ideas can come from any individual or group, at any career stage and from any interested parties. You do not need to be eligible for AHRC funding. However, you should be familiar with UKRI and the principles behind public funding of research.

You can submit an idea if you’re involved in the arts and humanities, whether you work in:

  • business
  • government
  • research
  • the third sector
  • the wider research and innovation landscape

You can have any role in your organisation. This includes if you are in teaching, technical, or other professional service roles.

When can you submit a Where Next idea

You can submit an idea at any time. However, some highlight notices will run for a limited time. You should check the closing date before submitting to a highlight notice.

Submit your Where Next idea

Submit a Where Next idea by completing the online form below. We do not accept submissions by email.

You should provide a single contact point in the submission.

Submit your idea using the AHRC ‘Where Next’ submission form.

How we process your submission

The Where Next team collects ideas every month (unless otherwise stated as part of a highlight notice) and presents them to AHRC’s Senior Management Team. Unless otherwise stated as part of a highlight notice, we will consider each idea against the following criteria:

  • transformative potential
  • importance within, across, and beyond the arts and humanities
  • potential impact

AHRC’s Senior Management Team will make the final decision on whether to support an idea.

If we choose to support your idea we will work flexibly with you to identify the most effective and responsible way forward.


We will provide feedback for decisions made, where possible.

Although there is a monthly collection of submissions, the response and feedback can take longer than a month.

Submissions made under a highlight notice may also follow a different process. Check the details of the highlight notice you are submitting under.


Watch the recording of the January 2023 for potential applicants to find out more about:

  • the submission process for this scheme
  • how we process submissions
  • how we will develop ideas

Read responses to webinar questions not answered in the recording.

Video credit: UK Research and Innovation
Video transcript and on-screen captions are available by watching on YouTube.

Last updated: 23 April 2024

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