‘Responsive mode’ takes lion’s share of AHRC cash

Council unveils five-year strategy

March 14, 2013

Source: Alamy

Culture club: collaboration is key, but arts funding will depend on innovation

The Arts and Humanities Research Council has pledged to commit nearly three-quarters of its budget over the next five years to academic- initiated research, despite its drive towards greater collaboration and interdisciplinarity.

The promise is made in the AHRC’s strategy document for 2013-18, titled The Human World: The Arts and Humanities in Our Times.

The strategy, published on 14 March, says there is a “strong case” for funding to be directed at the kind of project that “takes a wider perspective, develops cross-disciplinary and cross-cutting enquiry and draws on the energies and multiple perspectives of groups, stimulating challenge and exchange”.

It also says that for the first time, AHRC funding will be made available to internationally based co-investigators.

However, The Human World adds that academic-initiated research ensures that “funding reflects the commitments, long-developed expertise and existing knowledge of researchers” while also promoting the “development of cutting edge work quickly and organically”.

For that reason, the AHRC will continue to spend at least 70 per cent of its programme budget on so-called “responsive mode” programmes.

The strategy, developed in consultation with academics, says that increased interdisciplinarity and collaboration will require the development of novel forms of funding and peer review, such as pilot phases, assessment panels, interviews and outline proposals.

The AHRC also aims to improve training and interaction among members of its peer-review college, with whom it hopes to consult more frequently “to identify emergent and innovative research at an early stage”.

A series of initiatives under the umbrella “AHRC commons” will also be launched to improve dialogue and interaction throughout the UK humanities. These will include annual colloquiums on major topics, commissioned reports and a forum for early-career researchers, including postgraduates (on whom the AHRC will continue to spend at least one-third of its budget).

All researchers will be given enhanced opportunities to work with “professional peers inside and outside higher education”, and to “convey their findings to wider public audiences”.

Rick Rylance, chief executive of the AHRC, said the strategy “sets out ways in which we can…expand the way in which the people, skills and research we support interacts with public life to bring cultural, intellectual and economic benefits to the UK and to us all”.


You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Daniel Mitchell illustration (29 June 2017)

Academics who think they can do the work of professional staff better than professional staff themselves are not showing the kind of respect they expect from others

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

A podium constructed out of wood

There are good reasons why some big names are missing from our roster

Senior academics at Teesside University put at risk of redundancy as summer break gets under way

Thorns and butterflies

Conditions that undermine the notion of scholarly vocation – relentless work, ubiquitous bureaucracy – can cause academics acute distress and spur them to quit, says Ruth Barcan