AHRC Delivery plan for 2015-16


The Arts and Humanities Research Council has published its Delivery Plan 2015-2016, which provides a high-level overview of their plan for the next two years. It also sets out the principles, priorities and approaches that will be used to achieve this plan.  The key objectives for 2015-16 follow from the central elements  set out in The Human World: AHRC Strategy 2013-18 .

2015-16 will see also the tenth anniversary of AHRC’s establishment as a research council, and a number of events will be planned to highlight the impact and reach of their work.

Alongside the individual delivery plans, a new Research Councils UK (RCUK) strategic vision will be published to set out how the Councils will work together to provide a vital contribution to economic growth and wellbeing within the UK. Once the document is published we will be sure to let you all know!



EOI’s from NU Staff for AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards invited

Handshake 52-365 by Julia Taylor CC BY-NC-ND 2.0The AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards scheme that will be closing on 9th July. These awards encourage and develop collaboration between HEI’s and non-HEI organisations and businesses through joint supervision of a PhD student working on a project beneficial to both parties. The award funding covers full fees and stipend for the student. AHRC would also normally expect some form of contribution to come from the project partner on top of the desk-space and staff time that would normally be allocated.

 For this year’s scheme there are highlight notices around ‘Design’ and ‘Connected Communities’. We would normally be allowed to submit only one application, but if spread across the highlight notice areas we could submit up to 3 or 4. CDA’s normally feature only a single studentship, but we can add more if this can be strongly justified and of benefit to the non-HEI partner. Further details below:



Anyone working in an Arts and Humanities related discipline or topic interested in applying is asked to submit a short Expression of Interest to myself via email by 9th June. This should contain details of their proposed non-HEI partner, which highlight notice it will go under, (standard, design or connected communities) and a few lines on the nature of the collaboration and benefits to the partner organisation.


Renaissance Studies Fellowships- 31st May

The Society for Renaissance Studies are offering post-doctoral fellowships of up to £6,000. Deadline is May 31st. These support research into all aspects of Renaissance studies.Renaissance Studies

Applicants must be graduates of British or Irish universities, with PhDs awarded in the last five years, and currently engaged in full-time research, part-time teaching or independent scholarship. The Fellowships are worth £6000 and should not be held in conjunction with a full-time postdoctoral or academic teaching post.

Applications should submit a CV and a 1,000 word project description, including a brief account of the candidate’s research to date and statement of means of financial support during that academic year. Two referees will also need to supply references.

Further info here:




Early Career Researchers- Fancy being on BBC Radio 3?


If you are in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences the AHRC and BBC Radio 3 are looking for applications for the New Generation Thinkers of 2014.

Up to sixty successful applicants will have a chance to develop their programme-making ideas with experienced BBC producers at a series of dedicated workshops and, of these up to ten will become Radio 3’s resident New Generation Thinkers. They will benefit from a unique opportunity to develop their own programmes for BBC Radio 3 and a chance to regularly appear on air.

The deadline for application is 6th February; more information and the application form is at the following link:




ADSS Faculty Briefing on Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 logo

A briefing event on the soon to be launched Horizon 2020 funding programme has been arranged for members of staff from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences. The briefing will be held on Wednesday 27th November in room A114 in the Ellison Building at 4.15pm.

The event will briefly introduce the broad strokes of the scheme- how it will be structured, where to look for opportunities, and who to contact at Northumbria University if you wish to discuss an application.

Further targeted events and workshops are planned for colleagues who wish to apply to Horizon 2020; this event aims to raise awareness of the main aspects of the scheme and how to engage preliminary discussion on applications.

If you wish to attend please RSVP Scott McGee or Elizabeth Jones so we have a rough idea of numbers.

scott.mcgee@northumbria.ac.uk; elizabeth.jones@northumbria.ac.uk




AHRC Wants to Hear From Postgrads

Twitter Bird Sketch by Shawn Campbell CC BY 2.0The AHRC is running a Twitter chat (#ahrcchat) on Friday 19th July hosted by members of its Research Careers and Training Advisory Group. It would specifically like to hear from PhDs and early career researchers on the training and careers support available for arts and humanities researchers.

The main questions are:

  1. Are you satisfied by the training and opportunities you have received during your PhD studies?
  2. Have you received sufficient careers support?
  3. What, in your view, do PhD students require in terms of training, development opportunities or careers support?

Follow @ahrcpress or read their webpage to find out more.


AHRC Highlight Connected Communities and Design

Grabbing Dinner in Beijing by Trey Ratcliff CC BY-NC-SA 2.0The AHRC this week announced a new highlight notice for their Research Grants (both standard and early career routes) on Connected Communities and Design. Applications can be up to £1.5M FEC for standard grants and up to £250K for the early career route.

What are they looking for?

They’re looking for projects which intersect across Arts and Humanities, Design and Connected Communities. Projects will be inherently interdisciplinary, and can include expertise and approaches from beyond the arts and humanities disciplines, but they must include design and arts and humanities subjects at their core.

Projects must also engage with communities throughout all stages of the research process, and involve strong collaborative partnerships with organisations outside the Higher Education sector.

Part of the rationale for this highlight notice is to stimulate innovative projects based on design and so participants should think carefully about how their project might contribute to the development of national research capability in design.


The AHRC have put together a package of what they call “stimulus materials” to provide additional context to the call and to encourage potential applicants to think creatively about projects. These include an annotated list of projects previously funded under the Connected Communities theme, several case studies, tips on putting together successful projects, and a page entitled “What sorts of projects can be funded?” which expands on the brief descriptions on the main call page.

What’s the deadline?

The highlight notice will be in effect until 15th January 2014, and applications should be submitted via Je-S in the usual way. Applicants should take note of the need to provide additional information around the fit to the Highlight Notice within the Case for Support. Note also that the standard £1M FEC limit has been raised for this highlight call and in addition projects are able to attach three studentships rather than the usual two, but again it’s important to emphasise the fit to the call highlight.

How will my application be assessed?

The assessment process for highlighted grants is often misunderstood, so it’s worth quoting at length from the AHRC here:

Applications submitted under the highlight notice will be considered in accordance with the standard peer review process and criteria for the AHRC’s Research Grant Scheme. If, following peer review, they pass through the normal sift process they will be moderated by a prioritisation panel. Depending on the number of applications received under the highlight notice, applications will either be assessed by the most relevant subject panel alongside other non-highlight proposals, or by a separate moderating / prioritisation panel which will consider all the applications received under the highlight notice in that grants round.

Although applications submitted under the highlight notice will not be given any additional priority within the peer review process, the AHRC may consider supplementing the budget for grants rounds to support additional highly rated applications under the highlight notice for which there might not be sufficient funds within the existing budget for the scheme. As a result, applications addressing this highlight notice may have an increased chance of funding, but only if they fully meet the excellence criteria for the scheme and high international standards of scholarship, originality, quality and significance as judged through peer review.

As usual, Northumbria staff interested in developing a bid to this call should get in touch with your relevant Research Funding Manager at an early stage.