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AHRC Strategy, Programmes and Future Directions Professor Shearer West Director of Research.

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Presentation on theme: "AHRC Strategy, Programmes and Future Directions Professor Shearer West Director of Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 AHRC Strategy, Programmes and Future Directions Professor Shearer West Director of Research

2 Political Contexts: Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills From April 2009: Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and BERR joined to become BIS (Department of Business, Innovation and Skills) BIS oversees both sides of dual support (approx 80% of a + h funding from QR)

3 Funding Contexts: The Dual Support System Quality-related Funding allocated by the Funding Councils of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. £1.5 billion in 2008-09 distributed by block grant to universities on basis of Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) results. Distributed retrospectively. Research Council Funding Annual investment of c. £1.3 billion in research in UK universities, c. £500 million in their own Research Institutes, and c. £300 million in access to international facilities for UK researchers. Distributed in advance of project on basis of peer review.

4 Funding Contexts: Research Councils Seven UK Research Councils form the collective entity Research Councils UK (RCUK): Arts and Humanities Research Council Economic and Social Research Council Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Science and Technology Facilities Council Natural Environment Research Council Medical Research Council

5 AHRC History: AHRB (splinter of British Academy) formed 1998 AHRC Royal Charter April 2005 Over the last four years the AHRC has benefited from a 35% uplift in funding, from £80.5 million in 2005/06 to £109 million announced for 2010/11

6 AHRC Scope: 27% of research-active academic community within AHRC remit Over 14,000 academics Approximately 50 disciplines/sub- disciplines AHRC receives 2.8% of the science and research budget

7 AHRC Quality: Arts and humanities research received the highest percentage of 4* ratings in the 2008 RAE

8 ‘Future Directions’ consultation February to May 2009 Initial analysis identified emerging themes Themes published on website for further consultation Emerging themes to Council and Advisory Board Council discussing prioritising for 2012 onwards

9 Strategic Priorities Advancing UK’s world-leading reputation for research Strengthening value and impact of arts and humanities research Enhancing the role of arts and humanities in cross-disciplinary support for research on societal challenges Building capacity through further strategic consolidation of postgraduate funding, including support for both endangered areas and key skills

10 Strategic Priorities Providing opportunities for researchers to work outside HE and outside the UK throughout their research careers Through more strategic targeting of partnerships and greater brokerage activities, developing the capacity of arts and humanities research to: influence public policy engage with the creative economy have an impact internationally have greater profile with the public

11 Core Arts and Humanities Areas History, Thought, Systems of Belief Creative and Performing Arts Cultures and Heritage Languages and Literatures

12 Current Strategic Programmes Design in the 21 st century Landscape and Environment Beyond Text Diasporas, Migration and Identity Religion and Society (with ESRC) Science and Heritage (with EPSRC)

13 Emerging Arts and Humanities Research Challenges Digital Transformations in Arts and Humanities Translating Cultures Care for the Future: Thinking forward through the Past Science and Culture Preparing for highlighted calls in each of these areas in coming months

14 RCUK Strategic Programmes which include AHRC Digital Economy Global Uncertainties Living with Environmental Change Lifelong Heath and Wellbeing

15 Cross-Council Programme in Development: Connected Communities AHRC lead Working group with EPSRC, ESRC, MRC and NERC Expert group being established Summit to be held in summer Events planned with Department of CLG and Young Foundation Launch planned within year

16 Main types of support Open responsive calls Thematically responsive calls Commissioned research

17 Principal Mechanisms Research Grants (up to £1 million and including early career and ‘speculative’ route) Fellowships (including policy and KT Fellowships) Networks Studentships

18 Knowledge Transfer AHRC/BBC outcomes AHRC/BT scheme Policy work (Fellowships and seminars, work with Scottish Funding Council) Creative Industries, Technology and Innovation Network Working with the Technology Strategy Board

19 International RCUK Priority Countries HERA Programmes (18/19 HERA awards with UK partners) AHRC / DFG Cultural Heritage Joint Programming Initiative Net Heritage Joint funding with NSF

20 RCUK Definition of Impact The demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy. Economic impact embraces all the diverse ways in which research related knowledge and skills benefit individuals, organisations and nations by:

21 RCUK Definition of Impact Fostering economic competitiveness Increasing the effectiveness of public services and public policy Enhancing quality of life, health and creative output

22 What Impact Encompasses monetary impacts improvement of public services contribution to public policy ‘human capital’ contribution to quality of life


24 How Arts and Humanities Research Demonstrates Benefit and Value Benefits to business e.g. creation of new products involving fine artists and designers, such as ‘Design against Crime’ products, used by pubs and coffee shops (e.g. Starbucks)

25 How Arts and Humanities Research Demonstrates Benefit and Value Bike off 2: D21 Research Grant Impacts: on design on public policy on society on economy

26 How Arts and Humanities Research Demonstrates Benefit and value improvement of public services e.g. research feeding into museums, galleries, and other public sector organisations through Collaborative Doctoral awards; Shah Abbas exhibition at British Museum

27 How Arts and Humanities Research Demonstrates Benefit and Value contribution to public policy e.g. House of Commons Select Committee use of findings from Edinburgh Centre for Intellectual Property; Policy Seminars on Policing and Counter-Terrorism and on Human Rights; Home Office use of research from ‘Religion and Society’ programme

28 How Arts and Humanities Research Demonstrates Benefit and Value ‘human capital’ 535,000 undergraduates and postgraduates studying arts and humanities subjects at any one time 145,000 arts and humanities graduates per year 75% of AHRC-funded Ph.D.s are in academic posts Overseas research students bring in £2 billion per annum to the UK economy

29 How Arts and Humanities Research Demonstrates Benefit and Value Quality of life enhancing intellectual life, divergent thinking and tolerance; building on centuries of heritage, maintenance and growth of cultural richness Indirect economic impact through encouraging inward investment and tourism

30 Quality of Life: Public Engagement Broadcast media Exhibitions Community history Museums and galleries Film Family genealogy Digital inclusion

31 Public Engagement (cont.) Archaeology Performing arts Schools curriculum

32 Ways of Achieving Benefit and Value: Knowledge Exchange The processes by which new knowledge is co- produced through interactions between academic and non-academic individuals and communities. Recognition that this is usually a process of exchange

33 Range of KE partners in the Arts and Humanities Commercial Cultural and heritage sectors Performance organisations Broadcasting, film, games and media Public policy Professional practitioners Third sector

34 Beneficiaries and Impact section of grants forms Recognition that impacts cannot always be predicted; asking for potential ‘pathways to impact’ and potential beneficiaries, not for a prediction of impact Opportunities for research community to grow capacity for non-academic benefits Intended to boost the profile of arts and humanities research with other stakeholders and the public Not intended to be used as a sanction but to encourage academics to engage with others outside the academic community World-class research where impact arguments cannot be made will not be disadvantaged

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