AHRC Launches Towards a National Collection Call for Discovery Projects

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), on behalf of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is providing the call for the Discovery Projects of Towards a National Collection: Opening UK Heritage to the World.

Funded from UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund, Towards a National Collection addresses the lack of coordination between different online collections and catalogues, which constitutes a major barrier to research and public access.

Through greater partnerships between Independent Research Organisations (IROs) and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), and using the potential of new technology, the programme will begin to dissolve barriers between different collections, opening them up to new cross-disciplinary and cross-collection lines of research, and at the same time diversifying their visitor base and the ways in which the public access them.

Discovery Projects should deliver impact in all three of the following areas, although proposals may choose to focus more strongly on one area over the others:

Dissolving barriers between collections – addressing technological, organisational and other issues that stand in the way of an integrated virtual ‘national collection’, e.g. by developing digital search and cataloguing tools, technologies and methodologies

Research capability – enhancing researchers’ ability to address research questions which draw on a heterogeneous range of sources and thus allow the UK to maintain leadership in cross-disciplinary and cross-collection research, both between different humanities disciplines and between humanities and non-humanities disciplines

Public engagement – enhancing and innovating in access for all stakeholders in the form of major research-driven public-facing outputs, thereby facilitating wider, better-informed and more inclusive public access, whether virtual or in-person.

Each Discovery project will be required to include collaboration between one or more Independent Research Organisations recognised by UK Research and Innovation, and one or more Higher Education Institutions.

The maximum total payable by AHRC is £15 million. The indicative limit for each project is £3 million (at 80% of the project’s full economic cost (fEC).

Projects may be up to 36 months in duration, and must begin no later than 1 December 2021.

AHRC intend to hold at least four open webinars for applicants to find out further information, ask questions, and begin to discuss initial ideas. Details on how to register for these webinars are available on the funding call webpage.

Outline proposals must be submitted by 17 November 2020 (16:00 GMT).

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.