Research beyond borders

AHRC – making your voice heard

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Science Europe, an umbrella organisation representing the interests of 51 Research Funding and Performing Organisations from 26 countries in Europe, released a statement yesterday which emphasised the important role that social sciences and humanities have to play in the European Union’s future research programme, Horizon 2020, which will run from 2014-2020.

We have worked closely with Science Europe to make sure that the arts and humanities were fully represented in the statement, and are delighted to see some of our suggestions incorporated into the final document. These include references to design, cultural studies and an approach to impact which looks beyond economic terms. With the EU budget for research still under negotiation, now is the time to influence the final shape of the programme, so we are really pleased to have contributed to this document. It’s a great example of the kind of work we do on a day to day basis advocating the importance of arts and humanities on an international level.

The statement advocates the importance of social sciences and humanities research to all the areas identified within the Horizon 2020 text as the key challenges of our future society. It pays special attention to the need to ensure that arts and humanities researchers are involved throughout the entire decision making process. In the past, the social sciences and humanities have been ‘bolted on’ to interdisciplinary topics at the last minutes. Hopefully these mistakes will be avoided in the new programme and that there will be more exciting opportunities for arts and humanities researchers to get involved.

The full statement is available from Science Europe’s website at: http://www.scienceeurope.org/downloads

If you are interested in Horizon 2020, a dedicated European Commission website has all the relevant documents: http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm?pg=home&video=none

If you are a member of a subscribing organisation (most UK universities subscribe), you can also sign up for email alerts from the Research Councils’ Office in Brussels, UKRO, who publish regular updates on the development of the new programme: http://www.ukro.ac.uk/Pages/UKRO.aspx

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