Research beyond borders

Globally renowned collections explored by fellows

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Twenty five researchers will be found amongst the collections at some of the world’s most prestigious libraries and research institutions later this year. Taking up to six months they will be reading, touching and viewing literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts performances that they would be unable to access here in the UK. This unique opportunity enables postgraduate students and early career researchers to enrich their research, understandings and connections through immersion in thriving research cultures, with privileges unavailable to independent visiting scholars.

In our increasingly globalised world, there is a need for researchers to build strong international experiences.  The Arts and Humanities Research Council’s International Placement Scheme (IPS) facilitates such experiences by providing funded fellowships at some of the world’s leading research institutions, offering dedicated access to their globally renowned collections, resources and expertise.

Two IPS researchers  will be hosted by the Yale Center for British Art (opens in new window), a public art museum and research institute, home to the largest collection of British art outside the UK. One of the IPS projects is looking at the images of Caribbean landscapes and military figures in the artwork; the fellowship will allow the researcher to discuss the images with curators of the images.

The Harry Ransom Center (opens in new window) will host six academics, whose research will include ‘Art Dealing, Authenticity and Attribution in the Harry Ransom Center Archives’, which will review unpublished letters between artists and Sir Frederic Burton the Director of The National Gallery. The Ransom Center specialises in literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts; its vast collections include the first ever photograph.

The Huntington Library (opens in new window) will be hosting 10 IPS fellows. IPS projects include ‘Oil exploration in the Americas in the early twentieth century: a study of the Ralph Arnold photographic albums’, which will be using a series of uncatalogued photographic albums at the Library. The Huntington Library specialises in British and American history, literature, and the history of science, medicine and technology.

National Institutes for the Humanities in Japan (NIHU) will host three IPS fellows. One of the IPS projects is looking at Japanese movement for the planned language Esperanto, exploring Japanese grassroots internationalism and transnational movements.  NIHU (opens in new window) is made up of six institutes, which serve as hubs for researchers exploring human cultural activities and the relationship between humanity, society, and nature.

For the first time this year the Shanghai Theater Academy (opens in new window) is also opening up its archives to four IPS fellows. The Academy is one of the best higher education art institutions in China. Specializing in performing and digital arts, fine arts, and visual cultures. It has a particular research strength in Chinese Theatre Studies. One of the projects will include ‘The growth and development of China’s musical theatre industry.’.

The AHRC still has up to 25 IPS Library of Congress and Smithsonian fellowships to award. These will be announced in this summer.

Notes to editors

  • For further information from the AHRC, please contact Danielle Moore-Chick on 01793 41 6021 or
  • The annual International Placement Scheme (IPS) provides funded research fellowships at world-leading international research institutions for early career researchers, doctoral-level research assistants and AHRC/ESRC*-funded doctoral students. *ESRC candidates are eligible to apply to Library of Congress only.
  • AHRC IPS fellows at the Library of Congress discuss their IPS experiences in this short film.

• The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.


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