Research beyond borders

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AHRC International funding calls pre-announcements

The AHRC have several international funding calls pre-announced. These let you see the scope and content of the call in advance of formal launch to help researchers build collaborations. As these are preliminary announcements, deadlines and details are provisional, the full call documentation will contain all the eligibility rules and application process.


HERA call “Public Spaces: Cultures and Integration”

The fourth HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) call is now launched for Humanities-led proposals addressing ‘Public Spaces: Cultures and Integration’, the theme text and a partner search tool is available on the HERA website.With co-funding from the European Commission, the total call budget will be approximately €20 million. Proposals can be up to €1 Million and must include four eligible researchers from four different countries involved in the call. 24 European Countries are involved including France for the first time.

The full call is expected to launch on 24th August 2017, with a deadline on 24th October 2017. The AHRC are planning a webinar in early September.


Equip Logo

EqUIP India/Europe pilot call on ‘sustainability, equity, wellbeing and cultural connections’

This call is the first from the EqUIP Platform involving partners from Europe and India, both the ESRC and AHRC are involved. The theme text and a partner search tool is available via the EqUIP website . The total budget for this call is approximately €5.5 Million. Each proposal will require the building of consortia of at least three research groups, one of which must be based in India and at least two must be based in different participating European Countries. Eight countries are involved, with Switzerland joining since this was announced. For the UK component, the research must be interdisciplinary across social science and humanities (this is encouraged across the whole call) and must be compliant with Oversees Development Assistance (ODA) 

The full call is expected week commencing 4th September 2017, and will close at the end of November 2017.

CH logoJPI Cultural Heritage call on ‘Heritage in Changing Environments’

The Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) in Cultural Heritage and Global Change has announced a call on ‘Heritage in Changing Environments’. The total value of the call is approximately €4.5 Million and involves 11 European countries. Each project proposal must comprise of at least three research teams, each based in an eligible institution in a different country participating in the Heritage in Changing Environments Call.

The call is expected to launch on 4th September with a deadline of 30th November 2017. Further information is available on the JPI Cultural Heritage Website


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International Funding Opportunities Closing Soon

Happy new year, and just a quick reminder that there are lots of international funding calls closing in the next month……

AHRC international development call

As part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the AHRC have a call for Area Based Network Plus awards for Arts and Humanities based approaches to addressing global development challenges. It is expected that applications will have a strong collaborative element with ODA (Overseas Development Assistance) countries. The awards will be £1.5-2 Million and over 4 years, and offer a flexible model of scoping, partnership building and running funding calls. Closing date: 18 January 2017

European Commission Funding

The topics to be funded under European Commission Challenge ‘Europe in a changing World – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies’ work programme close soon. These topics are more closely defined than a research council theme, but are still more open than commissioned research. In 2017 there is particular arts and humanities interest under the theme ‘Understanding Europe – Promoting the European Public and Cultural Space’ For example topics include:

  • Contemporary histories of Europe in artistic and creative practices
  • Religious diversity in Europe – past, present and future
  • Participatory approaches and social innovation in culture

Most close 2 or 4 February 2017 (note some of these are now 2 stage processes so involve an outline proposal). If you need assistance with applying, the UK contact point for this challenge is Ben Sharman

Hello Shenzen: Researching the Ethics of Makerspaces

The AHRC and British Council have a UK/China opportunity for research into the China Maker movement that closes 29 January 2017. Note: applications need to comply with Overseas Development Assistance (ODA)

International Placement Scheme

The AHRC International Placement Scheme offers the opportunity for doctoral and Early Career researchers to visit seven world leading institutions in the USA, Japan and China. Closes 19 January  2017 


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Some European Events – including information on funding

UK information days for ‘Europe in a Changing World’ funding

Under Horizon 2020, the European Commissions societal challenge ‘Europe in a Changing World’ (aka Challenge six) is the main area for Social Science and Humanities research.  The detail of this will be published soon but there are some nice opportunities for humanities researchers in the proposed topics.

As part of the UK support for UK researchers, a network of National Contact points (NCP) have been set up to help offer advice and help you with applying for this funding.  The NCP for this challenge has several upcoming events where you can learn more about these funding opportunities:

  • The British Academy, London: 2ndNovember
  • University of Nottingham: 4thNovember
  • University of Glasgow: 9thNovember
  • University of Swansea: 16thNovember
  • Queen’s University Belfast: 18thNovember

If interested, please reserve the date. Registration will open on 16th September, on a first come first serve basis, and will be available through the ESRC website.   For more information about the events, please contact

Information will also be sent via the mailing list for Horizon 2020’s Challenge Six, if you would like to be included on this list, please email

European Event: ‘Trust: European Research Co-creating resilient Societies

trust in europeThe two-days conference “Trust: European Research Co-Creating Resilient Societies” offers a unique forum to discuss the different perceptions of trust and how research can contribute to fostering trust in societies. The conference is this year’s key event on SC 6 “Europe in a Changing World – Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies” in the EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme Horizon 2020. The conference will not only highlight research within the social sciences and humanities but also connect researchers with policy-makers and stakeholders willing to co-create resilient European societies. HERA and Science Europe are co-sponsoring this event and will be running a roundtable discussion.

Its free to attend, and takes place on 29-30 October in Brussels

More information is available on the conference website

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Humanities in Europe Event – feedback and tips

Last month some of the UK national contact points (NCP) hosted an event specifically aimed at a humanities audience to give an overview of opportunities in Europe.  From legal aspects to societal challenges it was a bit of a whistle-stop tour of all things European, but gave a flavour of what the possibilities are and what has changed with Horizon 2020. The presentations of the event are available here.

The event emphasised that arts and humanities research is a key part of many EC funding structures including Marie Skłodiwska-Curie  actions, European Research Council and Research infrastructures. Challenge 6: Europe in a Changing World was highlighted as a good starting point for arts and humanities researchers interested in thematic funding. It also covered Science with and for society, widening participation and legal advice. The AHRC were part of the event to highlight how EC funding complements national funding, International Co-investigator and HERA were highlighted as key opportunities.

The event revealed a new direction for European Commission Research Infrastructure funding. The 2016 call for ‘starting communities’ in the integrated activities call will be fully open (ie no pre-defined topics) and it is likely that there will be a two stage application process (ie outline then full proposal ).  Whilst you need to commit some time and effort into having a network in place before applying, this is a great opportunity for Arts and Humanities Researchers. Dr Tobias Blanke spoke about achieving Research Infrastructure funding for a network of European Holocaust Archives and the benefits this project delivered.

As quite often what is said is the most useful aspect we have pulled out some top tips from presenters.

  • Answer the funding call advertised. Do not try and fit in your research area to an inappropriate call. The evaluators will notice this!
  • Quote key phrases of the call document in your proposal as this will remind the evaluators your proposal matches the call
  • Start preparing your proposal in plenty of time. Read the call documents and any FAQs at least twice. The deadlines are strict and are advertised up to 2 years in advance, so lack of preparation time will not be a valid excuse
  • There is no negotiation in H2020, you need to put the effort into a fully formulated proposal at submission as things can’t get resolved later.
  • Work closely with your partners, discuss the roles, budgets and IPR issues at the applications stage
  • Make sure your consortia is exciting and you aren’t just collaborating with established partners. Partners should be appropriate to the project,  but a good geographical spread of consortia partners should be sought where possible, as well as considering  a mix of researchers and users
  • Always justify rationale in the body of your proposal, never assume evaluators understand why you are taking a particular approach
  • Think outside box, the European Commission is looking for ambitious projects that will have an IMPACT
  • If you apply for an individual fellowship MSCA or an ECR grant, don’t be too modest, the EU is funding the best!
  • There are a lot of proposals being submitted and many of them are ranking highly on excellence. Don’t lose out of vital marks by neglecting impact and management these are scored separately
  • And finally use the NCP’s – they are a vital tool in explaining work programmes aims, legal aspects, helping find partners and giving advice. If you aren’t sure about anything contact them – they are there to help you.

If you liked the tips, there is also this post about research proposals you might find helpful.

Thanks to the UK national contact points Ben, Alexa, Malgorzata, Katie, Stephen and Manija for organising the event.

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HERA ‘Uses of the Past’ – Full call launches

HERAIt’s what you have all been waiting for – full guidance documents are now available on the HERA website for the new uses of the past call.

If we have one tip to give you, it is make sure you read both the HERA UP call for Proposal 2015 and the HERA UP General and National Eligibility Guidelines. These both must be adhered to and are of equal importance.  Second to this is to register early for the submission system as you need to create an ID in order to submit an outline proposal (This not Je-S, HERA is using the Danish online system so you are unlikely to have an account).

If you are looking for partners – remember the HERA partner search tool will function up to the deadline.  Deadline for outline proposals is 6pm 9 April 2015 (GMT)

We still have a few places left for the morning session of the UK information event (4th Feb). If you are able to submit a registration please assume you can come, we will only close the registration when full. We will send you further details when registered but this may take a couple of days so submission is sufficient confirmation that a place has been allocated to you.

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Humanities in Europe – Information day

An information day about European Funding is taking place on 18th February 2015 in Swindon. Its free to attend and most importantly its aimed specifically at humanities researchers.

The National Contact Points for several European Commission areas of funding will be presenting an overview of their areas including highlighting humanities opportunities where relevant and you can also book 1-2-1 appointments. Areas covered will include, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, European Research Council, Research Infrastructures, and Societal Challenges.The AHRC will also be there to present an overview of their funding opportunities for international research.

More information and registration is available on the ESRC website

Note: National Contact Points are funded by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to support access to European Commission Funding. Although based at specific institutions they help everyone with application and scheme queries.

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Information day on research infrastructures – 18th June

Horizon 2020 'logo'


The UK are running an Event  on 18th June in London, to promote European Commission funding opportunities via the Research Infrastructure Programme.

Research Infrastructures are defined by the programme as follows:

“Research infrastructures are facilities, resources and services that are used by the research communities to conduct research and foster innovation in their fields. Where relevant, they may be used beyond research, e.g. for education or public services. They include: major scientific equipment (or sets of instruments); knowledge-based resources such as collections, archives or scientific data; e-infrastructures, such as data and computing systems and communication networks; and any other infrastructure of a unique nature essential to achieve excellence in research and innovation. Such infrastructures may be ‘single-sited’, ‘virtual’ or distributed’. “

The Programme aims to support infrastructures across all disciplines and there are opportunities for Arts and Humanities Researchers in the work programme (see below).  The event has a specific session on Social Sciences and Humanities.

The event is being run by the National Contact Point (NCP) for Research Infrastructures, for those that are interested but can’t attend the NCP provide on-going support and you can contact them directly.

Further information on the event and the full work programme can be found on the Horizon 2020 website.


Social Sciences and Humanities – Starting Communities

Generations and gender: a cross-national longitudinal data infrastructure for research on social cohesion and social inclusion and for the study of inter-generational relations in an ageing society. This activity aims at coordinating and integrating national research infrastructures built on longitudinal survey data by implementing common collection procedures and standards, harmonising micro- and macro-level information, and stimulating optimal use of these sources by researchers in demography, sociology, economics and other social sciences.

Research infrastructures for studying the role of intangible investment for economic growth and for the study of cultural, historical and institutional innovation processes. This activity aims at bringing together research infrastructures in order to sustain and further develop the empirical analytical framework that includes intangible capital in sources-of-economic-growth analysis. It also aims at bringing together research infrastructures for the study of cultural, historical, and institutional innovation processes.

Social Sciences and Humanities – Advanced Communities

Contemporary European history: European Holocaust research infrastructure. This activity aims at building upon existing research infrastructures and expanding them to include new material and new techniques in order to open distributed access of researchers to scattered material.

European research infrastructures for restoration and conservation of cultural heritage. This activity aims at bringing together facilities, located in research centres, universities and important culture institutions of different countries, for advanced diagnostics as well as the restoration and conservation of cultural heritage overcoming fragmentation, rationalising resources and advancing the international role of European cultural heritage research.

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Become a reviewer for Horizon 2020

Image With Social Sciences and Humanities becoming embedded across all aspects of Horizon 2020, a critical factor in success is not just getting the interdisciplinary proposals submitted, but also ensuring they have appropriate review.

The European Commission mainly pick reviewers from their database, and anyone can register to become an expert and therefore potentially selected to review.  The European Commission are keen for more Social Science and Humanities researchers to register particularly those with interdisciplinary experience.

We think it’s really important that Arts and Humanities researchers are represented on this database as it increases the likelihood of appropriate review.  We understand that if you were an expert under Framework 7 you aren’t automatically considered for Horizon 2020 and need to amend your record so you are able to be selected.

You can register to become an expert here.

Do ensure the breadth of your research is represented to increase likelihood of selection. It would also be helpful if you could let me know if you are registered/when you register as the AHRC are also asked for suggestions of registered experts but there is no way to view who is on the system! Please either use the blog contact us form, or email l.parnall’at’ (Lucy Parnall)

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New Funding Opportunity in Cultural Heritage


The Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage and Global Change has just launched a funding call for joint transnational projects.  9 Million Euros of funding is available for research projects up to 36 months in duration. Projects have to be transnational and involve at least 3 eligible research teams from different countries involved in the call.


They are looking for research projects across three broad themes:

  • Safeguarding tangible cultural heritage and its associated intangible expressions
  • Sustainable strategies for protecting and managing cultural heritage
  • Use and re-use of all kinds of cultural heritage

The deadline for submission of pre-proposals is 28 April 2014. Detailed guidance is available on the JPI Website 

In order to help researchers or interested partners to find partners in other countries and organisations, a partner search tool has been established. This is an email group (called Heritage Plus) and has been set up so that researchers can subscribe to receive such requests, and to post requests themselves. To use this service, you need to subscribe at the following link –

Further detail on how to use this mailing list is provided in the guidelines and FAQs on the JPI website. 

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Horizon 2020 UK Launch Event

Lucy Parnall – European Strategy and Development Manager, AHRC

Last Friday was the UK Launch Event for Horizon2020 – the new programme of European Commission Funding that will run from 2014 – 2020.  The event was very upbeat and positive. Research and innovation is the only area to receive an increase in funding when overall budgets fell, and through some tough negotiations the Commission are proud that the principle of excellence was maintained, significant simplification agreed, and a move to societal challenges achieved.

Robert -Jan Smits, Director General DG Research and Innovation gave an engaging overview of Horizon2020 (click on the picture below to access all the presentations from the launch). Both he and Vicky Ford MEP (in presentations and Q&A) gave some insight into the work that went into agreeing Horizon2020. The commission did consult widely on its development and it’s been years of effort to get to this point, with BIS in the UK doing an excellent job of consulting Research Councils etc to input into this process. 


The place of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) was also discussed, an aim of Horizon 2020 is to embed SSH across all societal challenges, Robert-Jan Smits stated “SSH is crucial” but like national multi and inter disciplinary programmes it’s a challenge to achieve and requires a change in mentality. The Commission will also have to “learn by doing”, so we will have to see how this develops (we will be doing a post on SSH embedding shortly).

Lots of the simplification measures are designed to help SME’s engage with Horizon 2020 funding and this was mentioned frequently. Horizon 2020 is a programme for Research and Innovation, and the latter definitely has more emphasis than in previous Framework programmes. The two presentations by Business both  gave an interesting perspectives and also demonstrated that lots of the principles of international collaborations are cross sectoral – for example picking excellent partners and defining clear roles.  Technology Strategy Board (TSB) are providing a lot of support for SMEs to engage with the new work programmes.

Some issues were discussed, there is significant concern that there will be huge demand for this funding; The Commission want to make sure people are thinking strategically about likely success before submitting. Making sure you fit the call, ensuring excellent collaborators and having a coherent project where all mentioned. The Commission are aiming to publish two year work programmes to give people more time to prepare and consider their collaborations and projects before submitting.   It was also acknowledged that whilst simplification has been achieved, it is still a substantial undertaking – as ever these things are always a balance and the European Commission needs to ensure public money is funding the best projects possible.

The event created a positive feeling of international collaboration – many speakers acknowledged that the value and benefit of the funding isn’t the money, but the networks you establish and the new knowledge you create as a result.  All the presentations were very interesting and are available at the UK Horizon 2020 website (click the picture above to access).