AHRC Research Grants – Early Careers


​The AHRC Research Grants Schemes are intended to support well-defined research projects enabling individual researchers to collaborate with, and bring benefits to, other individuals and organisations through the conduct of research. This scheme is not intended to support individual scholarship. principal investigators must meet the additional eligibility criteria as outlined in the AHRC Funding Guide.

Please note that as a minimum, all applications under the grants scheme will be required to include a principal investigator and at least one co-investigator jointly involved in the development of the research proposal, its leadership and management and leading to significant jointly authored research outputs.

The early career route provides grants for projects with a full economic cost (fEC) between £50,000 and £250,000 for a varying duration up to a limit of 60 months.

Closing Dates Open – No Deadline

Please note that the assessment process for a Research Grants scheme application (Standard, Speculative and Early Career routes) takes approximately 30 weeks and the earliest start date for a project should be no earlier than 9 months after submission to the AHRC.

How to make an application

For all routes of the research grants scheme you must submit an application through the cross-council Joint Electronic Submission – (Je-S) System. If you need any assistance to use the system, please contact the JE-S helpdesk on 01793 444164 or on JesHelp@rcuk.ac.uk.

Further Information

AHRC Funding Guide (PDF, 1.8MB)

provides an overview of the different routes of the Research Grants Scheme. It details the eligibility criteria, assessment criteria, information on how to apply, application deadlines, eligible dates and terms and conditions of awards. You must ensure that you meet all of the eligibility criteria before submitting an application.

Subject Coverage

Impact Summary and Pathways to Impact: – Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 178KB)

RCUK Impact Requirements – Frequently Asked Questions

Examples of Impact from AHRC-funded projects (PDF, 296KB)


The AHRC work with the RCUK Shared Services Centre (SSC) to deliver all of our funding activities. All queries regarding eligibility for funding and applications in progress and also queries regarding current awards, should be directed to the SSC team dealing with your subject area using the contacts page.


Interdisciplinary innovation awards: Conflict, Crime and Security


The Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council, as part of Research Councils UK’s Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security, invite applications for their interdisciplinary innovation awards.

These support the development of innovative, high risk, interdisciplinary research, exploratory or pilot studies, or the development of new partnerships and collaborations addressing issues of central relevance to the PaCCS conflict theme.

The theme brings together security research and other activities that are sensitive to the changing global context and have an impact in the prediction, detection, prevention and reduction of security threats. Priority areas include conflict, transnational organised crime and cybersecurity.

Applications must be submitted by the principal investigator’s research organisation, which may be a higher education institution recognised by the ESRC or AHRC for submitting applications, or an ESRC- or AHRC-recognised independent research organisation.

The principal investigator or any co-investigator must either have a PhD or be of postdoctoral standing, and have the skills and experience to undertake their outlined role.

Awards are worth up to £80,000 each, covering 80 per cent of full economic cost, over a maximum period of 18 months. Approximately eight to 12 awards are available.

A second call for Interdisciplinary Research Grants (up to 48 months and between £400,000 and £800,000 fEC) aims to support innovative interdisciplinary research proposals addressing one or more of the following strands within the Conflict theme:

  • New Perspectives on the Changing Character and Mosaic of Conflict, and Transitions to and from Conflict, through Time
  • Community Experiences of, and Responses to, Conflict
  • Conflict in the Information Age

The AHRC and ESRC are contributing to a ‘common pot’ of up to £4m to these joint PaCCS calls on conflict to support interdisciplinary research innovation which crosses the remits of the two Councils; in addition, the EPSRC has indicated that it would be willing to consider co-funding projects on a case by case which cross into its remit, particularly in relation to the connections between conflict and digital technologies and/or cyber-security.​

Deadline 22 Oct 15 Applications due by 4pm.








Call for HEI proposals to host national debates as part of the AHRC’s 10th anniversary


To mark its tenth anniversary in 2015, the Arts and Humanities Research Council will support number of activities for celebrating and promoting the achievements and the role of the arts and humanities research community.

A call, ending on 18th December 2014, invites Higher Education Institutions to host national debates that address the theme ‘The way we live now’, and explore specific aspects of our human world, such as The City, Identity, The Book, Faith, Diversity, The Nation.

A series of five to six national debates are planned to be supported and held at universities and cultural organisations around the UK at intervals during the year. Each debate should feature three to four speakers, and should allow plenty of time for audience participation.

Only one application is accepted per institution. Each debate may receive up to £7,500 from AHRC, with matched funding required from the host organisation. Each organisation may host one or two events.


New Generation Thinkers 2015 -AHRC


Are you passionate about your research – do you want to get it across to a wider audience?

The AHRC and BBC Radio 3 are looking for applications for the New Generation Thinkers of 2015.

This pioneering scheme aims to develop a new generation of academics who can bring the best of university research and scholarly ideas to a broad audience – through BBC broadcasting. It’s a chance for early career researchers to cultivate the skills to communicate their research findings to those outside the academic community.

Each year, up to sixty successful applicants have a chance to develop their programme-making ideas with experienced BBC producers at a series of dedicated workshops and, of these up to ten will become Radio 3’s resident New Generation Thinkers. They will benefit from a unique opportunity to develop their own programmes for BBC Radio 3 and a chance to regularly appear on air.

BBC Radio 3 and its programmes the Verb, the Essay and the Sunday Feature have provided a platform for debate and commentary from scholars across the world.

The New Generation Thinkers scheme also works with BBC TV Arts who will be looking to develop New Generation Thinkers and their ideas into arts television.

Applicants do not have to be funded by the AHRC to apply; the scheme is open to all early career researchers based in a UK Research Organisation.

We welcome applications from researchers working in all areas of the arts and humanities. This year we are again extending the call for researchers who work in areas of social sciences and medical science whose work intersects with the arts and humanities. There are a series of interfaces, and many areas of common ground between. This can be seen in both cross-council programmes, Connected Communities and Life Long Health and Wellbeing.

The subject coverage for this year’s schemes covers all disciplines covered by the AHRC detailed below, including additional subjects that intersect with the work of sister councils ESRC and MRC.


AHRC – Tell the world about your work – New Generation Thinkers 2015

AHRC logo

Tell the world about your work – New Generation Thinkers 2015


On Monday 10th November the Arts and Humanities Research Council and BBC Radio 3 are opening a call for academics with a focus on arts and humanities topics to apply for the opportunity to develop a programme idea.

The New Generation Thinkers Scheme is intended to support up to sixty early career researchers with an opportunity to spend the day at the BBC to hear first-hand about the commissioning process and develop their programme ideas alongside experienced BBC producers. From these sixty researchers, ten will be selected to go on to develop their ideas as the 2015 New Generation Thinkers.

This is the fifth year of the scheme. Previous participants have presented documentaries, taken part in on air discussions on BBC Radio 3, made pilot films for TV and spoken at public festivals. You can also find out more about previous winners from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

For further information, contact Alex Pryce (AHRC), a.pryce@ahrc.ac.uk, 01793 41 6025

Case Study: ‘And the Doctor Said…………’

Chrissie 5   
SU Lead

Mark Webster




amount received


           AHRC £20k

Project Partners

 Keele University, Dr Alannah Tomkins


Northumbria University, Dr Geoff Walton geoff.walton@northumbria.ac.uk

Project Researcher: Dr Jackie Reynolds


Unique Media Productions


A team of creative practitioners: Maria Whatton, Deborah McAndrew, Dave Reeves, Chrissie Hall.

Project /Scheme title AHRC Research Networking Grant: ‘And the Doctor Said…..’



 ‘And the Doctor Said….’ is an innovative research project, which uses creative writing as a way of exploring people’s experiences of healthcare in North Staffordshire. A series of workshops led by creative writers, playwrights and storytellers took place during 2013 in four different community venues in and around Stoke-on-Trent. Through creative writing, the participants shared, reflected on and wrote about their health experiences. The activities and writing drew upon their own personal experience and local knowledge. It is a ‘Connected Communities’ project, a cross-Council programme designed to help us to understand the changing nature and contexts of ‘community’ and the role of communities in enhancing and sustaining quality of life.
When did it run February 2012-February 2014
  • 10 community workshops resulting in a wide range of creative writing
  • A series of short films documenting people’s involvement in the project
  • A 20 minute audio-documentary
  • A website to disseminate project information and films
  • A published book containing all of the writing from the workshops (freely available)
  • A high quality exhibition that has been displayed in community venues
  • A range of positive outcomes for the research participants, as evidenced through evaluation material and the project films.
  • On-going partnership working between both the academic and the non-academic partners.

This project is highly participatory, directly involving participants in both the production and the dissemination of the research. This has been valuable and has also presented a range of interesting dilemmas and challenges to be addressed. The learning from these challenges is being shared in the project dissemination.

Future / ongoing activities as a result of this project We continue to disseminate this project at a wide range of events and conferences.Planned publications include a methodological journal article and a co-authored chapter in an edited book about creativity in the context of primary care and mental health and ageing.We are also developing a funding bid for AHRC follow-on funding, in order to further develop the impact of this work, particularly in relation to the training and professional development of medical staff. The follow-on project will focus on developing two-way dialogue between health professionals and research participants.
Top tips for working with this funder –
  • Focus on innovative, interdisciplinary collaborations.
  • Focus on involving non-academic partners e.g. artists/creative practitioners
  • Make use of a wide range of networking events linked to different projects
How easy was the application process? Applications are quite lengthy and time-consuming.   Support from colleagues in ECD is invaluable, especially if you are new to the J-es system.
Website/Contact www.andthedoctorsaid.org http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/Pages/Home.aspx
Think this project looks interesting? What Next For further support from the External projects team contact: externalprojects@staffs.ac.uk or call 01785 353774

AHRC looks for ways to welcome artists into the fold

AHRC logo

The Arts and Humanities Research Council is considering how to put research arising from the practice of arts on an equal footing with conventional research, its chief executive has said.

Rick Rylance argued at the annual forum of the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts on 3 July that there was now “dramatically” less resistance to research in practice than there was 10 years ago. He also said that it was difficult to use measures of quality for arts-based research of “equivalent value” to those used for other research areas.

AHRC council member Deborah Bull, a former ballet dancer and now director of cultural partnerships at King’s College London, will be investigating how the council could become more welcoming to the arts. “I’m trying to stimulate a debate,” she says. One aspect to study is the extent of institutional links between research institutes and arts organisations.

Bull argues that, although artists and academics work together, there are rarely formal agreements in place between organisations. “Personal links are good but if you want sustainability you need institutional links,” she says.

The council already funds collaborative research by academics working with archivists and museum and gallery staff. But there is less AHRC-funded research in the performing arts, partly because researchers and artists work towards different outputs and at different speeds.

Much art is about the experience of the moment, whereas most research is about recording or analysing something after an event. Rylance said there was an increasing need for research to occur in real time. “This is an extraordinarily febrile, full-of-potential moment to define a new field,” he said, adding that he wanted the definition of research to become more “elastic” and that research itself must become “more and more flexible”.

For this to work, traditional structures such as peer review may need to be reformed, according to Karen Cham, director of Digital Media Kingston, a cross-faculty studio producing research and art at Kingston University. “The clue is in the title: you’re either in the peer group or not. But innovation is never part of the peer group; you’re always on the periphery.” Rylance sympathises with Cham’s view: “Peer review tends to be conservative rather than adventurous, so we’re looking at that.”

Elizabeth Lomas, a research fellow at Northumbria University, has a £42,000 grant from the AHRC to consider broadly how arts and cultural organisations define and value R&D. There is no definition of R&D within the arts and humanities that has equivalent status to that in the Frascati Manual, which was adopted by the OECD in 1962. The definition in the manual splits R&D into pure, applied and experimental work. “The question for the arts is whether we conceptualise research like that too,” says Lomas. Her project will be completed in 2016.

This article also appeared in Research Fortnight –

AHRC Research Networking

Design and innovation

The Research Networking Scheme is intended to support forums for the discussion and exchange of ideas on a specified thematic area, issue or problem. The intention is to facilitate interactions between researchers and stakeholders through, for example, a short-term series of workshops, seminars, networking activities or other events. The aim of these activities is to stimulate new debate across boundaries, for example, disciplinary, conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and/or international. Proposals should explore new areas, be multi-institutional and can include creative or innovative approaches or entrepreneurship. Proposals must justify the approach taken and clearly explain the novelty or added value for bringing the network participants together.

Proposals for full economic costs up to £30,000 for a period of up to two years may be submitted. The exact mechanism for networking and the duration is up to the applicants to decide but must be fully justified in the proposal. An additional threshold of up to £15,000 full economic cost may be sought to cover the costs of any international participants or activities in addition to the £30,000 fEC scheme limit. Proposals will need to be submitted by an eligible Research Organisation but must involve collaboration with at least one other organisation, as well as having significant relevance to beneficiaries in the UK.

There is no specfic closing date for this call.

Research-Funding-Guide.pdf provides an overview of
the Research Networking Scheme. It details the eligibility criteria, assessment
criteria, information on how to apply, application deadlines, eligible dates and
terms and conditions of awards. You must ensure that you meet all of the
eligibility criteria before submitting an application.

If you are interested in this opportunity please email us at externalprojects@staffs.ac.uk



A year off to work on design with a business

This fund gives a design researcher the chance to work in business for 6 months to a year and collaborate on projects. They are interested in three priorities:

  • The role of design in the innovation system
  • The role of design in service innovation
  • Evidence to demonstrate the impact and value of Design

Below is some more information.

Funding Body: AHRC and ESRC

Scheme: Design fellowships

Overview: These enable design researchers in UK universities to become embedded in business or public service organisations and work with them on collaborative projects.

Researchers should be keen to apply or test ideas about service innovation in business, public sector or similar context. They should apply in collaboration with a business or public sector organisation of their own choice.

Fellowships support a period between six months and one year on a full time or part time basis, with costs. Awards must start between 1 August and 31 December 2014.

Budget: AHRC meeting 80 per cent of full economic costs

Deadlines: 24 April 2014

Further Information: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/Funding-Opportunities/Pages/AHRC-ESRC-Design-Fellowships.aspx

Design and innovation

And the Doctor Said….

Staff are being invited to the launch event of the ‘And the Doctor said…’ project exhibition. This is a creative research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of their ‘Connected Communities’ programme.

The launch is taking place on Friday 6th December 2pm-4pm at Burslem School of Art.

It has involved a series of workshops run by creative writers, storytellers and actors, in which people have reflected upon and written about their experiences of healthcare in North Staffordshire.

As well as the wealth of writing from the project, we also have a number of films, photos and recordings, made by Unique Media Production, which will be included in the launch event.

Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate the achievements of the project and the people who have taken part in it.

For more information about the project www.andthedoctorsaid.org