Design in innovation: research development funding

The AHRC is very interested in design innovation at the moment. This fund looks is particularly interesting because it supports speculative research.

Funding Body: AHRC

Scheme: Design in innovation: research development funding

Overview: This call is aimed at enabling groups of researchers, including academics, design practitioners, businesses and any other relevant non-academic organisations or individuals, to hold exploratory workshops, networking and collaborative activities, or conduct original research reviews, scoping studies or capacity building activities focusing on design in innovation.

The following areas were identified as being in particular need of academic investigation:

•the role of design in service innovation;

•the role of design in the innovation ecosystem;

•providing evidence of the impact of design.

Awards should last for a maximum of six months and should be completed by the end of October 2014.

Budget: Funding of up to £50,000 is available on full economic costs basis with the AHRC meeting 80% of the FEC

Deadlines: 31 October 2013

Further Information:


How can big data be used in Arts and Humanities?


We are seeing a range of funding bodies offer opportunities for researchers to work with Big Data, with two current calls seeking to address how this can most effectively be used within Arts and Humanities. Big data is information resources which are so large that they exceed the capacity of commonly used software and analysis tools, so new approaches and methodologies have to be developed to analyse them.  Big data is a challenge across all research disciplines, from the Large Hadron Collider to British Library archives and poses new legal and ethical challenges in its use.

The AHRC has a £4 million pot to explore Big Data as part of their Digital Transformations on the Arts and Humanities theme, with a closing date of 12th September.  There are two different scales of projects that will be supported, those up to £100K and those up to £600k.  For funding of up to £100k, pilot projects looking at innovative uses of existing datasets are sought; with early career researchers in particular being encouraged.  For the larger projects more in depth approaches are sought.  Collaborations and interdisciplinary investigations are encouraged across both strands, with British Library and National Archives offering to consider access to materials.

Nesta also has a specific Big Data strand under its Collaborative R&D Fund for the Arts.  This funding stream will support partnership applications involving a consortium of 3 arts organisations, a technology partner and a research partner. Friday 13th September is the deadline for expressions of interest, for projects up to £300k.

Please contact if you are interested. Further information: AHRC and  Digital R&D funding for the Arts

Funding for innovative PhD and early career researcher training

AHRCs Collaborative Skills Development Call is aimed at supporting the development of innovative, collaborative training packages for PhD students and early career researchers in the arts and humanities through a range of interventions:

  • Funding of up to £60,000 to offer training and skills development activities to groups of students and Early Career Researchers in several institutions.
  • Funds up to £5,000 to support ECRs to establish and run collaborative training and researcher development activities . 
  • Support for doctoral students to establish and run smaller-scale collaborative activities, with an award limit of £3,000. 

Innovative interventions such as internships, competitions, entrepreneurs-in-residence, etc are encouraged.  Applications will be eligible from any discipline within AHRC’s remit but should focus on:

  • Partnership working including public engagement
  • Entrepreneurship and the Creative Economy
  • Research Skills Enrichment

The closing date is 19th September 2013, please contact if you are interested.  Further information:,1PYAH,71UHKB,64BKR,1


Funding focusing on Research combining Design and Innovation

The Arts and Humanities Research Council have decided to focus a chunk of their funding on design. They are particularity interested in projects which link design and innovation. This sounds like something Staffordshire University are very good at (Flux, High House), so we should be looking to get a bid in.

They want applications to be in by 3 October 2013. We can only submit a maximum of three bids, and in truth we should really be looking to submit only one, so anyone looking to apply should talk to the External Projects Team and the head of their faculty.

More details here:


Video Games Funding

The Arts and Humanities Research Council have funding for collaborative research projects with a particular focus on video games

It is unusual for the AHRC to be making a particular focus on just video games, so if it is your research area it is worth looking into the call in more detail because it might not come up again for a while.

Funding body AHRC

Scheme Videogames Research Networking Funding Call

Overview These are for collaborative research projects between arts and humanities researchers and video developers. Proposals should explore new areas of interest to research and development in the videogames industry, be multi-institutional and demonstrate creative and innovative approaches.

Deadlines 1 August 2013

Budget Grants are worth up to £30,000 for projects of six to 18 months, and an additional £15,000 may be sought to cover international activities.

For further information:

Capital Funding Call for Digital Transformations in Community research Co-Production in the Arts and Humanities

As part of the cross-Council Connected Communities Programme, the AHRC is inviting applications for Digital Community Research Co-Production Projects. The call aims to harness digital technologies to stimulate innovative engagements and research co-production between communities and researchers. £4m capital funding is available under this call.

A key focus of, and output from, the projects funded must be some form of new, or significantly enhanced, research-based asset of enduring value for communities and future research. These assets may take a variety of forms, such as open datasets, integrated search facilities, mash-ups, visualizations and mappings, enhanced gateways and portals, galleries, tools, hardware, interfaces, software, material artefacts, or other forms of innovative cultural and creative resource or asset.

Applications are invited for between £50,000 and £600,000 on a full economic cost basis and the AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic costs (with the exception that equipment costs may be included under this call). The closing date is Thursday 27th June 2013.

There are a series of launch events, the local event is Birmingham on 30th May. 

Please contact External Projects Team ( if you are interested in this call. Further information is available at