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Frequently-asked questions

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How is AHRC funded?

The AHRC is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) through the UK science budget. The AHRC is included in the combined bid of all the UK Research Councils to annual Spending Reviews.

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What is the AHRC?

The AHRC funds postgraduate training and research in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. The quality and range of research supported not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. 

The AHRC was launched in April 2005 as the successor organisation to the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB). The AHRB, formally launched in 1998, had been established as an interim and transitional body, pending a decision from Government on the recommendation in the Dearing Report of 1997 that an arts and humanities research council be founded.

With a budget of over £100 million per year, the AHRC provides a portfolio of programmes to support the best of UK research enabling development of a world-class research base.

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When are awards announced?

​Each scheme has a separate timetable. Major announcements are flagged on our home page after award holders are informed. See the Funded Research section for awards the AHRC has made.

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How do I apply to join the AHRC Council?

​AHRC Council members come from the academic community and other stakeholder groups, such as the voluntary or business sectors. Applicants should be able to reflect and express with authority the views of their research or user community, and contribute corporately to the Council's successful pursuit of its vision and strategy. Appointments are based on merit and applications and are independently assessed. Applications from women, minority groups and representatives from regions outside of the south-east would be particularly welcome. Vacancies are generally advertised annually. For further information about the next call for applications please contact the Council Secretary

Appointments to the Research Councils are made by Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. Our appointments process is managed in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments' "Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies". This can be found on the office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA, opens in new window) web site. The AHRC is the initial point of contact for this process.

All appointees are office holders who must agree to comply with the relevant Code of Practice for Council members.

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How does the AHRC assess funding applications?

​Awards are made after a rigorous process of peer review, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. Applications are assessed by a series of non-standing peer review panels covering the full range of research we support. The panels are convened from membership of our Peer Review College.

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I am not employed by a higher education institution but would like to apply for a research award. Am I eligible?

The AHRC's research schemes are only open to full and part-time members of the academic and academic-related members of staff at higher education institutions directly funded by the UK funding councils.​

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How do I acknowledge AHRC funding?

The ​AHRC requires acknowledgement of its financial support for research projects in all publications and other forms of media communication including press releases, media appearances, and conferences. This is key to publicising the investment of public funds by the AHRC and provides an indicator of the impact of that research whether social, cultural, academic, or economic.

The AHRC attaches great importance to the dissemination of research results and we expect results and outcomes to be published.
Acknowledgements need to be at least a line of text that identifies the type of AHRC support, includes our web address, www.ahrc.ac.uk (opens in a new window), and our logo should be used where possible. More information is available on the Acknowledging our support page.


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How many awards does the AHRC make?

Each year the AHRC provides approximately £105 million to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities. Awards are made after a rigorous process of peer review, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and 1,200 postgraduate awards. The statistics section provides data on all competition outcomes.

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What subject areas does the AHRC fund?

​The AHRC funds postgraduate training and research in diverse subject areas covering the humanities (subjects such as history, English, linguistics, French, philosophy, and the classics) and the creative and performing arts (for example drama, dance, music, art, and design). For more information about our subject domains see the Subject coverage page.

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