AHRC constitutional structure
BEIS and Government
The Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is accountable to Parliament for the activities and performance of the Council. The Director General of Science and Research, supported by the sponsor team in BEIS, is the primary source of advice to the Secretary of State in respect of the Council. The relationship between the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and its sponsor department is detailed in AHRC's Management Statement and Financial Memorandum. The AHRC receives government funding through BEIS. The AHRC provides regular reports on its strategy and performance to BEIS.
Research Councils UK (RCUK)
The Council works with the other Research Councils in partnership as 'Research Councils UK' (RCUK) which was set up to enhance the collective leadership and influence of the Research Councils and encourage cross-Council collaboration at strategic and operational levels. RCUK is led by an Executive Group of which all Council Chief Executives are members and one is the Chair.
The members of the AHRC's governing body, the Council, are publicly appointed by the Secretary of State. The Council is responsible for all issues of major importance, principally the overall strategic direction of the AHRC including its mission, its key strategic objectives and targets, key decisions about the research direction of the AHRC, all of which take account the needs of users. Council advises on opportunities for the support of arts and humanities and is expected to provide advice to Government on research issues in its field.
It is responsible for employing mechanisms to ensure the high quality, sustainability, relevance and impact of the programmes of research and training that it funds; the promotion of knowledge transfer, and the enhancement of public awareness of the outcomes from and priorities for publicly funded research. It monitors performance and ensures that the AHRC operates high standards of efficiency, accountability and propriety in the use and management of public funding. It, together with the Chief Executive who is the Accounting Officer, is responsible for the use of resources and personnel issues, including key appointments and appointments to its Advisory Board.
Responsibility for implementing the Council's decisions and the day-to-day operation of the AHRC is delegated to the Chief Executive as Accounting Officer of the Research Council. Detailed guidance on the role of an accounting officer is provided in Responsibilities of a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) Accounting Officer and in the Management Statement. Council members should retain a copy of these documents and Regularity and Propriety which sets out the principles of financial accountability.
The Advisory Board advises Council on strategies for research, training, knowledge transfer, impact, evaluation, and international engagement that reflect AHRC's Charter and the most important national, European and global needs and challenges facing arts and humanities research. The Board also develops and recommends to Council programmes and initiatives, and monitors, reports and acts as a quality assurance body for AHRC's research portfolios, outputs and the impact of research.
The Audit Committee is a mandatory advisory body with no executive powers. It is authorised by the Council to investigate any activity within its terms of reference to promote the highest standards of propriety, efficiency and financial reporting.
The Remuneration Committee manages the pay and performance review of the Directors and Associate Directors and is chaired by the AHRC Chair.
Peer Review College
The Peer Review College provides expert reviews of proposals submitted to the AHRC for funding. In addition the Peer Review College is the source from which AHRC builds all panels. These panels have a non standing membership and comprise representation from across the AHRC's subject domain. Members are expected to make recommendations outside their subject area.