International Placement Scheme 2017

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The International Placement Scheme (IPS) is an annual programme providing Research Fellowships to AHRC/ESRC-funded doctoral students, early career researchers and doctoral-level research assistants.

The purpose of the Call (described as an ‘IPS Fellowship’) is to provide early career researchers (ECR), doctoral level research assistants and AHRC/ESRC funded doctoral students with dedicated access to the internationally renowned collections/ programmes/ expertise held at the IPS institutions. These IPS institutions are seven world-leading, international institutions:

For guidance on how to apply to each of the institutions, the rules and eligibility of the scheme please see the IPS Call Guidance Document (PDF, 174KB). Applicants must read this document as well as the information on this webpage. The IPS Grading scale can also be downloaded for reference. (PDF, 99KB)

Please note ESRC applicants are only eligible to apply to apply to Library of Congress.

A summary of the IPS institutions can be found below:

Harry Ransom Center (HRC), The University of Texas at Austin, USA

The Harry Ransom Center is a world-leading research institution, dedicated to advancing the study of the arts and humanities by acquiring, preserving, and making accessible original cultural materials.

Specialising in literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts, the Center’s extensive collections include: 42 million manuscripts; nearly one million rare books; 5 million photographs; 100,000 works of art and design; as well as major collections in film and the performing arts.

Other links:

The Huntington Library, California, USA

The Huntington Library is one of the world’s great independent research libraries, specialising in British and American history and literature, and the history of science, medicine and technology. Among the collections, which span the 11th century to the present, are over 7 million manuscripts, 410,000 rare books, 270,000 general collection books, and 1.3 million photographs, prints, and ephemera. The collections are large and diverse and some remain uncatalogued, so there are genuine opportunities for fellows to find undiscovered treasures.

Other links: Library Catalogue – this provides the information about the Library’s many collections

Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA

The Library of Congress is the USA's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.

International Placement Scheme (IPS) fellows will be based at the John W Kluge Center, within the LoC. The Kluge Center occupies inspirational study and meeting spaces in the Library's magnificent Jefferson Building, for international scholars with a shared interest in exploiting the LoC’s extensive collections.

Due to the vast breadth and depth of their collections, the LoC is not limited to those researching American Studies. With 12,000 new items added daily to over 160 million items in 470 languages, on 838 miles of bookshelves, researchers in all fields are sure to find relevant materials.

Other links: Ask a librarian page – allows you to search through the collections prior to contacting the Library directly to gain further information

National Institutes for the Humanities, Japan

National Institutes for the Humanities (NIHU) consists of six Inter-University Research Institutes which collectively support academic research on culture and the humanities:

  • International Research Centre for Japanese Studies
  • National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics
  • National Institute of Japanese Literature
  • National Museum of Ethnology
  • National Museum of Japanese History
  • Research Institute for Humanity and Nature

NIHU's institutes are national repositories of cultural materials; they offer world-class research facilities for scholars with an interest in exploiting the extensive collections they hold.

NIHU publishes an annual guide to its institutions and activities

IPS NIHU candidates are likely to be scholars in Japanese or Asian studies; however, NIHU’s collections and expertise may be of interest to scholars in many other academic areas. The National Museum of Ethnology, for example, would be excellent for scholars of heritage or museum studies. Details of the past IPS NIHU research titles can be found in the ‘Further Information’ section below. Many of the NIHU institutes do not have a requirement for Japanese language skills. See the ‘NIHU IPS Application Guidance’ below for further details.

Other links: Annual guide to institutions and activities: this provides you with information about the purpose and functions of NIHU and what the individual institutes do

Shanghai Theatre Academy, Shanghai, China

The Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA) is a comprehensive university of performing arts. Co-sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of China and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, STA is one of the best higher education art institutions in China. It has grown from a single discipline school into an outstanding comprehensive university of performing and digital arts, fine arts, and visual cultures. It has a particular research strength in Chinese Theatre Studies. On the campus there are two professional theatres for educational practice and formal performance.

A knowledge of basic (conversational) Mandarin is recommended for all applicants.

Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA

The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest research and museum complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, and nine research facilities. The Smithsonian's collections represent America’s rich heritage, art from across the globe, and the immense diversity of the natural and cultural world.

The total number of artefacts, works of art and specimens is estimated at 137 million. The Smithsonian also maintains 1.5 million library volumes and 89,000 cubic feet of archival material.

The Smithsonian is a leader in the field of protecting and preserving artefacts. Through its researchers at the Museum Conservation Institute staff work to develop and improve conservation techniques and technologies critical for conserving museum collections.

Other links:

  • Collections – provides information about the Collections whilst the search page allows you to search through the collections online
  • Smithsonian contact details booklet – this lists staff who have agreed in principle to be Fellowship advisors. Please see the IPS Call Guidance Document (PDF, 174KB) for how to contact the Smithsonian when seeking advisors
  • When contacting the Smithsonian there is a specific template to use. Please only use this template to contact the Smithsonian

Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut, USA

The Yale Center for British Art is a public art museum and research institute, home to the largest collection of British art outside the UK. The Center’s collections provide an exceptional resource for understanding the story of British art, life and culture since the Elizabethan period.

The collections include: 2,000 paintings and 200 sculptures from the medieval to the contemporary; 20,000 drawings and watercolors and 30,000 prints; 35,000 rare books, manuscripts and ephemera; a reference library and archives with over 30,000 volumes. Works include masterpieces by Reynolds, Stubbs, Gainsborough, Turner, and Constable, and other major artists who lived and worked in Britain. IPS scholars can also take advantage of the world class resources at Yale, including the Yale libraries, the Beinecke library, and the Lewis Walpole Library.

Research staff organize conferences, symposia, seminars, and lectures associated with exhibitions at the Center, as well as events more broadly related to the field of British art history. Additionally, they integrate the Center, its staff and researchers, with the larger scholarly community at Yale University and beyond, including the Yale in London program.

Other links:

  • Collections – provides information about the collections held at Yale

Closing Dates

Closing Date: 26/01/2017

Activity Date
Call open for submissions on Je-S 15th November 2016
Deadline for submissions 4pm 26th January 2017
Peer Review 30th January 2017 to 3rd March 2017
Moderating meetings dates 4th March 2017 to 3rd April 2017
Funding decisions to be issued Mid-April 2017 to mid-May 2017
Start date of awards Varies dependent on Placement Institution

How to make an application

Applications should be completed and submitted using the Research Councils’ Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) System at the latest by 4pm on Thursday 26th January 2017, and will need to go through the approval process at the UK research organisation prior to this deadline. There is no cap on the numbers of applications that can be submitted by a UK research organisation (RO).

Please note that we cannot accept applications directly from students: the application must come from the UK RO and be in the name of someone at the RO eligible to submit an application (for example a member of staff in the Research Office), please speak to your Research Office or Je-S administrators for guidance on who should submit your application (although you will need to complete elements of the application yourself). ECRs should submit their own application following the UK organisation’s approval and submission process.

The International Placement Scheme has some specific requirements that should be followed when completing the application form in Je-S. How to complete the Je-S application form for IPS provides guidance on the information that needs supplied, including what to enter in the application form itself and which attachments are permitted.

Further Information

Previous Experiences

AHRC is also hosting a Twitter Chat on the International Placement Scheme on 05/01/17, between 1430-1600hrs. For more information please see the events page on the website.

Previous IPS Awards

Download the list of previously funded IPS Awards (Excel, 68KB), which will allow prospective applicants to see if anyone at their institution has undertaken an IPS award, the subject they studied and the placement institution they studied at.

For reference:


Please contact AHRC enquiries if you have any queries (available Monday to Friday 8:30-5:00):

For queries on creating Je-S accounts and completing and submitting the Je-S application form please initially refer to the Completing the Je-S Application Form guidance, should you require further assistance please contact the Je-S Helpdesk on 01793 444164 or who are available 9-5 Monday to Friday.

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