Tagged / AHRC

Dr Mark Readman at the Creative Industries Workshop in Istanbul

Earlier this month I took part in a ‘Creative Industries Workshop’ in Istanbul. This was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Istanbul Development Agency. About 40 of us had won funding to attend – a mixture of UK and Turkish ‘experts’ (academics and industry representatives) – and we were tasked with addressing the challenges faced by Turkey’s creative industries.

The key issue presented to us was how to maximise the potential for growth, diversification and resilience in Turkey by identifying the specific affordances of the creative industries. There is clear ambition in Turkey to “increase the value added of goods and services produced in the country” and the UK is seen as a model for such growth.

The thematic areas which we addressed were: Ecosystem – the structures of finance, networking, collaboration, services, and actors which facilitate growth; Demand – the sensitivity to awareness, ‘customer needs’, and particularly the ways in which other sectors (such as tourism) might complement and stimulate this; Design and value added – the emphasis on digital transformation trends which might ‘intensify user experience’ through improving the quality of life; Data and knowledge – how the creative industries are defined, the relationship between data and policy, and possible research which might produce new models.

The workshop was a very stimulating fusion of different perspectives, and each group presented ‘solutions’ to the funding bodies which drew on our experience and understandings of successful policies and practices. Some of us, however, of a more critical mind set (and I won my funding on the basis of promising to provide this) had further questions that we wanted to pursue, for example: the need to avoid a kind of ‘colonial approach’, dispensing ‘wisdom’ from the UK; the problematic relationship between the creative industries and the craft industries – ways of achieving complementarity without collapsing key differences; the notional affordances of ‘ecosystems’ – some of us suggested that ‘true creativity’ prospered despite, rather than because of ‘ecosystems’; and, ultimately, the nature of this thing called the ‘creative industries’, which is often presented as an ‘ontological category’, but which tends to be a strategic category – some transparency about this seems to be required.

There will be a further call from the AHRC intended to nurture some of the collaborations that were made possible in the workshop, and the challenge will be to maintain this critical stance whilst working together to stimulate worthwhile projects (and we saw some excellent examples of existing initiatives). As we face life post-Brexit, Turkey is likely to be a significant partner, given its position, between Europe and Asia.

Mark Readman, FMC

The importance of preservation and sustainability of digital data in the arts

The AHRC research project, ArtoP: The Visual Articulations of Politics in Nigeria sets out to collect and archive visual material that is produced by artists, animators, filmmakers, photographers in Nigeria around and following the elections in February 2019. As part of the project outputs, the research will culminate in a digital archive that will serve two purposes i) to preserve this collection over a period of 10 years and ii) to disseminate parts of the collection with a wider public through a web-based platform. These outputs present a number of challenges that highlight the importance of planning for digital archiving and ensuring its sustainability given the rapidity with which digital traces are created, disseminated and in turn disappear (Ernst, 2013). This post forms part of a longer paper in development that seeks to focus upon changes in archival practice in the arts, especially where contexts of contemporary image making practices tend to be based in the digital and circulate in virtual spaces. Additionally, the variances in technological landscapes across different geographies also present separate sets of challenges that a researcher may face – who has access to this data; which voices are included and excluded; how does one curate for fair access?  

Collecting Digital Images

In 2018, the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston) ran an exhibition on ‘Art in the Age of the Internet’, that examined how ‘the internet has radically changed the field of art, especially in its production, distribution, and reception’ (Respini, 2018). This exhibition is connected to a wider ongoing discourse within the arts on digital media (Gere, 2004, 2006) and the impact this is having upon museums and galleries. Therefore it is not surprising to see that in recent years there has been a growing recognition of the urgent need to actively collect and preserve digital art and digital graphics – material which is inherently ephemeral.  Archives have been tempted to wait until a top down collections management system is developed. This has resulted in gaps in collections.There is a consensus emerging that researchers and archivists urgently need to take a DIY, active approach to collecting digital content as near to the time of its publication as possible. Unlike physical collections, there is less chance of acquiring large collections of digital content at a later date, long after the material was created. This is because material on digital platforms are fleeting, with people entrusting storage of their digital creations to third-party proprietorial platforms whose commitment to the long term preservation of material is uncertain:     

“Digital works increasingly operate within a culture that replaces ownership with access. The idea that anything is accessible anytime online changes the motivation to collect and archive within the personal sphere. Personal cultural material is now embedded in proprietary software and third party platforms where responsibility for its longevity in a fast changing technological environment is ambiguous. Certainly, the ability to capture the online object within the context which makes it meaningful recedes as time passes […] digital collecting is best approached as a process of rapid response.” (CCDP 2018) 

One only needs to think of the demise of Myspace, a once-popular social media platform and a medium for sharing artwork and music, which recently lost all content uploaded by users before 2016, to recognise how transient and vulnerable our individual and collective digital heritage is. (Hern  2019)

Capturing Context and Circulation

Another challenge in collecting and archiving digital images and artworks is capturing the contexts and the patterns of circulation which make the images meaningful. Simply saving a digital graphic as an individual image file severs the image from its context. One challenge has been in capturing the interactive web environments in which digital graphics are published, republished and commented upon by users of Web 2.0. The sharing and modification of images online by a variety of actors is increasingly rapid and dynamic. For example, people can change the meaning of an image by reposting it on social media with a different caption, presenting new opportunities for engaged political citizenship and satire (Agbo 2018). This, along with the growing availability of digital editing tools, which are often embedded within the interface of social media platforms themselves, also allow users to easily edit the visual content of images, leaving them ripe for subversion and parody. Social media users quickly respond to each other in a humorous, conversational form, in ways which reframe images, reference earlier posts and trade ‘in-jokes’. In such exchanges users demonstrate their visual literacy and quick textual wit (Dike 2018). As both the content and context of digital images is endlessly mutating, it doesn’t make sense to archive once instance of an image, or even to think in terms of individual images. A recent report by the Collecting and Curating Digital Posters (CCDP) project recommends thinking in terms of “graphic events” rather than discrete images in order to reflect the ongoing social practices in which images are referenced, negotiated and transformed.  We should capture many iterations of the same image, the way in which they have migrated, the online environments in which they are encountered, and the ways audiences have interacted and commented on the images. The CCDP project recommends using the open-source tool Web-Recorder, in which collectors ‘record’ a web session, allowing them to capture their experience of browsing a website, trace the circulation of images online and record the ways in which it was possible to interact with digital graphics within native software and social media environments. These ‘sessions’ can be saved and played back by future users of the archive using the open source Web Recorder Player.  

There are problems in capturing such phenomenon in retrospect.  The rapidly changing appearance and technological environment of social media platforms introduces temporal distortion when searching social media platforms for, say, memes produced in response to a particular political controversy in 2014. We need to capture such phenomena as soon as possible. This requires us to be active and embedded users of the web in order to spot emerging visual trends as they occur.      

‘The archival infrastructure in the case of the Internet is only ever temporary, in response to its permanent dynamic rewriting. Ultimate knowledge (the old encyclopedia model) gives way to the principle of permanent rewriting or addition. ‘ (Ernst, 2013:85)

Storage and Access: Open Source Solutions.

‘Our obsession with memory functions as a reaction formation against the accelerating technical processes that our transforming our Lebenswelt (lifeworld) in quite distinct ways. [Memory] represents the attempt to slow down information processing, to resist the dissolution of time in the synchronicity of the archive, to recover a mode of contemplation outside the universe of simulation, and fast-speed information and cable networks, to claim some anchoring space in a world of puzzling and often threatening heterogeneity, non-synchronicity, and information overload’. (Husseyn, 1994)

Any discussion of a digital archive necessitates an active engagement with technological apparatus in order to consider the relationship between a technological environment and the production of (and obsession with) memory (Husseyn 1994). Storage and preservation are key aspects to any discussion on digital archiving, and as digital technologies accelerate their pace of change, paradoxically, so must a digital archive respond to this by mitigating against it. 

Storage and preservation

A question we faced in designing the ArtoP project was which software we should use for digital preservation and storage. Digital preservation can be difficult as the file formats we may take for granted now can become obsolescent in future – the software which opens them can disappear, rendering the contents of a file irretrievable. We therefore wanted to ensure that material was packaged in stable file formats, adhered to widely agreed-upon archival standards, and was stored securely. We identified Archivematica as the ideal software for our purposes. 

Archivematica is an open source, web-based digital preservation system that is used by a variety of institutions. The fact that the software is open access and free to install and operate actually ensures greater longevity. Proprietary software, tied to the variable fortunes of individual companies, are more liable to disappear than open source projects, which enjoy the support of an active community of users and developers. 

Archivematica is not a single piece of software but rather an ecosystem containing a number of tools, components and specifications which run the ‘microservices’ necessary to preserve digital content. For example, one of the microservices performed by Archivematica is called ‘normalisation’. During normalisation the files you upload are converted into preservation-friendly formats, using an active list of stable and accessible file formats compiled and updated by the UK National Archives. This provides some insurance against the rapid cycles of change and obsolescence which characterise the life of file formats. 

Archivematica’s core functions are as follows: 

  • User submits data to Archivematica in the form of Submission Information Packages (SIPs)
  • From the SIPs, Archivematica creates Archival Information Packages (AIPs) for the long term preservation of data.
  • Archivematica stores (and backs up) AIPs
  • Archivematica creates Dissemination Information Packages (DIPs) to export content to populate an archival access system, such as Access to Memory (AtoM), Archive Space, Figleaf etc.

Ensuring Access

As mentioned earlier, another priority of the project was to make a selected range of images from the archive available for public consumption through a public archive hosted on a web-based platform. Increasingly users of archives wish to be able to actively interact with collections and desire wider access (Fossati 2009), challenges which digital access and display offers potential solutions to.  For this process we are opting for the web-based access platform Access to Memory (AtoM).  

Like Archivematica, AtoM is open source – it is free to use, free to share and free to develop. All documentation is freely available online. This is complemented by a supportive community of users, who communicate and solve problems using a google mailing list, as well as by congregating in person at the UK User Group’s meetings, which are attended by a number of archivists and librarians from prestigious UK universities.

AtoM supports the use of a choice of widely agreed-upon archival standards for describing archival objects. This enables digital images to be presented along with explanatory context, or metadata, crucial to its understanding. Using archival descriptive standards also means there is the potential for us to link the material to larger aggregators of archival holdings, and material on our access page could be discovered by people using archival search portals such as Archives Hub.

Crucially, AtoM is also integrated into Archivematica – the two systems were developed by the same company and are configured to ‘speak’ to one another.  Archivematica produces Dissemination Information Packages (DIPs) that can populate AtoM with images, video and metadata. 

We also liked how AtoM can be customised according to the diverse needs of different organisations and audiences. We aim to hold workshops in Lagos to ask for feedback from Nigerians as to how they think material should be described and presented to the public, and we will attempt to customise our AtoM page accordingly. Rather than projecting our own assumptions on the material by presenting it in certain ways, we are eager to have this determined by local knowledge and needs, as well as local technological landscapes (see below). Moreover, Atom features multi-lingual support, with the potential to add translations, making the material relevant to different audiences. Our aspiration is for the public side of the archive to be a resource for Nigerian citizens, artists and researchers. 

We are inspired by the wide range of institutions that have used and customised AtoM in creative and innovative ways to present visual context, ranging from the Glasgow School of Arts to The Chinese Canadian Artefacts Project. We are currently exploring and brainstorming ways of customising AtoM. 

Local technological landscapes 

One of the considerations we need to bear in mind when customising our web-based access system is the local technological landscapes used by our primary audience: Nigerians. Digital technology has been harnessed by Nigerian artists and citizens to make political critiques, and has afforded Nigerians with new strategic opportunities to produce and circulate indigenous knowledge within global flows of information. Many Nigerians primarily access the internet using smartphones. Thus we need to consider designing our web-based access system in ways which are suitable for mobile browsers.  Additionally, to align with the UN Sustainability Development Goals, we are keen to ensure that access to this archive for educational purposes is designed for Nigerian users and their specific technological landscape, in order for it to have the greatest impact in Nigeria (and other African countries). Therefore, we also need to ensure that our website is accessible to users whose bandwidth may be limited and for whom mobile data is a significant expense. This might involve customising file normalisation in Archivematica in order to produce lower resolution image and video files for access purposes, which will load much quicker for users with slower internet connections or limited data. 

We are still in a development phase and will be researching the local technological landscape in Nigeria further, as well as soliciting advice from Nigerians as to the form our access system should take. 

In the meantime we wanted to take this opportunity to share our experiences, and hope to forge new relations with academics that may also be considering approaches to digital archiving. We hope to see our research extending to considering a range of formats and elements that may contribute to the generation of digital still or moving images and that sit within a more complex pipelines such as those in CGI for example, and the implications of this to archival practices.

Therefore, any feedback from readers of this blogpost is of course welcome – please contact 

PI Dr. Paula Callus – pcallus@bournemouth.ac.uk

CoI Dr. Charles Gore – cg2@soas.ac.uk

RA Dr. Malcolm Corrigall – mcorrigall@bournemouth.ac.uk

Bibliography

Agbo, George Emeka, (2018).  “The Struggle Complex: Facebook, Visual Critique and the tussle for Political Power in Nigeria” Cariers D’étude Africaines 230, pp.469-89.

CCDP, (2018). Collecting and Curating Digital Posters Handbook, https://ccdgp.co.uk/index.html.  

Dike, Deborah N. (2018), “Countering Political Narratives through Nairaland Meme Pictures” Cahiers D’étude Africaines 230: pp.493–512

Ernst, W. (2013), Digital Memory and the Archive, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Gere, C. (2006), Art, Time and Technology, Oxford: Berg Publishers.

Fossati, G. (2009), From Grain to Pixel, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Hern, A. (2019) “Myspace loses all content uploaded before 2016”, The Guardian, March 18.  https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/mar/18/myspace-loses-all-content-uploaded-before-2016 

Haskins, E. (2007), ‘Between Archive and Participation: Public Memory in a Digital Age’, in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Vol.37, pp. 401-422.

Huyssen A. (1994), Twilight Memories: Marking Time in a Culture of Amnesia, London p.253.

 

AHRC Peer Review College call for nominations

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is seeking nominations for new members to be appointed to its Peer Review College (PRC).

Peer review lies at the heart of the AHRC’s operations, and they are fully committed to the principle of peer review for the assessment of applications to our schemes and programmes. PRC members provide expert quality reviews of applications within their areas of expertise, which inform the AHRC’s decision making processes. Members can also be called upon to sit on assessment or moderation panels. As well as making an important contribution to the AHRC’s peer review processes, the experience gained by membership of the College provides benefits to individuals, departments and higher education institutions.

This is an open call for membership to the AHRC Peer Review College; nominees can also apply for membership to any of our individual colleges in addition to the Academic College. The Call for Nominations is open to any organisation that has eligible staff (including organisations from the charitable, third and private sector) and who can supply eligible nominators.

The nomination process must be centrally managed and supported by the institution (not the nominee), with all nominations being submitted by institutions rather than individual nominees.

Please refer to the PRC Recruitment 2019 Call Document (PDF, 282KB) and the FAQ Document (PDF, 182KB) for further information and application guidance. Whilst the deadline for nominations is 16:00 on 15 October 2019, the internal BU deadline is 8th October 2019. Nominees must create a Je-S account to complete the process and nominators must complete their case for support via the nominee. Once this is completed, Jo Garrad, RDS Funding Development Manager, will submit all nominations via the SmartSurvey, uploading one PDF document comprising of the CV, publication list (from the nominee), and Case for Support (from the nominator).

If you are considering applying to the AHRC peer review college than please make me (Jo Garrad) aware of your intentions by 25th September 2019. I will be happy to discuss this further with anyone who is interested in applying. Being an external peer reviewer comes with many benefits, such as networking with peers, direct contact with a funder, and visibility of world-leading research applications to name but a few.

If successful, College members will be appointed for one term (4 years) commencing 1 January 2020 and ending 31 December 2023.

New PRC members are required to attend an induction session. Induction training will run from January-March 2020 and invitations will be sent to successful nominees during December.

GCRF Collective Programme Pre- Call Announcements

WATCH THIS SPACE! The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Collective Programme calls will be announced shortly.  If you are interested or require support please contact Alexandra Pekalski or call on 01202 961204. You can also find deadlines, town meeting information and expected launch dates here

Applicants from all relevant disciplines are encouraged to apply for each call and proposals should be challenge-led and interdisciplinary in nature notwithstanding which council is leading. The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) GCRF Collective Programme is a series of calls designed to enhance the overall impact across the six strategic GCRF Challenge portfolios:

  • Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Education
  • Food Systems
  • Global Health
  • Resilience to Environmental Shocks and Change
  • Security Protracted Conflict, Refugee Crises and Forced Displacement

The programme is an interdisciplinary programme delivered by UK Research and Innovation and steered by the GCRF Challenge Leaders.

Please contact Alexandra Pekalski or call on 01202 961204 for further information and support.

Opportunity to Develop Bidding Skills

Mentoring relationships can take time to forge. We offer an opportunity to cultivate your expertise in developing research bids by joining a specific bidding team from the outset of its project.

Are you interested in learning more about how to go about applying for research funding, particularly larger Research Council bids? Would you like to gain experience by joining us in the process of developing, writing and submitting a large bid to the AHRC?

Are you intrigued by concepts such as student co-creation, generational issues and concerns, the use of media in learning and dissemination, social work, social psychology and narrative methods—all with teens?

We are looking for one or two academics with an interest in not only developing their expertise in grant writing, but also participating in a research and dissemination project involving Generation Z youth.  Working with experts with success in writing large grant proposals, you will engage in the process, from the very beginning through submission. You also will have the opportunity to develop a role that you might play in the project itself, when successful. Win-win, in other words.

Please see the outline article in the AHRC blog for more information on the proposed project. https://ahrc-blog.com/2018/04/09/how-ahrc-funded-film-rufus-stone-inspired-a-project-on-the-next-generation/

The team (so far) includes:

Kip Jones Qualitative Research and Performative Social Sci FHSS & FMC

Trevor Hearing Studio media production FMC

Lee-Ann Fenge Social Work and creative participation in research HSS

Michelle Cannon Senior Teaching Fellow in Media Arts Education UCL

Helen Walsh Dorset Space Youth Project CEO

Alexandra Pekalski and Eva Papadopoulou RKEO, BU

If this offer of mentorship in grant proposal writing seems interesting to you, please contact Kip Jones for an informal discussion. mailto:kipworld@gmail.com

Skam”, the Norwegian TV series about Oslo teenagers, has influenced our concept and will be used to engage local youth in telling their own stories.

AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers 2019 scheme launched

The Arts & Humanities Research Council and BBC Radio 3 are on the lookout for a new generation of arts and humanities broadcasters.

The New Generation Thinkers 2019 scheme has been launched with a call for entries.  Once again, ten academics will be given the chance to front engaging and innovative programmes on BBC Radio 3 and beyond, as well as working with the AHRC on public engagement opportunities.

Now in its ninth year, the scheme aims to cultivate talented, articulate academics into exceptional all-round communicators. It provides a variety of training opportunities and the chance to work with world-class broadcasters from across the BBC.

The 2019 New Generation Thinkers scheme is open now to early career researchers from all research backgrounds, provided their research is linked to one or more arts and humanities disciplines.

The ten chosen academics will be picked from a shortlist of 60 applicants who will all be given the chance to attend one of three workshops to develop their media skills and receive guidance from experienced BBC producers.

The final ten – selected by a panel of BBC programme makers – will then be given media training by the AHRC and the unique opportunity to develop a 15-minute programme based on their research for BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking, as well many other opportunities to appear on air.

For more information on the call – which is open until 4pm on, Thursday 4 October 2018 – and details of eligibility and how to apply please visit the New Generation Thinkers 2019 call page here.

Prestigious Prize to be awarded to BU Paralympic Project

Bournemouth University Faculty of Management colleagues Dr Emma Pullen and Professor Michael Silk, and Faculty of Media and Communication colleagues, Dr Dan Jackson and Dr Richard Scullion will be making headlines at the International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference (Sports Communication Division) in May 2018. They are being awarded the prestigious ICA best paper prize.

The paper is based on early findings from the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project (grant ref: AH/P003842/1) on the cultural legacy of the 2016 Rio Paralympics. It is the first study of its kind to explore the mediation of para-sport broadcasting by highlighting the production decisions taken by the UK’s official Paralympic Broadcaster and the impact on audience perceptions and attitudes toward disability. Alongside academic outputs, the findings will be also translated into a number of creative artworks and a documentary film available to the public toward the end of the project.

Keep up to date with our progress via our project website www.pasccal.com, twitter:@pasccalproject, and the BU research blog.

ECR Highlight Notice in the AHRC Leadership Fellowships scheme

RCUK has received funding through the National Productivity Investment Fund to develop a fellowship programme targeted at early career researchers (ECRs). These fellowships will be a step change in the support provided by the Research Councils to the research leaders of the future, enabling some of the UK’s most talented researchers to undertake major new innovation orientated, intellectual endeavours.

Applications of up to £250k (fEC) are invited through a highlight notice in the Leadership Fellows Scheme. The RCUK/UKRI Innovation Fellowships will allow ECRs to explore interdisciplinary research challenges and partnerships to the economic benefit of the UK.

For this highlight notice some of the eligibility of the Leadership Fellows Scheme has been waived and so it is important to read the FAQ and call documents before applying.

There are three thematic strands under which applications can be made

  1. Creative and Digital Economy Innovation Leadership Fellows
  2. Inter-disciplinary Interface Innovation Leadership Fellows
  3. Rutherford Fund Fellows- specifically aimed at non UK applicants.

Applicants should apply under the strand which most strongly reflects their research focus and their own circumstances.

For the Rutherford Fellows the proposed research will need to fall within the scope of one of the other strands (a or b).

Closing Dates

Closing Date: 31/05/2018

Applications to the highlight notice can be submitted no later than 4pm on Thursday 31st May 2018.  Applications will need to go through the appropriate institution submission process. Applications should be submitted using the Research Councils’ Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) System (https://jes.rcuk.ac.uk/).  If you are interested in applying, please inform your RKEO Funding Development Officer in the first instance.

How to make an application

To meet the aims of the UKRI Innovation Fellowship Scheme, there are some modifications to the standard AHRC Leadership Fellows (ECR route) scheme which applicants need to consider and these are outlined in the call document. All other requirements are as normal for early career AHRC Leadership Fellows, as specified in the AHRC Research Funding Guide.

Further Information

Contacts

Gillian Gray Portfolio Manager g.gray@ahrc.ac.uk

James Dracott Strategy and Development Manger j.dracott@ahrc.ac.uk

AHRC Next Generation Design Workshops – open for booking

Led by Professor Paul Rodgers, the AHRC’s Design Leadership Fellow, the Next Generation Design Research workshops have been created to help you to understand what funding the AHRC currently offers and how to best prepare your AHRC funding application.

On the day, there will be opportunities to meet with past and present AHRC design research award holders and network with other Early Career Researchers.
AHRC’s Next Generation Design Research workshops are half-day workshops that will explore the processes involved in applying for an AHRC grant. See below for upcoming workshops around the country.

 

Manchester

 

Manchester Metropolitan University

Lecture Theatre 5

Geoffrey Manton Building

Manchester

M15 6LL

Wed 31 January 2018

13:00 – 17:00 GMT

Book Now

Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh

Project Room 1.06

50 George Square

Edinburgh

EH8 9LH

Mon 12 February 2018

13:00 – 17:00 GMT

Book Now

Glasgow

 

The Art School

20 Scott Street

Glasgow

G3 6PE

Wed 14 February 2018

13:00 – 17:00 GMT

Book Now

Knowledge exchange between universities and the creative arts

New research was published this week titled ‘The Hidden Story: Understanding knowledge exchange partnerships with the creative economy’. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded the project, led by Kingston University in collaboration with University Alliance and four other institutions.

The research analyses institutional knowledge exchange data relevant to the Creative Industries from across the Alliance Universities. This is used as the basis for a new methodology for understanding the extent, nature and impact of universities’ knowledge exchange partnerships within England and Wales’ Creative Economy.

In addition to a dedicated website and the forty-page main report, there are briefings tailored to national, regional and university leaders, as well as those wishing to use the data taxonomy and evaluation tool.

REMINDER – Cross-Research Council Mental Health Network Plus call Meeting

Just a quick reminders…

We will be holding a networking event for BU academics who are interested in the Cross-Research Council Mental Health Network Plus call on 1st November 09:30-11:30 in PG140. It will be a chance to get like-minded people in one space to identify possible collaborations and differences.

No preparation is necessary for the meeting; however we would ask you to read the call guidance see here.

Refreshment will be provided, if you would like attend please contact Alexandra Pekalski or Lisa Gale Andrews.

AHRC report about arts and humanities research on mental health

A new report, Exploring Mental Health and Wellbeing, published by the Arts and Humanities Research Council highlights the important role that arts and humanities based research can play in helping to address complex issues around mental health.

The report brings to life a wealth of case studies that are contributing to the mental health debate. These include examining the work of academics at the University of Cambridge who are pioneering an innovative design of a personalised fragrance dispenser to help manage anxiety to a project being managed by the University of Essex to educate policy-makers on the issues surrounding impaired decision-making capacity.

Research around mental health is focused around developing a cross-disciplinary approach – and arts and humanities scholars have a key role to play. The AHRC has funded research in many different aspects of mental health research in recent years, with an investment of over £10m in seventy-six projects since 2010.

The new cross-disciplinary mental health research agenda sees the UK’s seven research councils joining forces to collaborate on mental health research. Published in August this year, the agenda paves the way for cross-council collaboration on mental health, highlighting the importance of including the arts and humanities in this area of research.

AHRC Heritage launched to enhance UK heritage research

The AHRC have officially launched AHRC Heritage Research, a priority area established to enhance heritage research across the UK, at a three-day conference in London.

The AHRC Heritage Research team – led by Professor Rodney Harrison at University College London – will raise the profile of the heritage sector and provide leadership by working with the research community and partner organisations, in particular helping early career researchers to access opportunities.

Professor Harrison will  make important contributions to the understanding of heritage by connecting both natural and cultural heritage research and linking it with policy and practice in the UK and internationally.

The AHRC identified heritage as one of three priority areas because of the profound difference it makes to society.  A workshop held last Friday focused on how heritage research may help address challenges faced by developing countries as part of the Global Challenges Research Fund.

For more details on AHRC heritage visit: www.heritage-research.org. You can follow them on Twitter using the @AhrcHeritage handle

AHRC-MRC Global Public Health: Global Challenge Research Fund Partnership Awards Call 2

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) offers a unique opportunity for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the MRC to launch a global public health initiative that responds to the challenge of bringing together expertise in medical science and health interventions in developing countries, with arts and humanities research bringing an understanding of local knowledge and history, cultural and historical contexts and dynamics, community engagement, and trust.

The aim of this activity is to build inter-disciplinary research capacity and capability and to support research innovation across the MRC and AHRC communities. Successful applications will build and strengthen UK and international research collaboration and partnerships for global public health benefit. In order not to limit the potential for inter-disciplinary innovation under this call the call is open to proposals addressing any global public health issue affecting low and middle income countries.

The total funding available for this call from MRC and AHRC is £2million

Closing Date: 26/10/2017

For further details, please click here

JPICH Heritage in Changing Environments pre-call announcement

The Joint Programming Initiative in Cultural Heritage and Global Change is pleased to announce a new funding opportunity for transnational proposals. The Heritage in Changing Environments call will support the development of new, research-based ideas and knowledge in response to the rapidly and widely changing context with which heritage and heritage practice is faced. It invites research projects that help cultural heritage to meet societal challenges and contribute to the development of society. The call aims to fund excellent research that is collaborative, transnational, interdisciplinary and innovative. The total budget for the call for transnational projects is approximately 4.5 million Euros.

Detailed Eligibility Requirements for each country are published alongside the Heritage in Changing Environments Call for Proposals on the JPICH website.

The Call for Proposals will open on 4 September 2017 and the deadline for submission of proposals will be 30 November 2017, 14:00 CET.

Topics for the Changing Environment joint call

Three broad categories of the changing environments of heritage are addressed in this call:

  1. changing (physical) environments
  2. changing social and economic environments
  3. changing political and cultural environments.

Projects funded through this call will use cultural heritage to address global challenges such as:

  • the impacts of climate change
  • environmental deterioration
  • migration
  • demographic and social change
  • diasporic change
  • urbanisation and de-ruralisation
  • economic inequity
  • changing perceptions and sustainability.

Further details can be found in the JPICH Heritage in Changing Environments pre-call announcement. (PDF, 110KB) Full details of the call will be available through the AHRC funding pages and the JPICH website on the 4 September 2017.