Tagged / AHRC

Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge

Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge is the first application of its kind to transport users around a virtual prehistoric landscape, exploring the magnificent and internationally important monument, Stonehenge.

The application was developed by Bournemouth University archaeologists, using new field data gathered during their work with colleagues from the universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol, Southampton and London as part of the Stonehenge Riverside Project.  Google Under-the-Earth works by adding layers of archaeological information to Google Earth technology.Snapshot of the 360 degree view from the Stone Circle

The unique visual experience lets users interact with the past like never before. Highlights include taking a visit to the Neolithic village of Durrington Walls, a trip inside a prehistoric house and the opportunity to see reconstructions of Bluestonehenge at the end of the Stonehenge Avenue and of the great timber monument called the Southern Circle, as they would have looked more than four thousand years ago.

 

The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Google Research Awards, a program which fosters relationships between Google and the academic world as Google fulfils its mission to ‘organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’

But this fabulous educational and cultural tool does not end with Stonehenge. Archaeological scientist Dr Kate Welham, project leader at Bournemouth University, explained that it is the start of something much bigger.

“It is envisaged that Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge could be the start of a new layer in Google Earth. Many of the world’s great archaeological sites could be added, incorporating details of centuries’ worth of excavations as well as technical data from geophysical and remote sensing surveys in the last 20 years,” she said.

Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust Archaeologist for Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site, said: “The National Trust cares for over 2000 acres of the Stonehenge Landscape. Seeing Beneath Stonehenge offers exciting and innovative ways for people to explore that landscape. It will allow people across the globe, many of whom may never otherwise have the chance to visit the sites, to share in the thrill of the discoveries made by the Stonehenge Riverside team and to appreciate the remarkable achievements of the people who built and used the monuments.”

You can download the application from the Google Under-the-Earth: Seeing Beneath Stonehenge site. The tool is easy to use and requires Google Earth to be installed on your computer.

Life as an AHRC Panel Reviewer

AHRC

At the moment the Arts and Humanities Research Council are recruiting new members for their review panels. I have been member of the review college (as it’s grandly called) for just over two years have reviewed many bids in that time. Like Dr. Richard Shipway of the School of Tourism – who has recently posted about his experiences reviewing for the ESRC – I’ve found it to be a surprisingly enjoyable experience.

I get around 4-5 bids to review a year. It is all done online – although you can save and print all of the documents as PDFs if you want. I’ve looked at all sorts of bids, submitted by all sorts of academics, at varying stages of their career. Sometimes I have heard of the researcher, sometimes not. Sometimes I know a great deal about the proposed topic, sometimes not so much. That’s OK, because you can evaluate your own expertise in commenting on a proposal when reviewing the bid – this is great if you’re not entirely comfortable.

So, you get to see what other people are bidding for, and for what. The review process then directly informs your own bidding activity. The training for reviewers – at Polaris House in Swindon – is excellent, and the regular sessions are a further opportunity to meet other academics from all over the UK. The most useful thing though is to read and discuss same successful and unsuccessful bids with other reviewers, panel chairs and AHRC staff.

Being a reviewer gives me a great insight into the ways in which a successful research proposal can be crafted. It’s like being at the other end of the ‘pipe’ because on one hand I’m putting together bids with my colleagues here at BU, and then I’m very often reading the submissions at the same time. Right now I have a proposal sitting in my inbox waiting to be reviewed, alongside an almost complete proposal I’m working on with a colleague at the University of Wolverhampton, which we will be submitting to the AHRC very soon.

For me, this dialog between the two processes (reviewing and writing) has been invaluable, and has certainly improved the practice of putting together research bids. It’s also shaped my thinking a lot more strategically in terms of what to go for, and who to work with.

There is still time to put yourself forward as an AHRC reviewer and I would highly recommend it.

If you’re interested in being nominated as a reviewer for the AHRC then read how to do so here: AHRC Still Seeking Nominations for Peer Reviewers

RCUK Demand Management week on the blog! AHRC and demand management

Welcome to RCUK Demand Management week on the blog! Today’s focus is on the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and their views on, and actions around, demand management. The AHRC’s current approach is to develop good practice guidelines for institutions (such as good practice in internal peer review and setting up an internal institutional triage system whereby only the best applications are submitted to Research Councils). However, along with the other Research Councils, the AHRC are keen to reduce the number of applications by implementing demand management procedures.

What are the AHRC’s future plans for demand management? – The AHRC’s Delivery Plan for 2011 – 2015 identifies demand management as a key aim of the AHRC, with a view to implementing procedures that will ensure that resource is used to maximum advantage for researchers, HEIs and the AHRC. The AHRC will disseminate information on application success rates and then enter into strategic discussions with HEIs falling below the average to develop ‘self-management of demand’ (p21). If this is ineffective, AHRC will introduce sanctions (e.g. institutional quotas). The AHRC’s approach to demand management will also use more targeted schemes to include longer and larger awards with greater use of the Expression of Interest phase, and an increase in the number of ‘sandpit’ style workshops to limit the number of applications on specific schemes to those which have been invited.

Will sanctions be introduced for repeatedly unsuccessful applicants? – The AHRC only plan to introduce sanctions as a last resort however they will be monitoring success rates as the basis for strategic discussions with institutions and introducing sanctions if deemed necessary.

I am interested in applying to the AHRC. How can I make sure my application stands the best chance of being funded? – BU has established an internal peer review scheme (Research Proposal Review Service) which has been up and running in its current form for almost 12 months now. The scheme is managed by Caroline O’Kane and a whopping 21 proposals have been reviewed since July. If you are submitting an bid to EPSRC then I strongly encourage you to work with Caroline through the RPRS. You can also check the Blog to see what proposal writing sessions are running at BU. For example, on 23 and 24 November Dr Martin Pickard will be visiting BU to run sessions specifically focusing on writing and preparing applications for Research Council funding – read more and book a place here. Martin’s sessions are excellent and always well received, and I would encourage anyone considering applying for research funding to attend.

AHRC still seeking nominations for peer reviewers – excellent opportunity!

The AHRC are still seeking nominations for new members to be appointed to its Peer Review College (PRC) who would be able to assess proposals submitted under AHRC’s research themes. In parallel they wish to increase the capacity of the College in specific research areas.

Peer review lies at the heart of the AHRC’s operations, and they remain fully committed to the principle of peer review for the assessment of proposals to their schemes and programmes. PRC members provide expert quality reviews of proposals within their areas of expertise, which inform the AHRC’s decision making processes. As well as making an important contribution to the AHRC’s peer review processes, the experience gained by membership of the College also provides benefits to individuals, departments and higher education institutions.

BU is actively encouraging all research-active staff in relevant areas to consider putting themselves forward as peer reviewers. Being part of a peer review college for a prestigious funding body such as the AHRC has a number of significant benefits, such as:

  • it will help to raise your profile
  • it is a useful way of getting an insight into how the funder works
  • it will help you to keep abreast of what work is currently being done in your discipline, thus ensuring your teaching and research are cutting edge
  • you will gain an understanding of what it takes for an application to get funded
  • you will be in a stronger position to mentor and help your colleagues with regard to internal peer review and bid writing

BU’s Dr Richard Shipway is a peer reviewer for the ESRC and recently wrote an excellent blog post on the benefits of being a peer reviewer. You can read Richard’s post here.

Further details of the call for nominations are available on the AHRC website, available here.

Applications are sought from academics at all stages of their career and, if chosen, you will serve a four year term. Candidates must be nominated by a senior academic within the University. If you want to be nominated then send your CV to me by Friday 9 December and I will liaise with Matthew Bennett,  who will put forward nominations on behalf of BU.

The AHRC are seeking nominations for peer reviewers

The AHRC are seeking nominations for new members to be appointed to its Peer Review College (PRC) who would be able to assess proposals submitted under AHRC’s research themes. In parallel they wish to increase the capacity of the College in specific research areas.

Peer review lies at the heart of the AHRC’s operations, and they remain fully committed to the principle of peer review for the assessment of proposals to their schemes and programmes. PRC members provide expert quality reviews of proposals within their areas of expertise, which inform the AHRC’s decision making processes. As well as making an important contribution to the AHRC’s peer review processes, the experience gained by membership of the College also provides benefits to individuals, departments and higher education institutions.

We are actively encouraging all research-active staff in relevant areas to consider putting themselves forward as peer reviewers. Being part of a peer review college for a prestigious funding body such as the AHRC has a number of significant benefits, such as:

  • it will help to raise your profile
  • it is a useful way of getting an insight into how the funder works
  • it will help you to keep abreast of what work is currently being done in your discipline, thus ensuring your teaching and research are cutting edge
  • you will gain an understanding of what it takes for an application to get funded
  • you will be in a stronger position to mentor and help your colleagues with regard to internal peer review and bid writing

BU’s Dr Richard Shipway is a peer reviewer for the ESRC and recently wrote an excellent blog post on the benefits of being a peer reviewer. You can read Richard’s post here.

Further details of the call for nominations are available on the AHRC website, available here.

Applications are sought from academics at all stages of their career and, if chosen, you will serve a four year term. Candidates must be nominated by a senior academic within the University. If you want to be nominated then send your CV to me and I will liaise with Matthew Bennett,  who will put forward nominations on behalf of BU.

AHRC survey on International Collaboration

The AHRC is currently carrying out a survey to gather vital information about International collaborations in order gain a greater understanding. The 10 minute survey provides an opportunity to inform the AHRC of your experience in International collaboration and feed into the on-going development of the AHRC’s international activities- including  FP7 participation.  The deadline for submission is 10th July 2011.

AHRC members resign over Big Society

Members of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Peer Review College have resigned over the council’s continued refusal to remove references to the government’s Big Society slogan from its delivery plan.

Maria Manuel Lisboa, a professor of Portuguese literature and culture at the University of Cambridge, told Research Fortnight Today that she resigned a few weeks ago after receiving no response to a letter of complaint to the council.  She described it as “completely unacceptable” that a research council has direct references to a party-political slogan in its delivery plan.

According to an article in The Guardian on 19 June, some 30 academics are planning to resign in the next two weeks. Manuel Lisboa, however, said she was not aware of an organised mass resignation and that her decision was a personal choice. 

In a statement sent to Research Fortnight Today, a spokesperson for the AHRC said the council is not contemplating removing big society from its delivery plan:  “We have over 1,200 members in our peer review college across all the arts and humanities disciplines. Since the initial petition against the inclusion of Big Society in the AHRC delivery plan appeared at the beginning of April only 2 academics have resigned from the peer review college, and they resigned very early on in the process,” he said.

The full story can be accessed on Research Professional

AHRC seeking opinions on international collaboration

AHRC logoThe Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) are currently carrying out a survey to gather vital information about International collaborations. The survey will allow the AHRC to gain a greater understanding of existing International partnerships, and gain input from the Arts and Humanities’ research community on where further links may need to be developed.

This is your opportunity to inform the AHRC of your experience in International collaboration and feed into the on-going development of the AHRC’s international activities.

This survey is aimed at UK based researchers eligible for AHRC funding, and will take no more than 10 minutes to complete. The deadline for submission is 10th July 2011.

All responses will be greatly appreciated, and will be used to inform the continuing development of the AHRC’s International activities and opportunities.

Please click here to undertake the survey.

AHRC to hold four broadcast media training events in July and September 2011

Following on from the recent AHRC/Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers pilot scheme and the over-subscribed AHRC Broadcast Media workshops , the AHRC will be running four further broadcast media training events across the UK in July and September 2011.

These events will allow early career researchers in the arts and humanities to benefit from a day of radio/broadcast training.  

Each workshop will be led by at least three production and editorial staff from national broadcasters, including Radio Five.

Each day-long workshop will consist of:

· an introduction to programme-making;

· what you need to do to become the expert that programme producers will value;

· best practice tips based on experiences of academics already successful in broadcast media;

· developing and pitching your programme idea based on your research

· one to one sessions with a broadcaster for those who want detailed feedback on their programme idea.

With each workshop having only forty spaces available we will be allocating those spaces to the first forty people to email applying for a space. The four workshops will take place as follows:

1 – London July 8th

2 – Northumbria University July 11th

3 – London September 16th

4 – Manchester Metropolitan University September 19th

To apply to attend one of these workshops you need to email Jake Gilmore (j.gilmore@ahrc.ac.uk) and put your preferred venue and date in the subject line e.g. London July 8th.

Opportunity for Placement Fellowships with the AHRC and ESRC

ESRC logo

As part of their Placement Fellowship Scheme the AHRC and ESRC welcomes applications from academics interested in working in a research capacity with the British Council. The scheme encourages arts and humanities researchers to spend time within a partner organisation to undertake policy relevant research and to develop the research skills of partner employees.

Placement fellowships are available with 1) British Council, 2) Museums Association and 3) Welsh Government. Donwload the call information and guidelines here:

BRITISH COUNCIL

MUSEUMS ASSOCIATION

Welsh Government 1

Welsh Government 2

Welsh Government 3

Welsh Government 4

The deadline is 28 June 2011.

If you are interested in submitting a bid then please contact the CRE Operations team who will guide you through the submission process.

its official – the arts & humanities make a significant contribution to the UK economy

New research shows that the arts and humanities make a significant contribution to the UK economy in part thanks to researchers being so highly connected with UK businesses. Commissioned by the AHRC and undertaken by the Centre for Business Research (CBR) at the University of Cambridge the report, Hidden Connections: Knowledge exchange between the arts and humanities and the private, public and third sectors, has surveyed over 3500 academics in the Arts and Humanities as well as over 2,500 businesses in all sectors of the UK economy as part of the study.

Notes from AHRC, ESRC & BA on challenges and opportunities for the arts and humanities and social sciences in the current economic climate

 

BU’s Kate Welham and Richard Shipway attended a meeting jointly hosted by the AHRC, British Academy and the ESRC aimed at discussing the challenges and opportunities for the arts and humanities and social sciences in the current economic climate. The focus of the event included presentations from the three Chief Executives of the respective research bodies who outlined their amended research agendas and current strategic funding priorities. Notes from the day can be found here: Arts Humanities & Social Sciences Meeting Event

AHRC Peer Review College members launch petition to end Big Society funding

An online petition calling on the AHRC to remove Big Society research from its delivery plan has attracted more than 1600 signatures. The petition was created by members of the AHRC Peer Review College after an Observer newspaper article in which  Cambridge historian Peter Mandler was quoted as saying that the AHRC had been pressured by officials to study the Big Society as a condition of its funding settlement.

Yesterday, the AHRC issued a statement denying the allegations and arguing it had been working on a programme called Connected Communities for two years before the Conservative party’s decision to make Big Society one of its election campaign slogans.

Academic fury over order to study the Big Society: Researchers ‘over a barrel’ after coalition threat to cut £100m grant from AHRC

“Academics will study the “big society” as a priority, following a deal with the government to secure funding from cuts. AHRC logoThe Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) will spend a “significant” amount of its funding on the prime minister’s vision for the country, after a government “clarification” of the Haldane principle – a convention that for 90 years has protected the right of academics to decide where research funds should be spent.”

This article from the Guardian can be read in full here.

Read further views on this story on Research Professional.

What do you think of this? Let us know by commenting on this post!