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Opportunity for a Programme Director for Towards a National Collection: Opening UK Heritage to the world

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The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is seeking to appoint a Programme Director to lead its five-year multimillion-pound research programme Towards a National Collection: Opening UK Heritage to the World.

Towards a National Collection: Opening UK Heritage to the World will take the first steps towards creating a unified virtual ‘national collection’. This multimillion-pound five-year research programme, funded by UKRI and led by AHRC, will support up to eight two-year foundational collaborative projects and up to five large-scale discovery research projects (up to £3 million each over three and a half years), each of which will involve collaborations between UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and AHRC’s Independent Research Organizations (IROs). The latter include some of the world’s most celebrated galleries, libraries, archives and museums. The programme aims to have a transformative impact on:

  • Digital search and cataloguing tools for collections, and related technologies and methodologies
  • Research capability: through enhanced researcher access and new cross-collection search tools, researchers will be able to exploit the potential of the nation’s research assets in innovative ways, addressing radically new research questions and thereby maintaining UK global leadership in inter-disciplinary research
  • Public access to and engagement with heritage: the programme will generate research-driven public-facing outputs, including major new exhibitions and immersive installations; extend public access beyond collections’ physical location, nationally and internationally; and facilitate wider and better-informed public engagement.

You will be:

  • either based at a UK Higher Education Institution or a UKRI-recognised Independent Research Organisation
  • able to demonstrate an outstanding track record of delivering large multi-million pound or other significant programmes of activity
  • able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the current landscape within galleries, libraries, archives and museums, and the wider heritage sector.

For full details of the role and the skills, knowledge and experience we are looking for, please see the full Directors Specification Document (PDF, 189KB).

Closing Dates

Closing Date: 24/10/2019

How to make an application

To apply please ensure you read the requirements detailed in the person specification and email the required documents to karen.buchanan@ahrc.ukri.org by 16:00 on 24 October 2019.

Interviews anticipated the week commencing 11 November 2019.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council value diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

Further Information

  • Funding limit: up to £1.6 million (to include salary, support staff, and related expenses for running the programme)
  • Length of post: 5 years from January 2020 or as soon thereafter
  • Minimum 0.6FTE to 1FTE
  • For full details see the specification document above


Karen Buchanan, Strategy and Development Manager – Heritage

Email: karen.buchanan@ahrc.ukri.org

Telephone (Monday to Wednesday only): 01793 416032

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