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International Placement Scheme

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 2020 International Placement Scheme call is now closed

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:

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:Visit the Harry Ransom Center website about the IPS scheme.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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: NIHU publishes an annual guide to its institutions and activities: this provides you with information about the purpose and functions of NIHU and what the individual institutes do.

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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.

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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

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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.

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National Museum Institute, New Delhi, India

The National Museum Institute of the History of Art, Conservation and Museology was formed and registered on 27 January 1989 under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and was accorded the status of 'Deemed to be University' on 28 April 1989. Since its inception, the Institute has been one of the leading centres in the country for training and research in the field of art and cultural heritage. The Institute is situated within the premise of the National Museum with an objective that students can have direct exposure to the masterpieces of art and cultural heritage and have easy access to the facilities of the National Museum such as its laboratory, library, storage/reserve collection and technical support sections for a holistic learning.

IPS fellows based at NMI will have full access to all projects NMI is working on alongside the following;

In addition all of the above, NMI will facilitate obtaining access to any state level Museums and libraries that the UK fellows might want to visit. However, this is contingent upon NMI getting due approvals and permission, which will not always be guaranteed.

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