Additional Information Overview
Access to Research Outputs
If one of the proposed outputs is a journal article then the applicant must ensure that he/she complies with RCUK policy on Access to Research Outputs.
For a proposal to be eligible to be submitted to the AHRC, the majority of the research (that is the main focus of its research questions/problems) must lie within the arts and humanities. For proposals that cross Research Council boundaries, the Research Councils have put in place an agreement: Applications across Research Council remits.
You are required to classify your proposal as part of the Je-S application process. This activity serves partly as a confirmation that the proposal sits within the remit but more importantly as a tool to both help identify the most appropriate peer reviewers to assess the proposal and to determine the panel to which the proposal is directed. It is therefore very important to complete this section accurately.
In submitting the proposal, you are asked to consider all three elements of classification and select the attributes appropriate to their proposal: research areas, qualifiers, and free-text keywords.
This provides you the opportunity to identify between one and five Research Areas that reflect the subject focus of the research and research questions of your proposal.
You will be required to identify one of these as the proposal’s 'Primary Research Area'. The Research Areas used will be a combination of Level 1 and Level 2 classifications, with Level 1 being a broader definition of the area and Level 2 adding a more specific level definition.
This provides the opportunity to provide further specific detail on nature of the proposal, such as time period, approach, or geographical focus.
This provides the opportunity for you to provide more specific details of the focus of the research question and should be additional and complementary to the selection of Research Area(s).
The choice of appropriate keywords is a crucial in assisting the AHRC to identify suitable peer reviewers.
AHRC and ESRC shared interests
The following is a list of some of the main areas of study where the AHRC and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) share interests and responsibilities.
AHRC supports research that is concerned with the culture, history, language and religion of specific regions. ESRC supports research that is concerned with the society, economy, politics and human geography of specific regions.
AHRC supports research that seeks to understand communications, culture and media through the study of phenomena such as the visual arts, film and television, history, language, literature and performance. ESRC supports research that approaches communications, culture and media through the study of sociology, social theory, social anthropology, politics and economics. Note that there is also an important interface between AHRC, ESRC and EPSRC in this area where proposed research projects include a significant engagement with, or advancement of, communication technologies. In the case of relevant research applications, the AHRC and/or ESRC will liaise with EPSRC when consulting reviewers and making funding decisions.
AHRC supports historical, comparative and empirical research that addresses questions of human value in creativity and culture, including both the individual and collective experience of creativity and culture. AHRC also supports research in museum studies. ESRC supports research into the psychological processes involved in creativity and the social and economic influences on and consequent impacts of creativity and culture, and public policy and management in this area.
ESRC is the primary funding body for educational research across all subjects, including the arts and humanities. AHRC supports research where the imperative for the research questions resides in the arts and humanities, but there may be an educational element. Examples include research into the history of education, children's literature, creative art and performance in (but not for) educational environments, religious teaching and scholarship, and the role of education in librarianship and museums practice.
AHRC supports research that is concerned with sex and gender as they relate to the creative and performing arts, language, law, literature, religion and history of all periods. ESRC supports research that is concerned with sex and gender as they relate to society, the economy and politics.
ESRC is the primary funding body for human geography; but AHRC also supports research in cultural geography. This includes research into the interpretation of the cultural landscape; cultural constructions of nature and environment; creative and imaginative aspects of geographical thought and practice; and relationships between space, place and cultural identity.
AHRC supports historical research covering all periods of history from ancient times to modern, and in all parts of the world. AHRC takes modern history to end in the late twentieth century. Applicants whose research focuses primarily on the last two decades of that century will need to show in their proposal how and why their focus is indeed predominantly historical, for example how the study will focus on change over a defined period of time or will make predominant use of historical modes of analysis. ESRC supports historical research that seeks to understand the development of social and economic arrangements over time and applies social and economic theories. Research focusing on contemporary or near-contemporary social, political, economic or geographical themes should normally be directed to the ESRC.
ESRC is the primary funding body for international relations, but AHRC supports research that is concerned with the relationship between international relations and the culture, history, language and religion of specific countries and regions.
AHRC supports research into the practice and techniques of information and knowledge management as they relate to librarianship, archives and records management, information science and information systems, storage and retrieval, and professional practice in journalism and the media. AHRC also supports research into information use and users in specific organisational environments. ESRC supports research into the broader socio-economic context of information use and policy, information flows within and between organisations, and the shaping, use and potential of information and communication technologies. The ESRC also supports research on knowledge management and on forms and structures of knowledge, as they relate to the wider socio-economic context. Note that there is also an important interface between AHRC, ESRC and EPSRC in this area where proposed research projects include a significant engagement with, or advancement of, technologies dealing with information management. In the case of relevant research applications, AHRC and/or ESRC will liaise with EPSRC when consulting reviewers and making funding decisions.
AHRC supports research into the structure, history, theory and description of language and languages. This includes the development and exploration of theories of language, the elucidation of the historical development of languages and the production of descriptions of languages or features of languages. ESRC supports research in areas of computational linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and interdisciplinary social science research involving linguistics. Both Councils also fund research into phonetics and applied linguistics relating to the areas for which they are responsible.
AHRC supports research into the content, procedures, theory, philosophy and history of the law. This includes studies of legal systems and legislation in all periods of history and in all parts of the world. ESRC supports socio-legal studies, which are concerned with the social, political and economic influences on and impact of the law and the legal system.
AHRC supports research in philosophy, covering all topics, methods and periods. This includes research into ethical theory and applied ethics, for example bio-ethics, professional ethics and environmental ethics. ESRC supports research into the social political and economic influences on and effects of ethical positions of institutions and individuals.
AHRC supports research into religions and belief systems of all kinds, in all periods of history and in all parts of the world. This includes research into the ethics of religions and belief systems, and their application in socio-economic, scientific and technological contexts. ESRC supports research that is concerned with the social and economic influences on and the impacts of religious beliefs and groups.
ESRC is the primary funding body for research on innovation and the interdisciplinary study of science, technology and society. AHRC supports research into the history, law and philosophy of science, technology and medicine, as well as their interface with religion. AHRC also supports research into the interpretation and representation of, and engagement with, science, technology and medicine through art, literature, performance, museums, galleries, libraries and archives.
ESRC is the primary funding body for social anthropology, but the AHRC also supports anthropological research where the research questions and methods are significantly concerned with arts and humanities phenomena and critical, historical and practice-led approaches. This includes studies of archaeology, history, language, law, literature, the creative and performing arts and religion.
Societal and Economic Impact
Research Councils' Statement on Societal and Economic Impact
The statement below ('Demonstrating potential impact') has been agreed across the Research Councils to provide a clear statement on their role in enhancing the economic and social wellbeing and of their expectations of those who receive Research Council funding in terms of fostering societal and economic impact.
It also provides the context, objective and rationale behind the Impact Summary and Pathways to Impact requirements on the standard grants application form. These sections require applicants to consider, as appropriate given the nature of their research, the possible societal and economic impacts of the research, the potential beneficiaries beyond academia and the mechanisms through which they will be engaged.
Excellent research without obvious or immediate impact will continued to be funded by the Research Councils and will not be disadvantaged as a result of these changes.
Demonstrating potential impact
The excellent research funded by the UK Research Councils has a huge impact on the wellbeing and economy of the UK.
Working together with our communities and other partners, we want to ensure that these impacts are effectively demonstrated and supported throughout the research lifecycle and beyond. This will add value, stimulate interest from wider stakeholders - including the general public - and, where needed, actively highlight the need for continued investment in the research base.
The onus rests with applicants to demonstrate how they will achieve this excellence with impact, bearing in mind that impacts can take many forms and be promoted in different ways.
The Research Councils describe impact as the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy. Impact embraces all the extremely diverse ways in which research-related knowledge and skills benefit individuals, organisations and nations by:
- fostering global economic performance, and specifically the economic competitiveness of the United Kingdom
- increasing the effectiveness of public services and policy, and
- enhancing quality of life, health and creative output.
This accords with the Royal Charters of the Councils and with HM Treasury guidance on the appraisal of economic impact.
The AHRC is committed to the principles below, as articulated in the RCUK Expectations for Societal and Economic Impact (PDF).
The Research Councils give their funding recipients considerable flexibility and autonomy in the delivery of their research, postgraduate training, and knowledge transfer activities. This flexibility and autonomy encompasses project definition, management, collaboration, participation, promotion, and the dissemination of research outputs; this approach enables excellence with impact.
In return, the Research Councils expect those who receive funding to:
- demonstrate an awareness of the wider environment and context in which their research takes place
- demonstrate an awareness of the social and ethical implications of their research, beyond usual research conduct considerations, and take account of public attitudes towards those issues
- engage actively with the public at both the local and national levels about their research and its broader implications
- identify potential benefits and beneficiaries from the outset, and through the full life cycle of the project(s)
- maintain professional networks that extend beyond their own discipline and research community
- publish results widely – considering the academics, user and public audiences for research outcomes
- exploit results where appropriate, in order to secure social and economic return to the UK
- manage collaborations professionally, in order to secure maximum impact without restricting the future progression of research
- ensure that research staff and students develop research, vocational and entrepreneurial skills that are matched to the demands of their future career paths
- take responsibility for the duration, management and exploitation of data for future use
- work in partnership with the Research Councils for the benefit of the UK.
The expectations clarify the position of the Research Councils with respect to impact, rather than introducing a new approach. Many of these expectations are already incorporated into Research Council processes and guidance, for example exploitation is addressed within grant terms and conditions, and continuing professional development through the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.
The AHRC recognises that not all research will have direct impacts, but aims to encourage researchers to maximise potential impacts where they occur. We have introduced the Impact Summary and Pathways to Impact attachment to encourage researchers to think about the potential impacts and beneficiaries of their work at the planning stage and the possible pathways through which impacts might be achieved. In doing so we expect applicants to consider what is reasonable and expected for research of the nature they are proposing.
The nature of your research may mean that identifying potential impacts or beneficiaries outside academia is not straightforward at the time of application. Where this is the case you should explain the reasons in your Impact Summary. The amount of information provided in the Pathways to Impact will therefore depend on the nature of the project, but you must complete this and the other sections in order to submit your application. Excellent research without obvious or immediate impact will continue to be funded by the AHRC and will not be disadvantaged as a result of the introduction of these sections to applications.