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AHRC launches a dialogue with the arts and humanities technical specialists

Date: 18/03/2020

The Art and Humanities Research Council would like to understand more about the community of research technical professionals supporting the arts and humanities.  We want to engage with these highly skilled individuals who play a crucial role in delivering research outputs and impacts and developing new methodologies.

Following UKRI’s signing of the Technician Commitment, AHRC is undertaking a broad consultation with its research technical professionals community to better understand the multiple roles and contributions made by technical specialists to arts and humanities research.

Defining ‘technicians specialists’ within the arts and humanities context

In July 2017 Research Councils UK (predecessor of UKRI) issued a ‘Statement of expectations for technology/skills specialists’.

This document describes technology/skills specialists as those who ‘maintain and develop new and improved approaches to implement technologies and methodologies to better address research questions. Technology / skills specialists have specialist knowledge and expertise and they often work as part of co-ordinated teams spanning different disciplines and geographical centres, which work together to tackle contemporary research questions. May include, but not limited to: data scientists, data engineers, archivists, informaticians, statisticians, software developers, audio-visual technologists, technical professional staff and individuals staffing core facilities, across all disciplines’.

In this context AHRC is launching an external consultation to:

  1. Develop the list of examples in the above definition, currently used by UKRI, to include relevant examples of research technical professionals representing the arts and humanities landscape, and ensure that the list is as comprehensive as possible;
  2. Engage with the arts and humanities technical community to understand how they are currently supported and engaged in research, to feed into the UKRI work on implementing the Technician Commitment.

Get involved

A starting point for AHRC’s dialogue with the technical community is this short questionnaire: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ResearchTechnicalProfessionalsRTPsintheartsandhumanities/. Feedback obtained through it will help us shape the way AHRC defines, recognises and supports technicians.

Please take part in the survey if you are a technical specialist working in the arts and humanities landscape, or if you frequently collaborate with technicians on arts and humanities research projects. Please forward this information to anyone else who is relevant to this area. This survey is going to close on 31st May 2020. Email enquiries@ahrc.ukri.org if you have any questions about the survey.

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