Submission from the Arts and Humanities
BUDGET 08/09 TO
1. The Arts & Humanities Research Council
(AHRC) welcomes this opportunity from the Committee to share its
views on the recent allocations of the Science Budget, and looks
forward to working with both the Committee and the Department
on matters relating to the funding of arts and humanities research
in the future.
2. Late last year the AHRC published its
delivery plan for the period 2008-2011, which details our priorities
and the vigorous contribution that the arts and humanities will
make towards the ambitions of the Science & Innovation investment
Framework 2004-2014. We also published our updated Vision and
Strategy for the period 2007-2012, which sets out our vision for
supporting world class research and post-graduate training, alongside
the aims we have to strengthen the cultural, social and economic
impact of arts and humanities research via knowledge transfer.
A recently convened task group will further investigate the impact
of arts and humanities research throughout the coming year.
3. In January this year the AHRC released
a general statement to the research community, providing detail
of the breakdown of the allocation of the funding we will receive
from the Science Budget and explaining the decisions we have made
regarding how this will be distributed amongst our portfolio of
opportunities. Whilst it is true that this has led to some negative
reaction from within the research community (as it will inevitably
lead to a drop in success rates in some areas) it must also be
noted that there is a great degree of enthusiasm for the increasing
potential for fostering innovation and collaborative working across
a range of AHRC supported initiatives. Cross-council strategic
research will be strengthened as a result.
4. It is also hoped that the payment of
higher levels of Full Economic Costs, which is also a recommendation
of the Comprehensive Spending Review, may help Higher Education
Institutions to devote additional resource to their own support
of individual scholarship.
5. In particular, we would draw the Committee's
attention to the strategic research themes that the science budget
will allow us to fund. These include capitalising on the UK's
cultural assets via the development of research between the arts,
humanities and science and technology disciplines; potentially
contributing directly towards the UK's vibrant tourism industry.
Also, we will stimulate and support innovation in the knowledge
economy by facilitating access to arts and humanities research
for the creative industries and digital service sectors. The AHRC
will also bring the unique research insights of the arts and humanities
to the cross-council Global Threats to Security programme.
6. In response to Lord Sainsbury's report
The Race to the Top, we will also use funds to develop
exciting collaborations with organisations such as the Technology
Strategy Board (TSB). Work has already begun, for example, to
enable the TSB to build upon our successful Knowledge Catalyst
scheme in achieving their aim of delivering a nationwide mini-Knowledge
Transfer Partnership programme.
7. In terms of our international activity,
the AHRC has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with
the German Research Foundation;
to add to those already signed with the US, Taiwan, South Korea
and Japan. These links will enable a dynamic exchange of knowledge
and expertise across cultures, strengthening our presence as a
leader in the global knowledge economy and allowing the UK to
share the skills and expertise present within new and emerging
research cultures worldwide. The allocations of the Science Budget
will allow us to fund the development of research collaborations
in this endeavour.
1 For further detail please see http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/about/ke/knowledge/knowledge_catalyst_scheme.asp Back
Press release at http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/news/news_pr/2008/dfg.asp Back