Arts and Humanities Research Council
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Arts and Humanities Research Council

Arts and Humanities Research Council
UKRI AHR Council-Logo Horiz-RGB.png
PredecessorArts and Humanities Research Board
Legal statusNon-departmental public body
PurposeFunding of arts and humanities research
HeadquartersPolaris House, Swindon
Region served
United Kingdom
Sir Drummond Bone
Executive Chair
Andrew Thompson[1]
Main organ
AHRC Council
Parent organization
£102 million

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), established in April 2005 as successor to the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB), is a British research council supporting research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities.


In 2005 the AHRC replaced the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB), founded in 1998.[2]


The AHRC is a non-departmental public body that provides approximately £102 million from the UK government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from languages and law, archaeology and English literature to design and creative and performing arts. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,350 postgraduate awards. Postgraduate funding is organised through Doctoral Training Partnerships in 10 consortia that bring together a total of 72 higher education institutions throughout the UK. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded.[3]


The AHRC is one of seven research councils in the UK.

Professor Andrew S Thompson is serving as Interim Chief Executive of the AHRC, from December 2015.[4] The previous CE of the AHRC was Professor Rick Rylance who took up the post on 1 September 2009, and was re-appointed in September 2013 to serve until August 2017.[5]

The current[when?] Council Chair is Sir Drummond Bone. Sir Alan Wilson stepped down in December 2013.

Recently funded research

Stonehenge Riverside Project

The Stonehenge Riverside Project was a major five-year AHRC-funded archaeological research study, announced in 2009, focusing on the development of the Stonehenge landscape in Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain. In particular, the project was interested in the relationship between the stones and surrounding monuments and features including; the River Avon, Durrington Walls, the Cursus, the Avenue, Woodhenge, burial mounds, and nearby standing stones. In August 2009 the project discovered a new stone circle, which was named Bluestonehenge by the research team, about one mile away from Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. The project is run by a consortium of university teams. It was directed by Mike Parker Pearson of Sheffield University, with co-directors Josh Pollard (University of Southampton), Julian Thomas (Manchester University), Kate Welham (Bournemouth University) and Colin Richards (Manchester University).[6]

Medieval Soldier Database

Researchers at the University of Reading and University of Southampton analysed historic sources such as muster rolls records in the National Archives at Kew and the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris (for records of English garrisons in France). The resulting Medieval Soldier online database was launched in 2009 which enables people to search for soldiers by surname, rank or year of service. The online database contains 250,000 service records of soldiers who saw active duty in the latter phases of the Hundred Years' War (1369-1453).[7][8]

British slave-ownership

Between 2013 and 2015, the AHRC co-funded a project known as the Structure and significance of British Caribbean slave-ownership 1763-1833 project at the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership, along with the Economic and Social Research Council. This work continues to be built upon, creating Legacies of British Slave-ownership database, which is free for public use.[9]

Old Bailey Proceedings Archive

An AHRC research grant enabled academics from the University of Hertfordshire, University of Sheffield and the Open University to double in size the Old Bailey trial proceedings available to view on the Old Bailey Proceedings Online website and provide access to the largest single source of searchable information about ordinary British lives and behaviour ever published.[10]

The Old Bailey Proceedings Online makes available a fully searchable, digitised collection of all surviving editions of the Old Bailey Proceedings from 1674 to 1913, and of the Ordinary of Newgate's Accounts, 1679 to 1772. It allows access to over 197,000 trials and biographical details of approximately 2,500 men and women executed at Tyburn.


The AHRC publish reviews and reports on arts and humanities subjects, as well as corporate publications. Research news and findings are communicated in website features, press releases, and multimedia content such as podcasts.[11]

Between 2005 and 2010, the AHRC published a magazine called Podium twice a year, which contained news and case studies based on research that they have funded.[12]


  1. ^ "Professor Andrew Thompson". Senior Management Team. Arts and Humanities Research Council. Retrieved 2016. Professor Andrew Thompson took up the post of interim Chief Executive of AHRC on 1 December 2015.
  2. ^ Creating the AHRC: An Arts and Humanities Research Council for the United Kingdom in the Twenty-first Century (Oxford UP, 2008)
  3. ^ "AHRC commits to postgraduate research through new Doctoral Training Partnerships - Arts and Humanities Research Council". Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Reappointment of Chief Executive for the AHRC - Arts & Humanities Research Council". 1 September 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ "News releases 2009". Sheffield University. 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ HeritageDaily (7 October 2016). "Did your ancestor fight in the Hundred Years War?". HeritageDaily - Archaeology News. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ "Medieval battle records go online". 20 July 2009. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ "Home". Legacies of British Slave-ownership. University College London. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ "The Old Bailey Online - Arts and Humanities Research Council". Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "Publications - Arts & Humanities Research Council". Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ "Publications archive - Arts & Humanities Research Council". Retrieved 2014.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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