Arts and Humanities Research Council

Arts and Humanities Research Council
Abbreviation AHRC
Predecessor Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB)
Formation 2005
Legal status Non-Departmental Government Body
Purpose Funding of arts and humanities research
Headquarters Polaris House,
North Star Avenue,
Region served
United Kingdom
Sir Drummond Bone
Chief Executive
Andrew Thompson (interim)[1]
Main organ
AHRC Council
Parent organization
Website Official Website

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) was established in April 2005 as successor to the Arts and Humanities Research Board and is a British Research Council; non-departmental public body that provides approximately £102 million from the 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. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded.

Recently funded research

Stonehenge Riverside Project

The Stonehenge Riverside Project is a major five year AHRC-funded archaeological research study interested in the development of the Stonehenge landscape in Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain. In particular, the project is 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 is directed by Prof. Mike Parker Pearson of Sheffield University, with co-directors Dr Josh Pollard (Bristol University), Prof. Julian Thomas (Manchester University), Dr Kate Welham (Bournemouth University) and Dr Colin Richards (Manchester University).[2]

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 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).

Old Bailey Online

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.

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's vision is to be a recognised world leader in advancing arts and humanities research.

The main aims of the AHRC are:



The AHRC receives its funding through the Science and Innovation Group which is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).


In 2005 the AHRC replaced the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB), founded in 1998.[3]


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.[4]

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.[5]


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.[6] 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.[7]

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


  1. "Professor Andrew Thompson". Senior Management Team. Arts and Humanities Research Council. Retrieved 3 June 2016. Professor Andrew Thompson took up the post of interim Chief Executive of AHRC on 1 December 2015.
  2. "News releases 2009". 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  3. Creating the AHRC: An Arts and Humanities Research Council for the United Kingdom in the Twenty-first Century (Oxford UP, 2008)
  4. "Publications - Arts & Humanities Research Council". Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  5. "Publications archive - Arts & Humanities Research Council". Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  7. "Reappointment of Chief Executive for the AHRC - Arts & Humanities Research Council". 2013-09-01. Retrieved 2014-06-19.

External links

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