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Funding for Digital Humanities Research

This page provides a brief guide to potential sources of funding for Digital Humanities research. The Digital Humanities Network is committed to supporting Cambridge Researchers as they develop grant applications by assisting them in finding information about funders and helping them make connections with potential collaborators and sources of expert technical advice. Please email the Network Co-ordinator, Dr Anne Alexander (digitalhumanities@crassh.cam.ac.uk) for more information. Further advice and information can also be sought from the School Research Facilitators who can help with sourcing funding calls as well as with commenting and advising on application drafts. Dr Daniel Wunderlich focuses on UK funding sources and on EU and overseas sources.

Funding for Digital Humanities research can be sought from any of the bodies which fund research in the humanities and social sciences. The Research Office provides details of the major funding bodies, a funding calls calendar and offers advice and support for funding applicants.

This page highlights sources of funding which are more specifically targeted towards Digital Humanities research. Some of these bodies offer funds through an annual cycle of calls, others solicit applications at any time of year. This is not a comprehensive list so please get in touch to suggest additions or corrections to the information listed here.

Research Councils

The seven Research Councils invest around £3bn a year in research across all academic disciplines. While most Digital Humanities researchers will apply for funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council or the Economic and Social Research Council, it is worth remembering that opportunities for DH funding are sometimes offered by other Research Councils, or provided through a cross-council research programme, such as the Digital Economy programme which invested £120 million in research during 2008-11.

Arts and Humanities Research Council

The AHRC’s funding opportunities page contains details of recent and current calls. In addition to funding DH research under its main themes, the AHRC has called for funding applications specifically connected to the theme of Digital Transformations in the Arts and Humanities.

Economic and Social Research Council

The ESRC’s main funding opportunities page can be found here. The council has developed a strategy for Digital Social Research which follows on from the previous e-Social Science programme it funded in 2004. The Digital Social Research website has up-to-date information about current funding opportunities supported by the ESRC through this strategy.

JISC

JISC supports a large portfolio of DH-related research, through programmes which support the creation of digital resources and tools, as well as evaluating the use and impact of these resources and tools. JISC’s helpful guide to bidding for funding can be found here, and the details of current funding opportunities are available here.

Digital R&D Fund for the Arts

This £7million fund is supported by NESTA, the Arts Council and the AHRC, and is accepting applications until January 2014. Applications must be a three-way collaboration between an Arts organisation, a technology partner and a research partner. Applications are sought from projects that use digital technology to enhance audience reach and/or develop new business models for the arts sector. For more information see the fund website here.

European funding

HERA

Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) is a network of national humanities research councils and the European Science Foundation (ESF), offering large grants for pan-European humanities research, involving researchers in 3 or more countries. The next call for funding is expected in 2014, and the topic is yet to be determined.

European Research Council

Major grants in any area of ‘pioneering frontier research’ are available from the ERC under the Synergy grant scheme (details here). Like the HERA scheme, this is aimed at major research projects led by researchers with an extremely well-established profile in their field. Excellent researchers who are looking for funding to develop a new project but are at an earlier stage in their careers have the option of applying for one of the ERC’s Starting Grants. Applicants' proposals can be in any area of 'frontier research' and researchers who have between 2 and 12 years postdoctoral experience may apply. The ERC has introduced a Consolidator Grant for researchers with between 7-12 years of postdoctoral experience. More senior researchers can also avail of the Advanced Investigator Grants. Like the Starting Grants, they are designed to fund cutting-edge research in all disciplines, though are designed for those with significant experience in research and project leadership. The next deadlines are end of March 2014 (starting investigator grants), end of May 2014 (consolidator), end of October 2014 (advanced investigator grants).

Private foundations

Two of the major private funders of Digital Humanities research are the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust. Anyone interested in Mellon Foundation funding can contact Dr Sumi David for further information.

International competitions

International opportunities include competitions such as Digging into Data, which brought together funders from a range of countries to offer large grants aimed at developing research using large datasets.

Funding for teaching and learning resources

Funders such as the Higher Education Academy may support the development of online resources connected to a research project, where the aim is to develop resources for teaching.

For a discussion about the potential pan-European major funding grants available through the FP7 'Cooperation' strand, contact .