AHRC - International Placement Scheme - Showcase 2013
Sam Lambshead & Allie Brown, AHRC
History of the IPS
• Started in 2005 with Library of Congress (LoC). Launched jointly with ESRC. Open to
doctoral students, post-doc fellows and RAs
• 2008 National Institutes for the Humanities (NIHU), Japan, joined as a separate but
analogous AHRC-only scheme; same applicant eligibility as LoC
• 2005 to 2011: 153 LoC & NIHU awards – average 22 p/year
As AHRC international activities evolved, it became possible to provide more opportunities
based on LoC/NIHU model:
2012 Huntington joined; scheme re-launched as IPS; Early career researchers admitted
2014: 3 new hosts – Harry Ransom Center at University of Texas at Austin, Smithsonian
Institute and Yale Center for British Art
Approx 270 IPS awards made to date. Approx 70 available in 2014/15
Annual feedback from fellows so scheme is constantly improving: pre-placement
networking; stipend and travel increases
Aims of the Scheme
Three main aims:
1. Provide dedicated access to the internationally renowned
research collections/ programmes/ expertise held at the
2. Through such access, to enhance the depth, range and
quality of research activities conducted by scholars
3. Create opportunities for networking with other
international scholars at those institutions
Library of Congress, (LoC)
Largest library in the world
– More than 155.3 million items on 838 miles of bookshelves
– 35+ million books and print materials
– 3.4m recordings, 13.6m photographs, 5.4m maps, 6.5m pieces of sheet music and 68m
An IPS host since 2005. 200+ IPS fellowships to date
Scholars can spend between three and six months accessing the collections
Based in the Kluge (Kloogey) Centre
Scholars given their own study ‘cubicle’ for the duration of their stay – includes PC, printing etc
Scholars are assigned an @LoC email address – can be very helpful
Networking & collaboration opportunities are actively encouraged – Scholars are asked to
present a ‘work in progress’ talk and ‘brown bag’ lunch together.
Overwhelmingly positive feedback for both the facilities and the staff, namely the AHRC contact
Mary Lou Reker
LoC IPS Alumni Feedback
The library is exceptional and awe-inspiring (especially the main reading room). It has been an absolute pleasure to
use these facilities.
The Kluge programme of lectures and seminars was another highlight.
The scholarship represented a break from teaching and administration.
I would highly recommend to any AHRC or ESRC student... A truly unique research experience.
The library is remarkable accommodating with unique material.
I feel my time there added significant elements to my project that could not have been provided elsewhere.
I would be keen to recommend the scheme and to take further opportunities in the future.
(My student) while at LoC, revised one publication and won an award for another, so her career has materially
benefitted in terms of outputs well beyond her thesis.
The atmosphere is friendly and collegiate, and the staff went out of their way to facilitate any requests and ensure
the environment was conductive to good work.
The collections are of such a range that they are simply incomparable to my University library.
As well as the collections, the librarians are a resource in themselves: highly knowledgeable in their subject area,
know the collections thoroughly and always willing to help.
The ‘brown bag’ lunches were a great way to talk to scholars from a wide range of disciplines and get suggestions on
your work from perhaps unexpected perspectives.
I WISH I HAD APPLIED TO STAY FOR LONGER!
• World's largest research and museum complex
• SI consists of 19 museums and galleries, and nine research
• Over 137 million artefacts, works of art and Specimens.
• The scope of the collections is huge - from Egyptian
Canopic Jars to live panda cubs!
• Not just collections - The Smithsonian is a world leader in
the field of protecting and preserving artefacts
• Joins IPS from 2014
Museums (and Zoo!)
• African American History and Culture Museum
• African Art Museum
• Air and Space Museum
• Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center
• American Art Museum
• American History Museum
• American Indian Museum
• Anacostia Community Museum
• Arts and Industries Building
• Freer Gallery of Art
• Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
• National Zoo
• Natural History Museum
• Portrait Gallery
• Postal Museum
• Renwick Gallery
• Sackler Gallery
• Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (NY)
• Archives of American Art
• Museum Conservation Institute (MCI)
• Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
• Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
• Smithsonian Environmental Research
• Smithsonian Institution Archives
• Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL)
• Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce
• Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
National Institutes for the
Humanities (NIHU), Japan
Six Inter-University Research Institutes supporting academic research on culture and humanities:
Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (2 IPS places currently available)
International Research Centre for Japanese Studies (2 IPS places available)
National Museum of Ethnology (2 IPS places available)
National Museum of Japanese History (2 IPS places available)
National Institute of Japanese Literature (1 IPS place available)
National Institute of Japanese Language and Linguistics (2 IPS places available)
National repositories of cultural materials. NIHU complies and presents the research results through exhibitions, printed and online
publications, databases, and other media make them widely available in and outside Japan, to contribute to the broader
advancement of scholarship.
IPS fellows based at one of the six NIHU Institutes - mainly in/around Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto
Scholars can spend between three and six months
Scholars given their own study area
Scholars assigned a supervisor/mentor
Networking & collaboration opportunities actively encouraged
Travel and living contribution paid by AHRC, in addition to AHRC stipend/salary
Fellows arrange travel, visas & accommodation, although accommodation sometimes provided
Japanese language skills compulsory for National Institute for Japanese Literature (NIJL) and to the National Museum of Japanese
History (NMJH). Conversational Japanese advantageous but not compulsory for other institutes.
NIHU applications generally low (small subject area; language (although now relaxed) = high application V success rate
Contact to check collections, language etc – details in NIHU guidance
Research likely to be Japanese/Asian based, exception of NME- excellent for museum studies (and no language required)
Past NIHU IPS Alumni Research Titles
• HIV/AIDS in Japan - A Health Promotion Perspective
• The Vocabulary of Play; Design in Japan’s Economic Bubble, 1986-1991
• Representations of Apocalypse in Modern Japanese Culture
• Interpreting Japan: Central European Architecture and Design 1920-1940
• Recontextualising the George Brown Collection through creative ceramic
practice and community engagement
• How compatible are Japanese conceptions of Humanity and Nature with
the use of rights as a legal tool in environmental protection measures?
Lists of all IPS research titles are available on the AHRC IPS webpages
NIHU IPS Alumni Feedback
Receiving the IPS at an advanced stage in my doctoral studies was crucial.
Meeting up with other AHRS IPS fellows before my placement was a great help; we even met up in Osaka.
The library resources proved invaluable in supplementing literature not available in the UK.
I had my own work cubicle and was given full borrowing rights (up to 100 books) and unlimited printing credit.
My institute offered me very affordable accommodation (highly prized as accommodation can be expensive).
On my arrival, NIHU had kindly arranged for an overseas English-speaking doctoral student to show me round.
My institute held lectures, seminars, conferences and performances involving the research community.
My institute was very helpful in helping me settle in and remained conscientious about my welfare throughout.
I have established some close friendships and contacts.
Informal discussions with other researchers greatly helped me work and introduced me to new texts.
Spending four months in Kyoto was an amazing experience. The institute's accommodation provided a peaceful and
conducive environment for focussed work; the culturally enriching experiences of Kyoto was just as accessible.
Since my return, my NIHU supervisor and I have stayed in touch: I have just returned to NIHU for a week for follow-up
research and to see my supervisor and the some of the staff who helped me settle in when I first arrived.
On the back of my IPS scholarship, two abstract papers I submitted at NIHU have been accepted as panel papers.
Huntington Library, Art Collections
and Botanical Gardens, CA
World-leading cultural, research and educational centre. A private, non-profit
institution, founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, an exceptionally successful
businessman with a special interest in books, art, and gardens.
• One of the world’s great independent research libraries, specializing in British and
American history and literature, and the history of science, medicine and
• Also, medieval manuscripts, books printed before 1501, maps, travel literature and
the American Southwest.
• Works span 11th century to the present, with the greatest concentration in the
• 7 million manuscripts, 410,000 rare books, 270,000 general collection books, 1.3
million photos, prints, ephemera.
• Collections large and diverse and some remain uncatalogued - undiscovered
• IPS host since 2012
Huntington IPS Alumni Feedback
The photos don't even begin to convey the grandeur and scale of the library!
The library is an excellent resource: the staff are incredibly friendly and willing to help.
I have been able to discuss my project with a curator who is intimately acquainted with my field.
I get the impression that no matter what your area of interest, there will be someone who can happily advise you as to how
to best direct your research to make the most of the resources.
Aside from their collections, their rare books and books which have not been published in England are incredibly useful.
There are so many scholars from all over the world, working on a vast range of things, all of whom are friendly and who you
can chat to over lunch or during coffee breaks.
There is a real atmosphere of an academic community, reflected in the wide choice of lectures and tours fellows can
It's a great opportunity to bolster your research or develop a deeper background knowledge of your subject in a wonderful
It's a great opportunity and provides a real taste of what a career in academia can lead to.
I have really enjoyed spending time with the other AHRC students in a setting where we can spend time learning about
each other's projects and the institutions we work in.
I WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND ANYONE CONSIDERING APPLYING FOR THE IPS SCHEME TO GO FOR IT!
Harry Ransom Center,
University of Texas at Austin
Joins IPS from 2014
A world-leading research institution and museum, dedicated to advancing the study of the arts
and humanities by acquiring, preserving, and making accessible original cultural materials.
Specialises in literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts
Collections include: 42 million manuscripts; nearly one million rare books; 5 million photographs;
100,000 works of art and design; as well as major collections in film and the performing arts.
Some highlights include:
Three Shakespeare First Folios
Magnum photo archive
The archives of Robert De Nero, Tom
Stoppard, Norman Mailer, David
Manuscripts of David Foster Wallace,
Lewis Carol and Doris Lessing
The Watergate papers
Paintings by Kahlo and Picasso
Yale Centre For British Art, New
A Public Art Museum and research institute
Home to the largest collection of British art outside the UK
Houses Four Collections Departments:
• Paintings and Sculpture
• Prints and Drawings
• Rare books and Manuscripts
• Reference Library and Archive
Collections from 1700-1850 are particularly strong. Highlights include:
• Works by Stubbs, Turner, Hogarth and Gainsborough
• The sole extant colour plates of Blake’s Jerusalem.
• The only surviving map of Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe
Collections will be of interest to social historians as well as art historians – Amanda Vickery has made
extensive use of them
In addition to these collections, the Center houses two modern facilities for the conservation and
restoration of works of art and manuscripts
Joins IPS from 2014.
Benefits of IPS to Host Institutions
Collections are used and publicised – both within academy and
external – public events & engagement
IPS fellows can advise on gaps in collections and enhance
institutions’ staff knowledge
Some collections are uncatalogued – IPS fellows can unearth buried
Active research collaboration on some awards – e.g. if studentship
is attached to Research Grant
Institutions’ own remit to further research
Bear in mind when making application – esp 1
Benefits of IPS to Applicants
Fellowships between 2 and 6 months depending on the host
£1200 monthly living allowance, plus £600-£800 for travel (location dependent); AHRC/ESRC stipend continues
Visa costs paid; IPS host will sponsor your visa application paperwork
Some hosts can help fellows find accommodation
Access to host institute’s collections, resources, facilities and scholars/curators – many not available in UK/ROW
An office or working space - LoC private cubicle, PC , free printing etc
Networking & collaboration encouraged e.g. LoC presentation of work & ‘Brown bag lunches’; Huntington
reading room closes at lunch
Potential to forge international contacts and collaborations
Opportunities for participation in conferences, seminars, classes etc
Adds value to current and future research - can be career/life changing
Introduction to non-UK research environment – increasingly identified by applicants as part of career plan
AHRC have created relationships with institutions
Association with the institution ‘opens doors’ not available to independent researcher – LoC email address, books
delivered to your desk, take books home etc
Membership of a cohort of international scholars
Support from hosts with a history of hosting international fellows
Prestigious awards - IPS ‘Club’ – IPS friendships and networks; AHRC monitor, case studies, invite to events etc
Looks great on your CV. Make you stand out from other candidates
2014/15 Places Available & Dates
Who Can Apply AHRC
for British Art
AHRC & ESRC
Number Of IPS
2 – 3 months
3 – 6 months
3 – 6 months
3 – 6 months
3 – 6 months
3 – 6 months
Start And End
1st Sept 2014 –
31st May 2015
1st July 2014 –
30th June 2015
1st Oct 2014 30th Sept 2015
1st July 2014 –
30th June 2015
1st Oct 2014 30th Sept 2015
1st July 2014 –
31st Dec 2015*
(start date must
be 1st working
*Yale Center for British Art will be closed for refurbishment from 1st January 2015
• Doctoral students applying to all IPS hosts must be in receipt of current AHRC or ESRC funding. That funding must must be in place at the
time of application until at least the end of the IPS fellowship; this disqualifies PhD students in their unfunded writing up year. ESRC
students may only apply to The Library of Congress.
• Early Career Researchers applying to NIHU must meet AHRC ECR eligibility criteria, as outlined in AHRC Funding Guide, section 3
• Early Career Researchers applying to all other hosts must meet AHRC ECR eligibility criteria, as outlined in AHRC Funding Guide, section 3
AND MUST EITHER:
- hold, or have previously held AHRC funding, including postgraduate funding
- have formally worked, or be currently working as a researcher on an AHRC-funded research project
• IPS research must be in an AHRC/ESRC subject area/s and be relevant to applicant’s current AHRC/ESRC research. If doing PhD, IPS
research should be part of it not additional.
• No extra time awarded to existing awards for current award holders
• Applicants must be going to do primary research; fellowships may not be used for writing up
• Full and part-time (IPS must be full time); full and fees-only
• IPS alumni may reapply, but not to same IPS institution
• Resubmission of a previously unsuccessful application is permitted
• Multiple applications are permitted, but must be distinct, specific to institution, and non-concurrent
Please check the IPS webpages for full eligibility requirements.
How to Apply
• Open for applications 19th November 2013
• Launch announced on website, twitter, email etc
• Online applications via J-eS – jointly submitted by RO & student (see guidance)
• The AHRC does not accept applications directly from students: the application may not be in the
student’s name and the student’s RO must submit the application on their student’s behalf.
Student applicants must contact their RO to check their internal J-eS submission process.
• Applicant form consists of applicant statement & supervisor statement. Some institutions and
ECRs may need to provide a CV and secondary academic reference (see guidance)
• Mock application form on IPS webpage
• MUST follow the host-specific application guidance on IPS webpages
• Application deadline 15th January 2014
• Outcomes April/May/June 2014 depending on the institution (see guidance)
‘Light touch’ – applicants already receive AHRC/ESRC funding
- Applications peer reviewed by host institutions
- AHRC moderate applications and reviews and make funding decision – outcomes April/May/June
TBC July/Sept/Oct earliest possible start dates depending on host
Proposed research must be demonstrably relevant to institutions collections/ programmes/
Must ‘add value’ to the existing work of the applicant
Personal development opportunities through networking with the institute’s other research
Effective use of the candidate’s time and at appropriate point in research/career
Application must demonstrate appropriate skills
• Quality of applications received is high, so competition will be tough
• Refer to the application guidance and grading scale; ensure your application demonstrates how you meet all
• Relevance of collections is key: research and clearly identify the collections/ programmes/ expertise you wish
to access and why - especially if unique or rare
• Contact the institutions’ curators/librarians prior to applying – compulsory for some hosts
• Show that the proposed work relates directly to and enhances your existing project
• Time spent at the institution must be of appropriate length and at appropriate time in career/research
• Address potential networking or personal development opportunities; additional skills
• Can you can be ‘of value’ to the host institution as well as the placement being of ‘value’ to your research?
• Highlight skills such as language expertise where appropriate (e.g. for some NIHU institutions, or if you are
going to research collections written in a language other than English)
THE IPS HAS THE HIGHEST SUCCESS
RATE OF ANY AHRC SCHEME, EVER.
Averages over 60% success rate,
with 77% in 2012!
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