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The AHRC launched a major new funding initiative in modern languages: the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) on12th May 2014 in London. It provided an opportunity for academics and partners to ...

The AHRC launched a major new funding initiative in modern languages: the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) on12th May 2014 in London. It provided an opportunity for academics and partners to learn more about the initiative and to network with other organisations, prior to releasing a call for Expressions of Interest. These are the slides from the launch event.

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OWRI launch presentations 2014 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Open World Research Initiative Pre-Launch Conference 12 May 2014 1
  • 2. Open World Research Initiative Welcome and Introduction Professor Michael Worton 2
  • 3. Welcome and Introduction  The purpose of today’s conference  What does a new research initiative in Modern Languages need to achieve?  What input are we looking for from you? 3
  • 4. Purpose of today’s conference  To provide you with an outline of the major new funding initiative planned by AHRC  To outline the main elements that we envisage, and seek your feedback  To explain the next steps and timetable for applications 4
  • 5. What does a new research initiative in Modern Languages need to achieve?  This new initiative is about helping modern languages research and scholarship find a new voice and a new vision. 5
  • 6. What does a new research initiative in Modern Languages need to achieve?  ‘Modern languages’ disciplines at their core are methodologically innovative and interdisciplinary  We need to grow ambitious, open and engaged research from this core.  For example, research which can challenge commonly accepted ideas; challenge our ideas about how cultural identities have been (and are) negotiated or created. 6
  • 7. What does a new research initiative in Modern Languages need to achieve?  We need research which can inspire the next generation of modern language scholars.  And equally demonstrate how modern language research can enrich a wide range of other arts and humanities disciplines. 7
  • 8. What does a new research initiative in Modern Languages need to achieve?  We need research which spans the boundaries between language and non-language Departments or Schools.  And equally research that can join up existing pockets of excellence spread across Universities.  It needs to join up with other language initiatives seeking to strengthen the health of disciplines. 8
  • 9. What does a new research initiative in Modern Languages need to achieve?  We need research which reaches out beyond Universities to other cultural partners in the UK and overseas.  And equally research that can engage local communities, and more widely enhance the UK’s openness to the world. 9
  • 10. What does a new research initiative in Modern Languages need to achieve?  This is your opportunity… “Much is rightly made of the autonomy of universities in the UK; now is the moment for the languages sector to embrace that autonomy as a creative and enabling force. This includes the development of a clear and compelling identity for Modern Foreign Languages in an increasingly competitive higher education context, one which presents a convincing case for the contribution that Languages Departments make to the strategic objectives of their institutions and more widely.” From: Review of Modern Foreign Languages Provision in Higher Education in England (2009), page 4. http://www.hefce.ac.uk/media/hefce1/pubs/hefce/2009/0941/09_41.pdf 10
  • 11. What input from you?  Ian Lyne will later outline the main ideas for the new Open World Research Initiative.  We then have four parallel breakout sessions on key elements. Two members of the OWRI Advisory Group are in each breakout session.  Your views will help shape the final Call for Expressions of Interest. 11
  • 12. Finally…  Thank you for attending  Enjoy the conference  Take every opportunity to talk and network with each other. 12
  • 13. Perspectives on the Strategic Importance of Modern Languages Richard Hardie, UBS Ltd Chair of the British Academy’s Born Global Steering Group 13
  • 14. AHRC’s Modern Languages Strategy and Overview of OWRI Dr Ian Lyne Associate Director, AHRC 14
  • 15. Overview  AHRC’s Strategy in Modern Languages Research  The main ideas for the OWRI initiative  What can we learn from the LBAS Initiative? 15
  • 16. AHRC’s Strategy in Modern Languages Research 16
  • 17. AHRC Strategy 2013-18 The Human World: The Arts and Humanities in Our Times “Arts and humanities research changes the ways in which we see the world – the past world, the present world and the world of the future. It enhances understanding of our times, our capacities and our inheritance…” 17
  • 18. Strategy 2013-18 “… It explores forms of identity, behaviour and expression, and seeks out new ways of knowing what it means to be human in different societies and across the centuries. It helps us to learn from the wealth of a complex and contested history, transmitting the flow of ideas, ambitions and achievements to this and future generations. It promotes an understanding of cultural difference and diversity. It nurtures creative and analytical talents. It brings this knowledge to public use, and makes the human world a richer place in which to live.” 18
  • 19. What is Modern Languages Research? 19
  • 20. AHRC’s Strategy in Modern Languages Research  Our funding of the four Language Based Areas Studies (LBAS) Centres since 2006 has represented a major investment.  From 2006, jointly funded with ESRC, British Academy and HEFCE  Funding from 2012-16 from AHRC and British Academy to support partnership working, research networks and specialist language training; with focus on the arts and humanities. 20
  • 21. LBAS Centres  The Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies (CEELBAS): UCL, Oxford ,Birmingham, Bath, Cambridge, Kent, Manchester, Sheffield Warwick, SOAS  The Centre for Russian, Central and East European Studies (CRCEES): Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Nottingham, University of the West of Scotland, St Andrews, Strathclyde  The White Rose East Asia Centre (WREAC): Leeds, Sheffield  The British Inter-University China Centre (BICC): Oxford, Bristol, Manchester  The Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW): Edinburgh, Durham, Manchester 21
  • 22. AHRC Support for Modern Languages Research 22
  • 23. AHRC Support for Modern Languages Research Training and Capacity Building Collaborative Skills Development awards 2012:  Bridging the languages divide for post graduate students and Early Career Researchers  German for History Research Students  Specialist research training in Modern Foreign Languages and Film Studies  Skills development for language research and teaching in a multilingual world  Online language training resources  Language skills and internationalisation for arts and humanities PGRs in the White Rose Consortium (York, Sheffield, Leeds) 23
  • 24. AHRC Support for Modern Languages Research Training and Capacity Building Doctoral Training Partnerships  11 DTPs – first students starting October 2014  PhD Studentships funded at 3.5 years average  The 0.5 to be used flexibly to support student development, for example, time for language learning, or overseas visits. Centres for Doctoral Training  7 CDTs – first students starting in October 2014  Two in languages research training: CEELBAS, and Celtic Languages (led by Glasgow) 24
  • 25. AHRC’s Strategy in Modern Languages Research  Looking ahead, we see the Open World Research Initiative as a major component of how we will deliver our modern languages strategy.  We need articulate the value and importance of language-led research in the face of student recruitment difficulties in language disciplines. 25
  • 26. AHRC’s Strategy in Modern Languages Research  We envisage that the funding of the Initiative will be a major part of our next Spending Review bid – for the 2015 Spending Review (funding period from 2016 onwards).  At least £20m will be available for OWRI, but we hope to have the opportunity to set out a strong and compelling case for greater investment in this area, based on the strength of the bids we receive. 26
  • 27. The main ideas for the OWRI initiative 27
  • 28. The Open World Research Initiative  We intend to fund up to five major collaborative research programmes in language-led research from 2016.  The Call for Expressions of Interest will be issued by the end of May 2014, with a deadline in October.  Proposals can start from April 2016.  Further details on the next steps and timetable this afternoon. 28
  • 29. The Open World Research Initiative  The ideas we are presenting today have been informed by discussions at AHRC’s Advisory Board, Council, and with the OWRI Advisory Group, chaired by Michael Worton.  Professor James Dickins (University of Leeds, Professor of Arabic)  Dr Gerda Wielander (University of Westminster, Principal Lecturer, Chinese Studies Programme)  Professor Charles Forsdick (University of Liverpool, James Barrow Professor of French; AHRC Theme Leadership Fellow)  Dr Katharine Hodgson (University of Exeter, Associate Professor in Russian)  Vivienne Hurley (British Academy, Director of Programmes)  Christopher Millward (HEFCE, Associate Director)  Dr Claire Taylor (University of Liverpool, Reader in Hispanic Studies)  Professor Carol Tully (Bangor University, Professor of German) 29
  • 30. The Open World Research Initiative  The call will seek proposals for research in the literatures, histories, cultures, etc of any region of the world.  No particular languages are prioritised as ‘strategically important’ – any modern language is eligible under the call.  It will be up to applicants to develop the case for the ‘strategic importance’ of their research. For example:  The innovativeness of the ideas being explored  The ‘cultural value’ (in the widest sense) of opening up exciting areas of thought or cultural expression  The potential for current social, political, cultural or economic impact and significance.  etc 30
  • 31. The Open World Research Initiative  The awards will help establish a new and exciting vision for the centrality of languages research within the challenges and opportunities of a globalised research environment.  The key emphasis of the initiative will be on supporting cogent, compelling and ground-breaking interdisciplinary research, grounded in language expertise. 31
  • 32. The Open World Research Initiative  Bringing researchers together in programmes that help break down the institutional and disciplinary boundaries that can exist between ‘Modern Foreign Languages’, ‘Area Studies’ disciplines and other subject areas of the arts and humanities.  Multi-institutional: proposals must be collaborative between Research Organisations.  Arts and humanities disciplines more widely also require the capability to draw on the insights and scholarship of language-led research. 32
  • 33. The Open World Research Initiative  Key features of proposals: • Multi-language • Multi-disciplinary • Multi-institutional • Multi-partner …. and particularly with international partners. • Supporting the health of disciplines • Strong commitment to modern languages by partner HEIs • Building and sustaining research capacity • Connecting centres of excellence… there will be no more than one OWRI programme awarded in any single language area. 33
  • 34. The Open World Research Initiative Key areas of discussion to inform the final call text: Break out session subject Session Leads Health of the discipline and capacity building Linda Allebon and Katherine Hodgson International Engagement and Institutional strategies Carol Tully and Gerda Wielander Public engagement and partnership working Vivienne Hurley and Claire Taylor Working across language barriers and interdisciplinary modes of research Charles Forsdick and James Dickins 34
  • 35. Finally, what can we learn from the LBAS initiative? 35
  • 36. LBAS Evaluation – Key Findings Centre Design and Implementation No single model of collaboration works necessarily more effectively. Successful collaboration depends on the historical and geographical distribution of expertise, on disciplinary and institutional identities and strategies, and mutual respect. The challenges of steering and coordinating wide-reaching inter- institutional collaboration should not be underestimated. Continued high- level institutional support and the strong leadership of a single overall Centre Director supported by Co-Directors in core partner universities are crucial; continuing administrative and IT support likewise. 36
  • 37. Thank you Comments or Questions for the Advisory Group? 37
  • 38. Open World Research Initiative – Logistics & Next Steps Adam Walker: Strategy & Development Manager: Languages, Literature & International Engagement, AHRC 12th May 2014
  • 39. Delivery • All programmes should be underpinned by a vision capturing the strategic importance of the research & how it will realise the aims of the initiative • All programmes should comprise a series of discrete but inter-connected research strands • Research strands should have a specific focus & designated academic lead • The number & distribution of research strands to be determined by ROs • Programmes should include ‘flexible’ funding providing responsiveness to new challenges / priorities as they arise
  • 40. Structure • No minimum number of ROs; no expectation of ‘physical centres’ organised according to geographic proximity • 1 lead institution, Director / PI with lead responsibility • Co-Is to lead each research strand & other components • A single RO can lead only 1 bid & a Director / PI can only be named in this capacity on only 1 bid • A RO can be involved in multiple bids, as can Co-Is • A Director / PI may be named as a Co-I on other bids • International Co-Is are eligible • Postdoctoral RAs should be included • Costs for project partners should be included • PhD project students are not eligible
  • 41. Award Details • Funding for 4 years • Programmes to start April 1st – July 1st 2016 • £3-£4m per programme, proposals funded at 80% full economic cost • Expectation that programmes will leverage additional funding • At least 5 awards
  • 42. Application & Assessment • 2 stage application process: a) Expressions of interest stage: – focus on potential of proposals to realise the aims of OWRI – review by assessment panel – 8-10 proposals to be shortlisted: feedback & further consultation a) Full proposal stage: – peer review & PI response for those with sufficient fundable grades – panel interview, award allocations
  • 43. Provisional Timetable • EOI call announced: 29th May 2014 • Closing date for submissions: 23rd October 2014 • Assessment panel: January 2015 • Shortlist announced: by 30th January 2015 • Closing date for full applications: 30th June 2015 • Peer review: July – November 2015 • Interview panel: December 2015 • Announcement of successful bids: January 2016 • Earliest start date: 1st April 2016 • Latest start date: 1st July 2016
  • 44. Thank you Questions? 44