NEH/AHRC New Directions for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions Call

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AHRC is pleased to announce a call for applications to the NEH/AHRC New Directions for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions programme. The call is a joint initiative between the US National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the AHRC. This is the third call under AHRC’s ‘UK-US Collaboration for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions’ programme, a 5 year, £7.5m initiative funded through UKRI’s Fund for International Collaboration. The programme aims to advance digital scholarship in cultural heritage organisations such as museums, libraries, galleries, and archives.

Funding will support collaborative teams in the UK and US that have the potential to deliver a transformational impact on digital methods and digital research in cultural institutions, bringing new approaches to the ways in which culture and heritage can be experienced by global audiences, opening new research frontiers and questions and advancing collections-based research methods for the 21st century.

Applications should address one or more of the following themes, or propose new areas of inquiry focused on digital scholarship and cultural institutions:

  • Employing machine learning and artificial intelligence in cultural institutions;
  • Fostering digitally-enabled participation;
  • Developing enhanced information on cultural institution visitors;
  • Creating and interrogating all document types and unlocking new data.

Due to the ongoing issue of COVID 19, applicants are advised to regularly consult the AHRC FAQ document for any updates. The FAQ and the Call Guidance were last revised on 5th August 2020.

Applications should comprise balanced transatlantic teams bringing together an appropriate mix of researchers, cultural institution professionals and wider partners. All proposals must be led by a Principal Investigator in the UK and a Project Director in the US, supported by Co-Investigators as appropriate, and involve at least one cultural institution in each country.

Awards are available at two funding levels. Applicants should choose the funding level appropriate to the scope and maturity of the proposed project. The funding levels below apply only to the UK component of the application; the NEH will fund the US component of successful projects separately as outlined in their call document.

  • Level I: up to £60,000 (at 80%)
  • Level II: up to £250,000 (at 80%)

Level I Projects should be a maximum of 24 months in duration, while Level II Projects should be a maximum of 36 months in duration. All projects must start no later than 12 February 2021.

AHRC and NEH expect to make 10 to 15 awards through this call. For detailed information see the Call Guidance document (PDF, 324KB) and the FAQ document (PDF, 128KB).

Closing Dates

Closing Date: 18/08/2020

The deadline for applications will close at 4pm (UK time) on the 18 August 2020.

How to make an application

You should submit your proposal using the Research Councils’ Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) System.

To prepare a proposal form in Je-S:

  • log-in to your account and choose ‘Documents’ from the menu;
  • then select ‘New Document’;
  • ‘AHRC’ as the Council,
  • ‘Standard Proposal’ as the Document Type;
  • ’Development Grants’ as the Scheme;
  • ‘(L1) NEH-AHRC New Directions for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions Grants 18 August 2020 for Level I’ or ‘(L2) NEH-AHRC New Directions for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions Grants 18 August 2020 for Level II’ as the Call/Type/Mode and
  • ‘Create Document’

Further Information

It is recommended that applicants consult the FAQ document to check for further clarifications and guidance.

UK applicants are also advised to visit the call notification on the NEH website.

Important Note: For data analysis purposes, applicants are requested not to include the words ‘Cov-19’, ‘Covid-19’ or ‘Coronavirus’ in the Summary or Title sections, unless the application relates to proposed research in this area.


For queries about this call, such as eligible activities and costs or remit of the call, please contact AHRC here (available Monday to Friday, 08:30–16:30).

For queries on using Je-S such as creating and submitting the application form or Je-S account creation, please contact the Je-S Helpdesk on 01793 444164 or (available Monday to Friday, 08:30–17:00).