TORCH Heritage Programme is the home for the activities of the Heritage Partnerships Team, a sector-facing specialist team with the vision to enable ambitious and mutually beneficial partnerships that connect Oxford’s world-leading expertise with the UK and international Heritage Sector. The heritage Programme also facilitates and enables academic activities led by individuals outside of the core team (e.g. Senior Researchers, ECRs and Graduate Students).
The three pillars that support our vision are building partnerships, growing expertise and sharing knowledge:
We work with colleagues within the University of Oxford and the UK and international heritage sector to develop mutually beneficial partnerships based on world-leading research. We do this by understanding the needs and requirements of the heritage sector and by working with colleagues in Oxford (and other universities), to build teams to answer big questions and challenges.
To this end, we support exploratory projects through the Heritage Seed Fund, which provides funding at various levels from £250 through to £3000.
We can also signpost to related funding schemes within the University of Oxford, including Knowledge Exchange Seed Fund; Humanities Cultural Programme; and other TORCH Funding Opportunities.
Our flagship partnership with the National Trust was launched in 2018 and supports interdisciplinary research, knowledge exchange, public engagement with research and training between our two institutions and other partners. This collaboration grew out of the Trusted Source Knowledge Transfer Partnership, which ran from 2016-18, which designed a means to bring academic research into the National Trust’s interpretation by connecting heritage professionals with university academics, and resulted in the creation of new interpretive resources including the Trusted Source website.
We grow expertise within the University of Oxford to enable students, researchers and professional staff to develop collaborative projects with the UK and international heritage sector.
We achieve this through the Heritage Pathway Researcher Training and Development Programme; Internships and Placements; and DPhil studentships.
We also signpost to other opportunities in Oxford, including Oxford Cultural Leaders and the Said Business School's Engaging with the Humanities Programme.
We share the outcomes of our work as widely as possible, ensuring that the stories are accessible and relevant to different audiences. We achieve this through academic events, such as lectures, symposia and conferences; online resources (e.g. blog-posts, news articles, podcasts, and videos); and publications (peer-reviewed and open access).
Lastly, the Heritage Partnerships Team has developed research specialism in the historic house and, through the Historic House Research Cluster, hosts termly events led by DPhil students, who invite external speakers to reflect on new trends in the sector. These events are advertised termly on our website here.
Over the years, we have supported the development of a range of collaborative projects. Some of these are now stand-alone and featured below: