The vision for the TORCH Heritage Programme is to enable ambitious and mutually beneficial partnerships that connect Oxford’s world-leading expertise with the UK and international Heritage Sector.
Led by the Heritage Partnerships Team, this vision is rooted in three core areas of activity: 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.
We support exploratory projects through the Heritage Seed Fund, which provides funding at various levels from £250 through to £3000.
We also signpost to related funding schemes within the University of Oxford, including the Knowledge Exchange Seed Fund; Humanities Cultural Programme; and other TORCH Funding Opportunities. Furthermore, we provide expert advice and support throughout the application process.
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 these stories are accessible and relevant to a range of different audiences. We achieve this through academic events, including lectures, symposia and conferences; online resources (e.g. blog-posts, news articles, podcasts, and videos); and publications (peer-reviewed and open access).
The Heritage Partnerships Team has a particular research specialism in the historic house. The Historic House Research Cluster, led by D.Phil students, hosts termly events with external speakers to reflect on new research and interpretation trends in the sector. These events are advertised termly on our website here and are a legacy of the Thames Valley Country House Partnership.
The Heritage Partnership has enabled and supported the development of a range of larger collaborations – from Knowledge Exchange Fellowships to multi-year research collaborations – some of which are featured below: