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What is The AHRC Commons?

The Commons initiative aims to establish new forums where arts and humanities researchers, from different subject areas and disciplines, can gather with collaborators from other sectors. Such forums will facilitate the exchange of ideas and good practice, helping to build a shared case for the importance of arts and humanities research.

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Why get involved?

As part of the Commons community you can shape the themes of our events and participate in novel modes of collaborative working. You can engage in debates on our shared interests, opportunities and challenges. Together, we can form new networks and working relationships, increasing accessibility to skills, knowledge and tools.

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What is the AHRC?

The Arts & Humanities Research Council is a national funding agency supporting research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities. Established in 2005, the AHRC’s vision is to be a world leader in advancing arts and humanities research, through the exchange of knowledge and partnerships, and developing international opportunities.

Our vision is to establish new forums to bring together the large and diverse arts and humanities community together…

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Who is part of the Commons community?

  • Membership of the AHRC Commons is broad. At the core of the AHRC Commons community are researchers based in universities and Independent Research Organisations (IROs). But, the community also includes people who collaborate with researchers on arts and humanities projects and who are drawn from a wide range of sectors.

“If I have an apple and you have an apple and we exchange these apples, we will each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

Attributed to George Bernard Shaw

The AHRC Commons aims to:

explore key issues
and develop new projects together…

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AHRC grants awarded annually
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arts and humanities subject areas
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years since AHRC was founded

The AHRC Commons aims to:

share good practice in research, collaboration, and public engagement…

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Is the Commons all about impact – what about research?

  • Impact feeds off research and, when done well, feeds back into it.
  • The Commons is about the exchange and development of research ideas as well as establishing new pathways to impact. It can be an either/or, but it does not have to be – that will depend on which sessions you go to or agree to organise.
  • The notion of the Commons in itself raises a whole range of historical, ethical, economic, and legal research questions. There is an extensive literature on the Commons; much of it is rooted in the arts and humanities.

The AHRC Commons aims to:

develop events that use a novel mix of formats to promote the exchange and production of knowledge…

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How are Commons events any different to the ones that I already attend?

  • Commons events will be attended by a wider cross-section of people than other events. You will meet people who ask you new questions and introduce you to novel ideas, methods and tools.
  • These events will not be like others. There will be keynotes, presentations, and round tables. But, there could also be parallel sessions using new, proven methods for exchanging and building knowledge like: Open Innovation Technologies, Chiasma, Pecha Kucha, Brokered Collaboration, practice based sessions, all kinds of digital tools.
  • Businesses will be able to engage with a wide array of arts and humanities research at a Commons event and meet researchers they want to work with.