Research Matters: International collaboration opens up a whole world of opportunities

The world of academic research changes continually in exciting ways and UK arts and humanities researchers undertake a wide range of collaborations.

Inter-disciplinary projects and international partnerships offer a passport for post-graduate students to work with people and resources worldwide. These projects and partnerships can widen their horizons, bring them into contact with the world's best and produce some stunning work.

Mat Francis, an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) doctoral student in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Leeds discovered this when he took advantage of an AHRC scheme to enable UK PhD students to workin teh United States at the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Mat's PhD investigated the relationship between religious beliefs and violence. His aim was to investigate how and why religious beliefs sometimes produce violence and hatred.

His time at the Library of Congress gave him the chance to use the world's largest library with its magnificent archives and collections. But more important, he worked with international scholars whose knowledge and ideas enriched his research and challenged the assumptions he held. He also built relationships to develop future work on this issue of concern to researchers, governments and communities worldwide.

Mat's experience in Washington, like those of the 25 fellow doctoral students who enjoyed this opportunity last year, is just one instance of how undertaking post-graduate research in the arts and humanities at UK universities can lead to opportunities to collaborate with international partners. Over recent years the AHRC has established a number of international collaborations with overseas research organisations to enable UK students to access research facilities and engage in dialogue with minds across the globe.

For example, if a student looking at Japanese culture or its impact on the UK, can spend six months on a scholarship with the National Institutes for the Humanities in Japan at one of five Japanese inter-university research institutes.

The AHRC has also established a similar collaboration in China thatenables UK scholars to attend collaborative summer schools. Similar possibilities are in prospect in India and South Korea, as well as other major research libraries in the US.

We live in a global world in which increasingly we need to know more and more about each other and our different ways of life. Research at all levels enhances international understanding. It builds sustainable relationships across agencies and countries and between individuals forming lifelong collaborations. It makes best use of the world's greatest resources and facilities and enhances the finest work.

To take up international opportunities such as these, a student first needs to be undertaking research funded by the AHRC. So if you are considering applying for the next academic year, now is the time to do it. Most deadlines for AHRC post-graduate funding will be in March and April 2011.

Opportunities such as these for arts and humanities researchers are also available to researchers across other disciplines. All the research councils have international partnerships that enable their researchers to work with fellow academics around the world. The Research Councils UK offices in China, India and the US alongside the UK Research Office in Brussels help strengthen these links to develop international collaborative research for the coming years.

More information about AHRC can be found at www.ahrc.ac.uk and about funding opportunities at all the UK research councils through www.rcuk.ac.uk

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are a recent psychology graduate ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior / Graduate Graphic Designer

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Largest Independent Motor D...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Guru Careers: Graduate Sales Executive

£18 - 24k OTE + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Executive ...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...