AHRC Research Grants┋Standard Route

The Research Grants scheme has two routes:

It is intended to support well-defined research projects enabling individual researchers to collaborate with, and bring benefits to, other individuals and organisations through the development of high quality research. Research Grants are not intended to support individual  scholarship; however, projects may include elements of individual research if it can be shown that there will be added value from bringing these elements together within a jointly developed research framework.


  • to assist researchers in all areas of the arts and humanities to improve the breadth and depth of our knowledge of human culture both past and present
  • to support well-defined research projects of the highest quality and standards that will lead to significant advances in creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding, of interest and value both in the research community and in wider contexts where they can make a difference
  • to enable arts and humanities researchers to pursue, and to bring to completion in due time, collaborative research projects of the highest quality that require leadership from more than a single scholar. You are required to include a principal investigator and at least one co-investigator jointly involved in the development of the research proposal, its leadership and management and leading to significant jointly authored research outputs to enable arts and humanities researchers to establish or enhance effective working relationships with fellow researchers - both within and beyond the arts and humanities and within and beyond the UK -, practitioners and the wide range of individuals and organisations who may benefit from their research
  • to provide opportunities for less experienced researchers to develop their expertise and their careers by working collaboratively with senior researchers on well-defined projects and by leading projects themselves
  • to maximise the value of research outcomes by promoting their communication and dissemination with individuals and organisations outside academia and, where appropriate, to facilitate the knowledge transfer of those outcomes to both the research community and other contexts where they will make a difference.

Scheme limit, duration and level of commitment

The standard route accepts proposals with a total full economic cost of between £50,000 and £1,000,000 and lasting up to a maximum of 60 months. The AHRC expects the Principal Investigator and any Co-Investigators to devote an average of at least 4 hours per week to the project.

If it is considered necessary for a Principal or Co-Investigator to devote an intensive period of time at specific points of the project’s funding lifetime, then this should be included in the application as the total number of hours to be devoted to the project and will therefore be reflected in the average number of hours devoted per week. You are reminded, however, that the time Investigators contribute to the project needs to be justified and will be considered as part of the peer review process.

International opportunities

AHRC attaches major importance to the position of UK arts and humanities research in the international and global arena and positively encourages active collaboration between UK researchers and those in other countries. To this end, it has forged collaborative funding agreements, enabling joint standard grants with leading overseas partners.

Eligibility - General

All UK Higher Education Institutions that receive grant funding from one of the UK higher education funding bodies are eligible to receive funds for research, postgraduate training and associated activities.

Principal Investigator

The Principal Investigator takes responsibility for the intellectual leadership of the research project and for the overall management of the research or or her activities. S/he will be the person to whom we shall address all correspondence and must be based at the organisation at which the grant will be held.

To be eligible, you must be actively engaged in postdoctoral research and be of postdoctoral standing. This means that you either have a doctorate or can demonstrate in the application that you have equivalent research experience and/or training.

You must have a level of skills, knowledge and experience appropriate to the nature of the proposed project.

The Principal Investigator must be resident in the UK

It is not permissible for someone to be both a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator and a research assistant on the same project.

Professors Emeriti are eligible to apply to some AHRC schemes.


A Co-Investigator assists the Principal Investigator in the management and leadership of the research project. The Co-Investigator can also undertake research activity themselves; there is no limit to the amount of time that the Co-Investigator can contribute although it needs to allow time for the management and leadership duties on the project.

There is no maximum number of Co-Investigators that can be included on a Research Grant or Follow-on Funding application. However, the inclusion of each Co-Investigator needs to be fully justified in the proposal. For Research Networking only one Co-Investigator is permitted. Please note co-Investigators are not permitted for the Leadership Fellows Scheme.

The AHRC allows international researchers to act as Co-Investigators on some of its schemes. Following a successful trial period for this policy, and in line with the commitments made in the Council’s current delivery plan, it has been decided to incorporate provision for International Co-Investigators into AHRC’s core eligibility requirements and standard funding terms and conditions on an ongoing basis.

In order to be considered eligible, an international co-investigator needs to have suitable academic experience (i.e. someone holding a PhD or equivalent qualification or experience) and be based at an established research organisation with significant research capacity. This organisation should be of comparable status and standing to a UK organisation which is eligible for UK Research Council funding, for example, a publicly funded university or a ‘not-for-profit’ research institution with a track record and distinctive research capacity and capability and distinctive research capacity in areas relevant to the proposed research. If an international co-Investigator is on the proposal an International Co-Investigator Head of Department Statement from the international co-I’s Head of Department must be attached to the proposal. If this is not attached the proposal will be rejected at sift stage 1. Further information about what to add in the International Co-Investigator Head of Department Statement can be found below in Attachments - International Co-Investigator Head of Department Statement.

International research organisations must have the necessary research capacity and capability to support the conduct of the specified research. It is the PI’s responsibility to articulate in the proposal the added value that an international co-investigator will bring to the overall leadership of the research and their role in the management of the project, as well as the relevant research experience and expertise that they will bring to the project team. It is the responsibility of the UK RO to check that the international co-investigator’s organisation is an appropriate organisation to receive and has systems in place to manage the funding provided. The RO will also need assurance that appropriate agreements are put in place for the delivery of the overseas activities funded under the grant. The AHRC will not be able to provide any additional assurance to ROs about overseas partners, but may by exception undertake additional checks or seek further information from ROs.

International co-investigators will not be permitted to take over as lead researcher (i.e. Principle Investigator) should the UK Principle Investigator step down for any reason.

Please note that before applying an international co-Investigator must have an active Je-S account, and it is the UK Research Organisation’s responsibility to ensure that this is the case.


All costs should fall under one of the following headings:

  • Staff: Payroll costs requested for staff, full or part-time, who will work on the project and whose time can be supported by a full audit trail during the life of the project.
  • Travel and Subsistence: Funds for travel and subsistence, for use by staff who work on the project, where these are required by the nature of the work.
  • Equipment: Individual items of equipment up to £10,000 (including VAT) are permissible to be included.


Proposals can be submitted at any time.

Unless otherwise stated, the assessment process for a proposal will take approximately 30 weeks. The start date entered on the proposal should be no earlier than 9 months after submission and should be no later than 18 months after submission.

Up to 60 months
Social sciences