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“Uses of the Past” – €20 Million HERA Joint Research Programme Call

Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) has launched a €20 million call for humanities-led research programmes to examine the various ways in which understandings and representations of the past impact on the present.

Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) is a partnership of 24 European Humanities Research Councils and the European Commission, which works in support of the objective to link European humanities research programmes and organisations and firmly establish the humanities in the European Research Area and in the European Commission Framework Programmes. Through its Joint Research Programmes (JRP), HERA aims to encourage and support new and innovative research to further the contribution of the humanities to the European Research Area as well as to the ongoing debates on issues of particular relevance to European society.

The latest HERA JRP Call “Uses of the Past” (HERA JRP UP) seeks to solicit proposals from transnational consortia for humanities-led research to examine the various ways in which understandings and representations of the past have had, and do have, significant impact on the present and future. The Call is co-financed by the participating 22 HERA humanities funding agencies and the European Commission, with a total fund of €20 million.

The objective of the Call is to create opportunities for collaborative, transnational humanities-led research that will result in new academic insights relevant to major social, cultural, and political challenges facing Europe and the world. In order to understand the pressing societal questions of identity, integration, political legitimacy, creativity and cultural dynamics across Europe, new and more complex understandings of how individuals and societies use and reflect upon the past are required – taking account of how cultural ideas, traditions and practices are constructed, transferred and disseminated among different agents and regions.

Research questions should derive from major transformation processes. Possible avenues of research could involve, for example:

  • Changing uses of (different) pasts.
  • Uses of the past for identity construction and institutional embedding of norms and values.
  • Uses of the past in media, material culture and public space.
  • Uses of the past: transnational/international/national and regional dimensions, including globalisation.
  • Uses of the past: impact on solving current problems, decision making and future policies.

Proposals are invited from researchers (of any nationality) in the participating HERA JRP UP countries, which include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Each Collaborative Research Project (CRP) proposal must include at least four different Principal Investigators, each based in an eligible university or research institute in a different participating HERA JRP UP country. The total budget for the HERA JRP UP call is €20million, with a maximum budget request for each Collaborative Research Proposal of €1.2 million. Projects must be no more than 36 months in duration.

The Humanities Department of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) will act as the Handling Agency, managing the call and selection process on behalf of the HERA funding partners.

Outline Proposals must be submitted electronically by Thursday 9 April 2015 (7pm Central European Time; 6pm Greenwich Mean Time)

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