Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 1 | 6. Januar 2020

UK and German Researchers Join Forces to Support Research Innovation in the Arts and Humanities

UKRI’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) are pleased to announce funding for 19 UK-German collaborative research projects under the first round of a new bilateral annual funding call, which was managed by the DFG in close partnership with the AHRC. The 19 projects will bring together arts and humanities researchers in the UK and Germany to conduct outstanding joint UK-German research projects.

The 19 successful projects of the AHRC/DFG open call were selected through a highly competitive joint review process, leading to a joint peer review panel meeting in Bonn in autumn 2019. Demand under this first call was much higher than anticipated with over 170 joint applications submitted from across a wide range of humanities subject areas. In the light of the unanticipated high demand, both funders agreed to increase the budget for the first call to enable 19 projects to be supported, with total funding of over £5m in the UK matched by over €6m for research teams in Germany. The projects, which span a wide range of research subjects, will start in early 2020 and are expected to run for three years until 2023.

Both funders recognise that some of the best research in the arts and humanities can only be achieved by working with the best researchers internationally. Executive Chair of the AHRC, Prof. Dr. Andrew Thompson and the former President of the DFG, Prof. Dr. Peter Strohschneider, jointly state “we are delighted to see the launch of this first round of projects funded under the bilateral agreement between the AHRC and the DFG. Both organisations are strongly committed to supporting international collaboration and we are delighted to work in a partnership to create this new collaborative funding opportunity. It sends a strong message that the first call generated such high levels of interest in both the UK and Germany and that through this first call we have been able to support such a fantastic range of outstanding projects, indicating the far reaching cross-national importance of arts and humanities research. We hope that this first cohort of projects will help to strengthen and deepen research cooperation between the UK and Germany in the arts and humanities and contribute to the growth of a transnational collaborative research culture in both countries”.

At the same time Prof. Dr. Thompson and Prof. Dr. Strohschneider remark that “the current joint funding initiative of AHRC and DFG brings to light the need for further commitment of funding agencies to pay particular attention to scholars that work in research fields that are politically less prioritised and appreciated but that at the same time are of paramount societal importance”.

AHRC and DFG underline this further commitment by a second bilateral open funding call for joint applications between arts and humanities researchers based in Germany and the UK, which will again address the entire spectrum of the arts and humanities (including law and linguistic) that fall within the remits of DFG and AHRC. This second round will build on the success of the first round and will be managed by the AHRC in close partnership with the DFG. The second call will largely follow the same jointly agreed policies and procedures as set out in the first call, with applications being directed towards the AHRC’s application systems in the first instance.

Besides these funding calls AHRC and DFG will support efforts to better bring out the value of the humanities as these disciplines are essential for the interpretation of the world.

Prof. Dr. Thompson and Prof. Dr. Strohschneider jointly assert that “across the world we face uncertain and politically challenging times, and in this context the AHRC and DFG seek to intensify their cooperation to make a better case for scholarship in the humanities”.

Funded projects

  • “Twisted Transfers”: Discursive Constructions of Corruption in Ancient Greece and Rome
    Filippo Carlà-Uhink, Universität Potsdam; Marta García Morcillo, University of Roehampton
    Discipline: Ancient History
  • Historicising Natures, Cultures and Laws in the Etosha-Kunene Conservation Territories of Namibia: From Deutsch Südwestafrika’s “Game Reserve No. 2” to “Kunene People’s Park”?
    Ute Dieckmann, Universität zu Köln; Sian Sullivan, Bath Spa University
    Discipline: Social and Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology
  • Complexity in Derivational Morphology: Theory and Experimental Evidence
    Carsten Eulitz, Universität Konstanz; Aditi Lahiri, University of Oxford
    Disciplines: Linguistics; Cognitive Neuroscience
  • The Intertwined World of the Oral and Written Transmission of Sacred Traditions in the Middle East
    Alba Fedeli, Universität Hamburg; Geoffrey Khan, University of Cambridge
    Disciplines: Islamic Studies, Arabian Studies, Semitic Studies; Religious Studies and Jewish Studies
  • Jewish Pimps, Prostitutes and Campaigners in a Transnational German and British Context, 1875–1940
    Stefanie Fischer, Technische Universität Berlin; Daniel Lee, University of Sheffield
    Disciplines: Modern and Current History; Religious Studies and Jewish Studies
  • The Íslendingasögur as Prosimetrum
    Stefanie Gropper, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen; Judy Quinn, Cambridge University
    Discipline: European and American Literature
  • Seascapes: Tracing the Emergence and Spread of Maritime Networks in the Central and Western Mediterranean in the 3rd Millennium BC
    Lucy Cramp, University of Bristol; Maria Ivanova-Bieg, Universität Heidelberg
    Discipline: Prehistory
  • Reading the Library of Ashurbanipal: A Multi-sectional Analysis of Assyriology’s Foundational Corpus
    Enrique Jiménez, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; Jonathan Taylor, The British Museum
    Discipline: Ancient Near Eastern Studies
  • Beethoven in the House: Digital Studies of Domestic Music Arrangements
    Johannes Kepper, Universität Paderborn; Kevin Page, University of Oxford
    Discipline: Musicology
  • The Law of Protracted Conflict: Overcoming the Humanitarian-Development Divide
    Robin Geiß, University of Glasgow; Heike Krieger, Freie Universität Berlin
    Discipline: Law
  • Looking in from the Edge (LIFTE) – The Impact of International Commercialisation on North-West Europe’s Peripheral Communities 1468–1712: Production, Commerce and Consumption in Orkney and Shetland
    Sarah Jane Gibbon, University of Highlands and Islands; Natascha Mehler, Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum
    Disciplines: Prehistory; History
  • Risky Hormones, Pregnant Patients and the Contested Science of Birth Defects: the Rise and Fall of Hormone Pregnancy Tests in the FRG and UK, 1950–1981
    Birgit Nemec, Universität Heidelberg; Jesse Olszynko-Gryn, University of Strathclyde
    Discipline: History of Science
  • From Icon to Abstraction in Sign Language: how Iconicity Shapes the Lexicon in the Visual Modality
    Gerardo Ortega, University of Birmingham; Pamela Perniss, Universität zu Köln
    Discipline: Linguistics
  • Corridor Talk: Conservation Humanities and the Future of Europe’s National Parks
    Graham Huggan, University of Leeds; Katie Ritson, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
    Disciplines: European and American Literature; General and Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
  • How Does it Feel? – Interpersonal Understanding and Affective Empathy
    Neil Roughley, Universität Duisburg-Essen; Thomas Schramme, University of Liverpool
    Discipline: Philosophy
  • Finance, Law and the Language of Governmental Practice in Late Medieval Towns: Aberdeen and Augsburg in Comparison
    Jackson Armstrong, University of Aberdeen; Jörg Rogge, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
    Discipline: History
  • Conquest, Ecology and Economy in Islamic North Africa: The Example of the Central Medjerda Valley
    Corisande Fenwick, University College London; Philipp von Rummel, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin
    Disciplines: Prehistory, Physical Geography
  • The Restitution of Knowledge: Artefacts as Archives in the (Post)Colonial Museum, 1850–1939
    Dan Hicks, University of Oxford; Bénédicte Savoy, Technische Universität Berlin
    Discipline: Art History
  • The History of the Jewish Book in the Islamicate World
    Judith Olszowy-Schlanger, University of Oxford; Ronny Vollandt, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
    Discipline: Religious Studies and Jewish Studies

Further Information

For more detailed information on the second DFG/AHRC call, please refer to the AHRC website:

United Kingdom, AHRC:

Germany, DFG: