Humanities in the European Research Area announces winners of its first Joint Research Programme

16.4 million euro awarded to 19 transnational collaborative research projects in two humanities research themes across Europe

The Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) Network has announced that nearly 16.4 million euro has been committed in grants to nineteen collaborative research projects.

In 2009, the HERA Network launched the first Joint Research Programme (HERA JRP) for two themes 'Cultural Dynamics: Inheritance and Identity' and 'Humanities as a Source of Creativity and Innovation'.

The programme is co-funded by 13 humanities research councils in Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden and United Kingdom and the European Commission under the ERA-NET Plus scheme. Together they have pooled national and European funding to set up a common pot funding mechanism.

“The HERA Joint Research Programme offers a unique opportunity for much needed collaborative trans-national humanities research at the European level such as studies of certain social or ethnic groups across Europe - for instance, the Romani population -  or of ways through which creative ideas were and are transmitted across borders,” said Shearer West, Director of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Chair of the HERA JRP Board.

“HERA Joint Research Programme partners are hoping that this first Joint Research Programme will yield new insights from humanities research addressing such societal challenges as social cohesion or stimulating creativity and innovation”.

The call attracted a total of 234 proposals under both themes involving over 700 humanities scholars across Europe. The common pot funding mechanism has allowed funding the best proposals irrespective of the nationality of the applicants.

The European Science Foundation (ESF) managed the call for proposals and the two-stage peer review process involving evaluations by the two international review panels and external expert referees.

Most of the funded projects will run for three years (2010-2013) and will work closely with museums, cultural heritage institutions, festivals or policy-makers to ensure the continued societal relevance of the research projects and the transfer of the research results to interested policy makers and cultural organisations.

The following proposals were awarded funding under the 'Cultural Dynamics: Inheritance and Identity' theme:


  • The Dynamics of the Medieval Manuscript: Text Collections from a European Perspective    
    Project leader: Bart Besamusca, Utrecht University (NL)
  • Investigating discourses of inheritance and identity in four multilingual European settings    
    Project leader: Adrian Blackledge, University of Birmingham (UK)
  • Photographs, Colonial Legacy and Museums in Contemporary European Culture   
    Project leader: Elizabeth Edwards, University of the Arts, London (UK)
  • Memory at War: Cultural Dynamics in Poland, Russia, and Ukraine   
    Project leader: Alexander Etkind, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • The Assembly Project - Meeting-places in Northern Europe AD 400-1500   
    Project leader: Frode Iversen, University of Oslo (NO)
  • Popular music heritage, cultural memory, and cultural identity: Localised popular music histories and their significance for music audiences and music industries in Europe    
    Project leader: Susanne Janssen, Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL)
  • The Role of Language in the Transnational Formation of Romani Identity  
    Project leader: Yaron Matras, University of Manchester (UK)
  • Cultural memory and the resources of the past, 400-1000 AD   
    Project leader: Walter Pohl, University of Vienna (AT)
  • Sharing Ancient Wisdoms: Exploring the tradition of Greek and Arabic wisdom literatures  
    Project leader: Charlotte Roueche, King's College London (UK)
  • Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities   
    Project leader: Tony Whyton, The University of Salford (UK)

The following proposals received funding under the 'Humanities as a Source of Creativity and Innovation' theme:


  • Measuring the societal impacts of universities' research into arts and the humanities
    Project leader: Paul Benneworth, University of Twente (NL)
  • Copyrighting Creativity: Creative Values, Cultural Heritage Institutions and Systems of Intellectual Property   
    Project leader: Helle Porsdam     University of Copenhagen (DK)
  • Technology, Exchange and Flow: Artistic Media Practices & Commercial Application   
    Project leader: Michael Punt, University of Plymouth (UK)
  • Developing a Network-Based Creative Community; Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice    
    Project leader: Scott Rettberg, University of Bergen (NO)
  • Creativity and Craft Production in Middle and Late Bronze Age Europe   
    Project leader: Joanna Sofaer, University of Southampton (UK)
  • Creativity and Innovation in a World of Movement    
    Project leader: Maruska Svasek, Queens University Belfast (UK)
  • Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment   
    Project leader: Jeremy Till, University of Westminster (UK)
  • Of Authorship and Originality. Reclaiming Copyright in Support of Creative Collaboration in the Digital Environment.    
    Project leader: Mireille van Eechoud, University of Amsterdam (NL)
  • Fashioning the Early Modern: Innovation and Creativity in Europe, 1500-1800   
    Project leader: Evelyn Welch, Queen Mary, University of London (UK)