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Preserving Our Past A Call for Participants A facilitated event to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration amongst the historic environment research community. Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, NEC, Birmingham, 29 March 2006 Deadline for Expressions of Interest: 15 February 2006 Background The UK‟s historic environment is a great national resource. We have a rich legacy of medieval churches, prehistoric monuments and country houses. And we mustn‟t forget that the historic environment is more than just bricks and mortar; it encompasses landscapes and any other physical survivals of our past. The historic environment is a major contributor to the UK economy, attracting millions of tourists to our shores each year. It underpins a huge number of jobs, in rural and deprived communities as well as in traditional economic centres. We therefore need to ensure that our historic environment is properly preserved, creating places where people want to live and work. Our rich past needs to be made a vital and living part of our future. The complex interplay of cultural, economic and physical forces that make up the historic environment, together with the diversity and fragmentation of the relevant research disciplines, means that successfully addressing a range of issues, for example, the impact of climate change, sustainable communities, engaging and developing diverse audiences requires cross-disciplinary effort. This is a call for Expressions of Interest from anyone who would like to attend a facilitated workshop on 29 March 2006. The aim of the workshop will be to encourage cross-discipline collaboration among the historic environment research community. The event will lead to the formation of up to 5 research clusters in cross-cutting themes to be agreed during the event. Each cluster will be funded for one year to build interdisciplinary research communities. Only those people attending the workshop will be eligible to apply for research cluster funding as the principal investigator. The remit of the workshop will include the arts, humanities, engineering, physical sciences, economics, social sciences and natural environment research. -1- Introduction The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), working with English Heritage, have identified a need to build effective working relationships across discipline barriers in the historic environment research community. In addition, new relationships between academic researchers and those working in the creative, cultural and heritage sectors need to be developed to meet the needs of the historic environment. This will improve the health of the research base, and lead to better exploitation of results. There have been initiatives in the past, such as the EPSRC, in collaboration with the UK Climate Impacts Programme, funding on Building Knowledge for a Changing Climate and NERC‟s Environmental Factors in the Chronology of Human Evolution and Dispersal (EFCHED) programme. The opportunity has now arisen for a more concerted and coordinated approach to these issues. October 2005 saw the launch of the English Heritage Research Strategy, “Discovering the Past, Shaping the Future”. Plus, a UK-wide framework for policy research has been published by the UK Historic Environment Research Group (UKHERG) which brings together organisations from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales involved in commissioning socio-economic policy research on the historic environment. In order to encourage and facilitate such interactions AHRC, ESRC, EPSRC, and NERC in partnership with English Heritage are holding a workshop to bring together representatives from the breadth of academic disciplines covered by these research councils and industrial/practitioner communities. At the event issue-focussed themes will be identified, discussed and refined until 5 broad themes that historic environment research should address are agreed upon. Who should attend this event? This is an opportunity to share ideas and meet future collaborators. Academics can expect to meet others involved in research in the historic environment from a diverse range of fields. They will learn the issues of critical importance for practitioners and through the research clusters can work up research ideas based on this information. Practitioners will have the opportunity to influence the direction of future academic research and to make contact with top UK academic expertise in historic environment research. Attendees at the event are expected to be a mix of academics from the following fields; arts, humanities, engineering, physical sciences, economics, social science and natural environment research, as well as practitioners and representatives from organisations such as English Heritage. Applicants should be able to demonstrate their experience of historic environment research, as well as their enthusiasm for enhancing collaboration across disciplinary borders. Workshop Event The workshop is designed to encourage discussion between participants who have not worked together before. The discussion will highlight areas of common interest between participants. Together you will identify research themes where collaboration would be most beneficial for the historic environment. Participants will be able to sign up for areas they want to explore further and research cluster collaborators will be identified. -2- The workshop will run from 10am – 5pm on 29 March 2006. Through the facilitated sessions you will have the opportunity to contribute to the identification of issue-based themes and interact with a large number of participants, learning and sharing ideas. The whole event will be designed to maximise your networking opportunities. AHRC, ESRC, EPSRC, NERC and English Heritage envisage that up to 5 research clusters, each of one year duration, will be funded as a result of this workshop. Research clusters must be multi/interdisciplinary, involving collaboration across traditional Research Council boundaries. The cluster proposals will be subject to peer review assessment. Additional guidance on the preparation of proposals will be provided following the workshop. The deadline for submission of research cluster proposals will be 31st May 2006. Only those people attending the workshop will be eligible to apply for research cluster funding as principal investigator. Participation in the resulting research cluster activities will be open to all. If any research ideas are generated during the workshop, participants are free to apply for funding to the relevant research council(s) in the normal way. How to Apply Applications for this event are invited from individuals who wish to be involved in the subsequent research clusters. Approximately 80 participants will be identified to take part in the workshop from the Expressions of Interest received by Wednesday 15 February. A broad spread of academics from the following fields; arts, humanities, engineering, physical sciences, economics, social science and natural environment research, as well as practitioners are needed to ensure the event is a success. This will be taken account of in the selection process and may result in only one representative from each organisation/department/research group being invited. Applicants should complete the two page Expression of Interest Form (see appendix). The deadline for applications is Wednesday 15 February 2006. Applications should be submitted by e-mail to PreservingOurPast@epsrc.ac.uk. Please include „Preserving Our Past‟ in the subject field. You will be informed of your place at the event by the end of February. Contact Information Any enquiries regarding this call should be addressed to: Katie Daniel, Associate Programme Manager, EPSRC email@example.com; Tel: 01793 444115 Deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest 15 February 2006 Notification of place at event End of February Date of Workshop 29 March 2006 -3- Appendix: Preserving Our Past A facilitated event to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration amongst the historic environment research community. Expression of Interest Form1 I would like to attend the “Preserving Our Past” workshop on 29 March 2006. Name Tel: Department, Fax: School, Division or Group University/ Email: Organisation Address Town / City Post Code I consider myself to be an: (please specify area of research e.g. physicist or historian) Please take the time to answer the following questions. Your answers will help selection of a range of participants and will allow AHRC, ESRC, EPSRC, NERC and English Heritage to design the most suitable event. Please describe your current/past research into the historic environment 1 In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, the personal data provided on this form will be processed by EPSRC, and may be held on computerised databases and/or manual files until after the event. -1- What would you gain by involvement in a cross-disciplinary research cluster on the historic environment? What do you believe are the key issues that research into the historic environment should address? Please do not exceed the 2 page limit for this form, minimum 10 point font size and send completed form by email to PreservingOurPast@epsrc.ac.uk by 15 February 2006. -2-
"Preserving Our Past"