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Science and Heritage Programme funding

The Science and Heritage Programme is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and is supported by Research Councils UK.

The Science and Heritage Programme developed from a recommendation in the Report of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Inquiry on Science and Heritage. Based on the recognised research needs of cultural heritage, the programme's dual purpose is to:

* build capacity through opportunities for collaboration among disciplines ranging from arts and humanities to science, engineering and technology, and
* to fund interdisciplinary research and support training of young researchers.

The programme has provided a locus for those wishing to engage with science and heritage and has ensured that knowledge is disseminated widely. It has also provided funding for collaborative research studentships, post-doctoral fellowships and major interdisciplinary research grants in heritage science.

Research Clusters

The Science and Heritage Programme has also provided twelve months funding for thirteen research clusters. These clusters were established to further our understanding and help preserve cultural heritage by facilitating interactions between researchers and stakeholders from a range of disciplines and institutions. These clusters have drawn participants from many different types of research organisations including higher education, research institutions, heritage organisations, museums, galleries, libraries and archives.

Researching Ivory

Researching Ivory was proposed as a research cluster by Dr Paul Lane and Dr Sonia O'Connor and was successful in attracting a year's funding from the Science and Heritage Programme, from January 2009. During this period the research cluster ran two one-day and one two-day workshops on ivory, developed protocols on a range of topics, such as destructive sampling of ivories, identified the most pressing research questions and established a website to keep its growing number of participants informed.

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With the establishment of the Ebur website the aim is to build a much needed research resource, to extent the network internationally and foster future ivory workshops.