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Institute of Advanced Study
Transforming the way we think

The Institute of Advanced Study is a prestigious, ideas-based Institute bringing together some of the world’s finest researchers from all disciplines to examine themes of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance. At least twenty visiting fellows per annum are based in Cosin's Hall, a beautiful 18th Century, Grade 1 listed mansion house, situated on Palace Green (a World Heritage site). They work with Durham scholars to spark new investigations, set tomorrow's agenda and participate in a varied programme of activities.

The Institute also serves as a top-level forum, enabling key-decision makers and experts to discuss pressing policy problems in an intellectually stimulating and unrestricted manner. We put on a wide range of public lectures and other events. There are also opportunities for postgraduates and other early career researchers to get involved.

The IAS aims to build research capacity, realise potential, and meet the challenges of a changing world. There are many ways to participate in the life and work of the institute. We warmly welcome your involvement.


IAS Structure Theme for 2017/18: Deadline for Activity Proposals and Fellowship Nominations

Following its university-wide consultation and announcement of its 2017/18 theme, Structure, the Institute of Advanced Study recently held a scoping meeting to discuss the potential sub-themes under which proposals for activities may coalesce.

A number of potential sub-themes have been identified:

  • Structural Relations
  • Structural Dependencies and Impositions
  • Structure and Sustainability
  • Destruction
  • Constructure
  • Structure and Scale
  • Structure and Representation
  • Structure and Interdisciplinarity
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
  • Experiencing and Embodying Structure;
  • Envisioning Structure;
  • Structure and Temporality;
  • Governing Structures;
  • Structuring Knowledge. 

In addition, if colleagues have an idea for a research activity that does not fit under any of these headings, but is innovative and interdisciplinary, they are still encouraged to submit an activity proposal.

The deadline for returning proposals for activities is 18 March 2016. The deadline for nominating potential Fellows is 10 June 2016.

Activity proposals and Fellowship nominations should be made using the proformas available to download from the IAS website on the ‘Annual Themes’ page under StructureThere is no need for detailed project development at this stage: we are simply looking for summary project descriptions that highlight creativity, relevance and outcomes. The proformas will assist the IAS Directors to make decisions when they discuss all of the sub-theme proposals at their meeting on 29th March. The details of the theme and the timescales mentioned above are also available at

Any queries or questions should be directed to the Institute Administrator, Linda Crowe.

(4 Feb 2016)

The Institute of Advanced Study welcomes its Epiphany Term Fellows

The Institute of Advanced Study is delighted to welcome its second cohort of Fellows connected with its 2015/16 Evidence year. This term’s visiting Fellows include: renowned historian Professor John Brewer from the California Institute for Technology whose research interests focus on issues of value in the visual-art world and questions of travel, tourism, identity, and place; philosopher Professor Jessica Brown from the University of St Andrews who works on a wide range of topics within philosophy of mind, epistemology, and the methodology of philosophy; Professor Tim May from the University of Salford who researches issues relating to knowledge, governance and policy-making; Dr Zoë Crossland an anthropologist from Columbia University who focuses on the historical archaeology of Madagascar, as well as forensic archaeology and evidential practices around human remains; Professor Heather Douglas from the University of Queensland whose research focus is broadly in the criminal justice field, with particular interests in the relationship between Indigenous people and the criminal law; and Dr David Dryden from Edinburgh University, a leading authority on the molecular biology of the DNA restriction and modification (RM) enzymes of prokaryotes. See further details about all this term's visiting Fellows.

(4 Jan 2016) » More about The Institute of Advanced Study welcomes its Epiphany Term Fellows

Evidence On Trial: weighing the value of evidence in academic enquiry, policy and everyday life - Call for papers (CfP)

This international conference, which takes place on 12 - 14 July 2016, celebrates the IAS’s 10th Anniversary. The conference focuses on issues of Evidence, in accord with the IAS’s annual research theme for 2015-16.

The conference follows the model of the IAS's successful 2014 conference, and as well as drawing delegates from around the world, the conference welcomes former IAS Fellows back to Durham to consider the evidential aspects of the annual themes under which they undertook Fellowships in Durham. These themes include: The Legacy of Charles Darwin; Modelling; Being Human; Water; Futures; Time, Light and Emergence. These panels and others, are open to any researcher with interests on any aspect of Evidence. 

(1 Dec 2015) » More about Evidence On Trial: weighing the value of evidence in academic enquiry, policy and everyday life - Call for papers (CfP)

IAS Fellow to brief British Government on human rights issues

Professor George Williams, visiting Durham from the University of New South Wales, Australia, has met the Minister for Human Rights, Dominic Raab MP, to brief the British Government on human rights legislation. As a Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study, Professor Williams is exchanging ideas about his research on anti-terror law and democracy with colleagues in Durham: this work will now provide direct input into public debates about human rights. Further details about Professor Williams are at:

(1 Dec 2015)

Monday 15 February 2016

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Thursday 18 February 2016

2013/14 Annual Report - Light

2013/14 Annual Report - Light

Contact Details

Institute of Advanced Study
Durham University
Cosin's Hall
Palace Green
Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 2589

2015-16 Annual Programme: Evidence

A number of additional events have been added to this year's programme. There are also a small number of date or time changes. Please review the comprehensive Events Calendar for all current details. 


Workshop date change: Evidence, Policy and Regulations series - Evidence Synthesis by Building a Case (Workshop 2: Amalgamation and the Principle of Total Evidence) from 11 February to 03 February (details)

Workshop date change: Talking Therapies: evidence and evaluation - What Evidence Works Best for NICE Therapy? from 06 May to 27 April (details).

Workshop series time changes: Evidence Synthesis by Building a Case
Evidence Amalgamation: weighing the evidence versus building a case - 10 November 2015, revised start time: 2.00 - 6.00pm
Amalgamation and the Principle of Total Evidence - Date change from 11 February 2016 to 03 February, revised start time: 2.00 - 6.00pm
What will work in my School? ' What does the Evidence Say - 10 May 2016, revised start time: 2.00 - 6.00pm

Navigating Interdisciplinarity Publication - Revised 2015

'Navigating Interdisciplinarity' is an IAS workshop designed to facilitate research collaboration across disciplines. To assist others embarking upon interdisciplinary research we are making this publication freely available. We ask only that you cite the IAS/Durham as the source. Please download here.