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Institute of Advanced Study

About the Institute

The Institute of Advanced Study was formally inaugurated into Durham University on 11th October 2006. Durham University decided to commemorate its 175th Anniversary by establishing an ideas-driven Institute of Advanced Study in order to fulfil its ambition to join the cohort of world Universities renowned for their agenda-setting research.

At Durham, ‘frontier knowledge' is already generated through the leadership of innovative individuals, departments, and research centres within specialist international research networks. The central aim of the IAS is to work across these strengths in order to catalyse a different kind of ‘frontier knowledge', one generated through the engagement of specialists brought together to work on research topics that reach across the disciplines. A key feature of the Institute is that it embodies and connects every subject area at Durham University, whether in the Arts and Humanities, the Sciences, or the Social Sciences.

Through its annual thematic programmes, and from 2018/19 via its sponsorship of four bespoke projects, the Institute gathers together scholars, intellectuals and public figures of world standing or world promise from a varied range of backgrounds. Their mission is to anticipate the new and re-interpret the old by communicating across, or working between, disciplinary boundaries.

At the core of the IAS lies a prestigious Fellowship programme. Each year, two cohorts of ten world-class individuals are invited to spend three months in Durham. The Fellows are normally accommodated in one of the sixteen Durham Colleges, and are provided with an honorarium, and teaching buy-out costs if required. During their stay they advance their own research, engage with departments, deliver public lectures and seminars, and, above all, join an international community of researchers.

The Institute of Advanced Study is located at the heart of Durham City on the Durham Cathedral and Castle World Heritage Site. The Institute occupies a fully refurbished historic building which not only acts as a nerve centre for research activity in Durham University but also forms the hub of a global network of research and ideas.


Professor Veronica Strang on Intellectual Freedom and Cultural Issues Around Water

Professor Veronica Strang on Intellectual Freedom and Cultural Issues Around Water

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Professor Veronica Strang, cultural anthropologist, talks about the intellectual freedom offered at Durham's Institute of Advanced Study and her research into water.