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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Funding Opportunities

New (March 2019) - Funding announcement and call for proposals

IAS postgraduate and early career interdisciplinary conferences, workshops and other research-focussed events

The Institute of Advanced Study promotes, incubates and supports transformative interdisciplinary enquiry across the natural sciences, social sciences and arts and humanities. We are now pleased to announce a new funding initiative, supported by our endowment funds, and specifically targeted at Durham’s postgraduate (PGR) and early career (ECR) (postdoctoral) communities. Funding of up to £4000 per application is available to host an interdisciplinary conference or workshop that is aligned to the IAS’s goal of enhancing interdisciplinary thinking specifically amongst Durham PGR and ECR communities.This is an exciting opportunity for members of these communities to take their work into new territories and to foster ID dialogues and exchanges.

We anticipate funding will support a range of activities. Non-prescriptively, these may include: the (a) exploration of novel interdisciplinary perspectives on their research interests; (b) the development of networks of like-minded researchers within and beyond Durham; and/ or (c) provide a valuable experience of organising conferences, workshops and associated networking opportunities.

Reflecting our strong ID ethos, ALL proposals should involve PGRs/ECRs from a minimum of TWO academic departments and be genuinely interdisciplinary. We define this as a problem or concern that cannot be addressed without recourse to more than one disciplinary set of expertise. Proposals should explain how the topic will advance understanding through interdisciplinary engagement. Funding may be used to bring external speakers to Durham, for the local costs of hosting events and the IAS building and rooms are at the disposal of successful applicants.

Applicants need to identify a mentor to advise the organisation team.

Deadline: Midday, Friday 12 April 2019.

Process: please complete the attached application form.

Forthcoming IAS sponsored PG and ECR Events


Landscape and Identity:interdisciplinary explorations of being in the world - PG and ECR Workshop - 26 and 27 March 2020


The interrelation between human identities and the landscapes and environments they inhabit is recognised in many disciplines throughout the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences. With different disciplinary histories, backgrounds, research traditions, and paradigms, all these disciplines employ their own theories, approaches, and methods to study the link between landscapes, environments, and human identities across time and space. However, they all share common interests as well.

On the occasion of the establishment of Durham University’s interdisciplinary Landscape, Environment, and Identity Research Network, this workshop will provide a platform for cross-disciplinary conversations and collaborations aimed at the integration of different theories on, approaches to, and research methods for exploring the interrelations between landscape, environment, and identity. This workshop will offer an opportunity for PhD students and Early Career Researchers from a range of disciplines to come together and share their research on landscape and identity beyond their own discipline. We mean to investigate challenges to such interdisciplinary studies (e.g. due to different research traditions) and to discuss solutions to these issues. Our discussions are intended to form the basis of a collective output and to encourage future collaborations.

By bringing together researchers from various disciplinary backgrounds, including but not limited to Anthropology, Archaeology, Classics and Ancient History, Modern Languages, and Geography, the aim is to consider the following questions from a range of perspectives and disciplines:

  • How are the terms landscape and identity used and problematised across disciplines, and what issues arise from these ideas?

  • How are different identities established through human interaction with landscape or environment?

  • What (combination of) methods and approaches may we employ to analyse and interpret this interrelation between identity, landscapes and environments, whether real or imagined, urban, industrial, or natural?

  • How is human identity or sense of self affected when a landscape or environment changes, for instance due to war or conflict, political developments, natural disasters, tourism, climate change, etc.? ~

  • How does this in turn affect their interactions and/or relations with other peoples?

  • How can our academic research into different landscapes, environments and identities help address current issues in wider society, such as the dynamics between local and global identities, and our relation to a changing world that is subject to climate change?

Abstracts are invited for 20-minute papers that address these questions from any perspective. Potential topics could include (but are not limited to): identity in relation to (changing) political, built and natural environments or landscapes; the shaping of the self and the environment; and the intersection between landscape, identity and topics such as memory, emotion, gender, and sensory experiences (e.g. sound, smell, or taste).

Following the workshop, the convenors will seek to produce one or more collective outputs, both academic and non-academic, based on the contents of the papers. The exact form will depend on the ambitions and contributions of participants, but could include the following:

  • An edited book
  • A special issue of an interdisciplinary journal
  • An online blog
  • A piece for The Conversation

Anybody who would like to join the discussion and present a paper at this workshop, should send an abstract of up to 250 words to before 5pm (GMT) on Friday 15 November 2019. Thanks to a generous contribution from its sponsor, Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study, there will be no conference fee. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Applicants will be selected and notified by mid-December 2019.

For more information, please visit the or email the above email address. You can also follow this event on Twitter: @LandscapeDurham
NB. The convenors of this event wish to make it as inclusive as possible, so please do get in touch directly with the organisers via if you have any enquiries regarding access, and for any further information.

The small grants fund (upto £500 per activitity) for 2018/19 is now closed. Please review other funding calls available (see above).

Recent successful small grant applications and events are noted below



  • Philosophy of Life: The Utopias of Politics, Anthropology and Biology - 23 & 24 January 2018
  • The Twelfth MEMSA Conference: Humour and Obscenity in the Medieval and Early Modern World - 9 & 10 July 2018
  • Climate Myth-Busters Workshop - 15 & 16 June 2018


  • 'Narrating Nation, Sovereignty and Territory' Research Symposium - 03 December 2016;
  • 'Thatcher and Thatcherism: New Critical Perspectives' Conference - 19 and 20 January 2017;
  • 'Geography, Music, Space' Conference - 25 January 2017;
  • 'Editing behind the scenes: a multidisciplinary approach' Workshop - 10 March 2017;
  • Sudan Studies Postgraduate Conference - 13 May 2017;
  • 2017 Ustinov Annual Conference (UAC) - 7 - 8 July 2017;
  • MEMSA Conference - 11 - 12 July 2017;
  • 'Changing Climates: Realities, Representations and Responses to Environmental Challenges' Conference - 12 - 13 August 2017.


  • 'Narrative and Agency”' Workshop - 22nd – 23rd September 2016;
  • ‘Identifying Identity’ Tenth Annual Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA) Conference - 14-15 July 2016;
  • 'Monasticism and the challenge of the world: the western monastic experience, c. 1050-c. 1250' Conference 21-23 September 2016;
  • Water and Religious Life in Roman and Late Antique Near East Workshop - 23 March 2016.


  • The qanât: Archaeology and Environment Workshop (Archaeology) - 17th – 19th October, 2014;
  • Kaleidoscope one-day symposium on the theme Emergence - 5th December 2014;
  • Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient History (AMPAH 2015) - 21st March 2015;
  • Abnormality and the Abnormal in the Nineteenth-Century’ - 7th May 2015.


  • On the Fringes: Outsiders and Otherness in the Medieval and Early Modern World (Medieval and Early Modern Student Association) - 08 - 10 July 2014;
  • The Emergence of Human Complexity (Archaeology, Anthropology, Geography) - 16 May 2014;
  • Perspectives on the First Person Pronoun “I”: Looking at Metaphysics, Linguistics and Neuroscience (Philosophy) - 15/17 May 2014
  • Reading through Proust (Modern Languages and Cultures) - 24 January 2014;
  • Conceptualising Spaces of Light and Dark (Geography) - 14 January 2014;
  • Conceptual Boundaries of Symbolism. An Archaeological and Inter-disciplinary Discussion (Archaeology) - 31 January / 01 February 2014;
  • Thousand Worlds: Network Models in Archaeology (Archaeology) - 18/19 October 2013.