Nineteen collaborative research projects have succeeded in securing more than EUR 16 million in funding under the Humanities in the European Research Area Network Joint Research Programme (HERA JRP). A joint call for humanities-related transnational projects was launched in 2009, spotlighting two key themes: Cultural Dynamics: Inheritance and Identity; and Humanities as a Source of Creativity and Innovation. The funding for the two themes, which fall under the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) Work Programme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), is made available by the European Commission, under the ERA-NET Plus scheme, as well as by 13 humanities research councils from Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK. The EUR 16.4 million in funding has been placed in a single common pot. HERA has two main objectives: to foster transnational research cooperation in the humanities and to ensure non-fragmentation of research in the humanities in Europe. The ERA-NET also seeks to help forge partnerships between European research funding agencies and establish best practices in science management in the humanities. 'The HERA Joint Research Programme offers a unique opportunity for much needed collaborative transnational humanities research at the European level such as studies of certain social or ethnic groups across Europe - for instance, the Romani population - or of ways through which creative ideas were and are transmitted across borders,' said a statement from Shearer West, Director of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Chair of the HERA JRP Board. 'HERA Joint Research Programme partners are hoping that this first JRC will yield new insights from humanities research addressing such societal challenges as social cohesion or stimulating creativity and innovation.' More than 700 humanities scholars submitted 234 proposals for this call. The European Science Foundation (ESF) managed the call for proposals, which were reviewed by two international panels as well as external expert referees. In general, the projects' funding covers the period 2010-2013. The project partners will collaborate with cultural heritage institutions, museums, festivals and policymakers to make sure that the results of their work will be transferred to cultural groups and policymakers. The HERA JRP, which is coordinated by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, will increase the quality of European debates on basic human values, cultural identity, gender issues and ethics. The work will also help give the EU's competitiveness a boost. Ultimately, the HERA JRP will not only drive knowledge transfer, but it will raise awareness about how humanities research and trends can help set the pace of how our society should work now and in the future.
Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Croatia, Ireland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Slovenia