AHRC IROC homepage image

We are a network of museums, galleries, libraries and other UK heritage organisations recognised by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as independent research organisations.

The UK’s heritage organisations play a special role in leading and supporting world-class research across the cultural and academic sectors. Our diverse collections are world-renowned and our research programmes similarly broad, enhancing existing knowledge of our subject matter and professional practice. Our research projects include archaeological excavations across the world, work on the significance of artefacts from Magna Carta to the miniskirt, scientific research into historic and modern materials, and much more.

We welcome the opportunity to work with UK and international partners and are interested in discussing possible research projects and collaborations. Find out more about each of our organisations’ research interests, resources and opportunities using the links above.

What is an AHRC Independent Research Organisation (IRO)?

An IRO is an organisation which is deemed by AHRC to have a large enough research ‘critical mass’ to be considered for AHRC funding in the same way as a university.

To be eligible as an IRO, organizations must possess the in-house capacity to carry out research that substantially extends and enhances the national research base, and be able to demonstrate an independent capability to undertake and lead research programmes. They must also satisfy other criteria related to their financial and legal status.

AHRC IROs are now also eligible to apply to schemes run by the other member councils of UK Research and Innovation.