We use research to understand and care for the historic environment effectively. Knowledge of the past is vital for informing management decisions today and for promoting a broader understanding of our history and prehistory in the future. 

We are active in a wide range of research fields, including surveying and recording, conserving and managing the historic environment and its collections, and exploring the social and economic value and benefits of the historic environment.

HES is an Independent Research Organisation (IRO) with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). HES is also part of the Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium (SCHC) - alongside National Museums Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland. The SCHC aims to deliver world class research through doctoral partnerships which promote collaboration between the academic community and Scotland’s national collections.