HERA – Humanities in the European Research Area - is a partnership between 24 Humanities Research Councils across Europe and the European Science Foundation (ESF), with the objective of firmly establishing the humanities in the European Research Area and in the European Commission Framework Programmes.

The humanities are crucial to the understanding and conceptualising of fundamental changes in contemporary European society. Linking national programmes and launching joint research programmes dealing with all-encompassing social, cultural, political and ethical developments will generate new knowledge and enable policy-makers, scientists and the general public to interpret the challenges of a changing world. HERA aims to set new and innovative research agendas and thus enhance the humanities’ contribution to the European Research Area as well as to the ongoing debates on issues of particular relevance to European society.

Please visit the HERA website www.heranet.info and follow us on twitter @HERA_Research

Role of the Irish Research Council

The Irish Research Council is currently the handling agency for HERA JRP 2: "Cultural Encounters" (2013-2016) and HERA JRP 3 "Uses of the Past" (2016-2019)

Third Joint Research Programme (2016 - 2019)

The HERA network along with the European Commission is investing €21 million in 18 European research teams as part of its third Joint Research Programme (JRP) "Uses of the Past".

The "Uses of the Past" projects involve 18 Project Leaders; 62 Principal Investigators; 106 postdoctoral fellows; 30 PhD students and 76 associated partners. These projects will be funded for a maximum duration of three years (2016-2019).

The "Uses of the Past" theme recognises that in order to understand the pressing societal questions of identity, integration, political legitimacy, creativity and cultural dynamics across Europe we need to understand how societies use and reflect upon the past. This theme examines which historically-informed ideas and actions in society are promoted, mobilised and legitimised, and identifies the mechanisms and motives that lie behind the work of historical understanding. The 18 funded projects deal with a variety of subjects ranging from the Carolingian world, identity and citizenship, HIV/AIDS, to economics, arts, religion and languages.

Click here for "Uses of the Past" briefing notes.

*All call documents are available at http://heranet.info/hera-jrp-documents-1

Which Countries are involved?

The following countries have committed to the HERA JRP on "Uses of the Past":

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Funding is provided from HERA partners and The European Union is providing top-up funding via a COFUND grant to the HERA JRP UP initiative.

Second Joint Research Programme (2013 - 2016)

  • In 2013, HERA provided €18.9 million and funded 18 international project consortiums across Europe, bringing together networks of researchers into 150 research centres. 
  • The theme of the second HERA JRP is "Cultural Encounters". 
  • The Irish Research Council acts as the handling agency for the programme’s management 
  • The development of a humanities ‘roadmap’. 

First Joint Research Programme (2009 - 2013)

  • In 2009, HERA launched its first JRP, investing €16.5 million in 19 transnational projects under two themes “Cultural Dynamics: Inheritance and Identity” and “Humanities as a Source of Creativity and Innovation”.