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Dean of Arts
Faculty Research
Cultural Development


Welcome to the Humanities Research Institute


Director - Prof. Pól Ó Dochartaigh

The Humanities Research Institute at the University of Ulster was created in the summer of 2005 with the aim of providing an institutional focus for research activity and collaboration across a range of disciplines within the Faculty of Arts and beyond. These currently include Drama and Dance, Music, Linguistics, German, Spanish, French, English and History. The HRI promotes a broad research culture and environment within which research activity in individual disciplines flourishes.

The scope of this activity involves research seminars and original readings and performances by eminent visiting speakers, Institute staff and postgraduate students. Such talks are open to the public in order that Institute activity shall be disseminated as widely as possible. In addition, the Institute encourages engagement by staff and postgraduates with the wider research community through participation in international conferences, collaboration with institutions in Ireland, the UK and overseas, and engagement in editorial work with prestigious journals and publishers.

The HRI encourages research within the various disciplines that are represented in its ranks while also promoting at all times research collaboration and exchange where appropriate. Much of the collaboration within the University is with the Academy for Irish Cultural Heritages, which houses researchers within French, English, History and European Studies whose research has an Irish and/or interdisciplinary dimension. In addition, two further research institutes within the Faculty of Arts provide the focus for specialist research in Celtic Studies and Media Studies. The HRI’s strength lies in providing what might otherwise be small disciplines with a greater internal context for their work, expanding beyond their traditional limits while at the same time preserving their integrity as subject units.

The HRI seeks to make as much as possible of the research being done in the Institute relevant to an audience both within and beyond the confines of Higher education. Series of talks and other performances have been organized, and these will always be advertised on the Web. We welcome contact from all those in other institutions and in the wider community whose research falls into the broad areas of research in the humanities.

RAE Results Available.

Prof. Jan Jedrzejewski

RAE results link

The Humanities Research Institute welcomes the results of RAE 2008. All Units of Assessment affiliated to the HRI have had at least 60% of their research activity assessed as internationally significant, with History and English achieving results as high as 85%. Those ratings testify to the high calibre of the research culture in the Humanities, and to the commitment and dedication of Humanities research-active staff. Particularly welcome are excellent results achieved by colleagues in History, with 15% of their activity in the 4* category, and 55% of their work deemed to be of international excellence. High ratings for international excellence have also been achieved by subject teams in Linguistics (40%), English (35%), and Music (30%), with other subjects demonstrating research excellence in selected areas of their activity. These results are particularly important in view of the major staffing changes in most Humanities subjects over the last few years; with a high proportion of staff being early-career researchers, Humanities at Ulster can look to the future with optimism, building on the results of RAE 2008 to deliver an even better performance in the next research assessment cycle.


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