DARIAH-Ireland worked with Irish DARIAH Representing Entity, the Irish Research Council, and UK partners, including the University of Warwick and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, to convene a workshop with the aim of co-creating a joint funding call for the Digital Humanities research community in the UK and Ireland.
The opportunity for a joint research call that would harness the synergies between these two complementary, neighbouring research communities would require careful scoping to reap maximal value.
The work directly benefited the joint research councils formulating the call, as well as the participants from across the Digital Humanities research spectrum, and beyond. Seen in a wider context, the resulting network and project funding calls enabled the collaboration and work of established scholars, early career investigators, undergraduate and postgraduate students, directly funding research assistants, post-doctoral scholars, and indeed the wider research culture as a whole.
Collaboration is essential to building research excellence. This need to consolidate and further strengthen the tradition of research excellence between Ireland and the UK post Brexit was a pressing one. A long history of cultural and academic exchange between the UK and Ireland provided a fruitful baseline for such an initiative, as did the very differently constructed, but equally strong, digital humanities cultures. With the UK enjoying a long history of research emerging from institutional DH Centres, Ireland has been pulling from a far more diverse
range of players and organisational models, while also investing in shared infrastructural investment through its strong DARIAH membership. This workshop and its later realisation in funding needed to capture this diversity in a balanced manner as a strength, valourising Digital
Humanities as a pivotal catalyst for innovation and open social innovation within the Arts and Humanities. The resulting conclusions were profoundly transdisciplinary and bottom-up, reflecting the effort to build international research networks and support colleagues as needed,
facilitating collaboration in a variety of fields.
Impact was directly felt in the development of 12 research networks in a variety of Digital Arts and Humanities fields, leading to 11 full project collaborations in Digital Humanities between researchers across the UK and Ireland.
These networks and projects are characterised by a commitment to and engagement with digital technologies in advancing our understanding of humanities research questions – an enrichment that is reciprocal in augmenting and sustaining both domains. This inter- and transdisciplinary research excellence is at the core of the Digital Humanities.
I am delighted to see these awards announced today, supported by the Irish Research Council. The ongoing partnership between the IRC and AHRC-UKRI will drive a step-change in the level of cooperation between these two islands in the growing field of digital humanities. The UK-Ireland digital humanities partnership is a timelyWelcoming the awards, Simon Harris, Irish Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
reminder of both the appetite and the potential for UK-Ireland research collaboration, both ‘east-west’ and ‘northsouth’. Maintaining and further building an international and a vibrant all-island higher education and research system is a key priority for government.
I am delighted to see that the strength of AHRC’s partnership with the Irish Research Council has enabled us to co-fund such an exceptional and diverse group of projects. Through cutting-edge approaches these projects powerfully capture the innovative potential of joining creativity in the arts and humanities with digital technologiesChristopher Smith, AHRC Executive Chair and International Champion for UKRI
and promise to achieve a new international benchmark in Digital Humanities research.
Although the activities of most of the networks and projects are still ongoing at the time of the writing of this case study, significant evidence of impact can already be seen. The proposals demonstrated a significant interest in both expanding and reshaping digital humanities for
the better, incorporating feminist principles, making DH more inclusive, and ensuring both common and uncommon approaches, from digital scholarly editing to IIF, were expanded and promoted.
One of the successful Network proposals, the UK-Ireland DH Network aimed to build a foundation for a future digital humanities association for the UK and Irish DH communities. This network bore a particular DARIAH stamp, as the consortium consisted of members of the DARIAH-IE consortium on the one side, and five DARIAH Cooperating partners on the UK side. Although their work in forming the Association is ongoing, they have already been able to report that: “The precious opportunities for mutual learning regarding enablers, structures, integrators and other drivers to enrich our collaborations and outputs in a larger and more diverse context than could have been possible in a single national system were of great value to all involved in the network.”
Lead Author: Orla Murphy, University College Cork
 The report (co authored with Prof Claire Warwick of Durham U for AHRC) is available to view here: it’s a snapshot of the state-of-the-field, pre COVID-19: https://research.ie/assets/uploads/2019/12/UKIreland-DH-Workshop-Report-Final.pdf
 Networking projects https://research.ie/assets/uploads/2020/07/AHRC-IRC-UK-Ireland-DHNetworking-Awards.pdf
 UK-Ireland Collaboration in the Digital Humanities Awardee list 2021 https://research.ie/assets/uploads/2021/08/Digital-Humanities-2021-AwardeeList.pdf
 International Collaboration in Digital Humanities Funding Announcement 2021 https://research.ie/2021/08/04/ireland-and-uk-expand-cooperation-with-jointresearch-awards-in-digital-humanities/