Humanities Research Institute



Our purpose

Campus architecture

The Newcastle University Humanities Research Institute (NUHRI) was founded to catalyse, coordinate and support research in the humanities at Newcastle, and to promote the humanities both within and beyond the University.

The humanities are academic disciplines that study human culture and the human experience, from any period and any place. Humanities researchers deal with complex data which defy straightforward analysis.

Our modes of enquiry are generally critical or theoretical as distinct from the more empirical methods of the natural and social sciences. Humanities research requires – and fosters – empathy, scepticism, critical thinking and the ability to communicate. As such, humanities research naturally has an important impact on civil society.

In accordance with Newcastle’s mission to be a world-class civic university, the Institute fosters research that plays a significant role in the social, cultural and economic development of the North East of England and, more broadly, that brings significant and measurable benefits to society.

For a list of humanities areas that are particularly strong at Newcastle see our our Strategic Themes and the People section of our site.


Our mission is to:

  • generate and support inter- and multi-disciplinary, international, collaborative and risk-taking research projects
  • develop productive partnerships with organisations outside the University
  • support the career development of humanities researchers
  • act as an advocate for humanities research in general, articulating and communicating its significance and the benefits it brings


We catalyse and coordinate new research, and support the career development of humanities researchers, through a series of programmes. These include:

  • open calls to our funding schemes
  • strategic workshops for researchers on particular themes
  • partnership-building events on topics proposed by individual researchers or research groups
  • initiatives to develop relationships with non-HEI partners, such as placements for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers
  • seed-corn funding for selected research projects
  • support for applicants throughout the process of applying for external funding
  • follow-on funding for established funded research projects to support supplementary activities and impact generation
  • workshops and training to provide support for researchers transitioning from PGR to ECR
  • the NUHRI postdoctoral fellowship scheme

If you'd like to know more about any of these schemes, see our Funding and Fellowship page or contact the institute’s Director, Professor Matthew Grenby.