The Research Institute at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences spans a wide range of discipline areas, and in many cases combines expertise across disciplines. The exciting and significant research carried out by our Academic Schools plays an important role in making Bangor a world-leading research institution, as recognised in the previous national assessment of research quality (REF 2021).
Research within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Institute is carried out by individuals, and within Research Centres and groups. The Institute comprises world-leading academics as well as highly engaged researchers and scholars at various career stages, including a thriving community of postgraduate researchers. Further information about each School’s research activities can be found on their individual webpages.
The Institute’s research is dedicated to award-winning, internationally excellent, and impactful research across subject areas encompassing language and literature, music and media, financial studies, communication, technology studies, regulation, justice, identities, and community studies. Academic excellence is combined with community engagement, policy impact, and creative and cultural contributions, with a strong commitment to sustainability in and through research. Researchers across three Schools contribute to the Institute:
• School of Arts, Culture and Language
• Bangor Business School
• School of History, Law and Social Sciences
As an entity created to support research and impact across the College of Arts, Humanities and Business, the Institute is led by its Director (or a role-sharing team), working with the College Director of Postgraduate Research. Each School has a Director of Research, Impact and Engagement (DoRIE) with responsibility for creating a vital and sustainable research environment within the School, supported by the School Directors of PGR. Jointly, this leadership team supports developing research strategies and thematic development as suitable for each School, supporting efficiency, collaboration, alignment of goals and coherence across the Institute while recognising the importance of diversity and individual expertise within a thriving research community of excellence. This encompasses researchers at postgraduate, early career, and more senior levels. The DoRIE role may be shared and complemented by further support through associated research leadership roles. Across all Schools, support for research and impact development is available through research allowances, seed funding and extensive support for internal and external funding opportunities, plus the opportunity to apply for a period of institutionally funded study leave.
The Institute’s research is firmly grounded in a sense of place through culture, materiality, mediality, literature, language, music, history, technology and institutions, addressing the changing nature of communities, nations, structures of governance, and justice. This is reflected in our research themes set out below which allow researchers from across the College and the wider University to collaborate and produce innovative, interdisciplinary, and world leading research. This approach is not intended to exclude or diminish specific areas of research excellence outside these themes but provides a broader set of thematic issues around which much of our research can coalesce, in conjunction with the University’s other two Research Institutes.
Bangor has a proud tradition of world-leading research in Celtic studies, with particular focus and international links on the history, culture, literature, language, and politics of Wales. The Institute houses some of Wales’ leading research centres, which are directed by prominent Welsh historians, experts in Welsh law, Welsh culture, music, literature and poetry. These include:
• Research Centre Wales
• R.S. Thomas Centre
• Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates
• Centre for Arthurian Studies
While this theme places Wales at its core, its scope includes the literary and historical negotiation of cultural boundaries more generally, as well as connections between Wales and the UK, Europe, and the world, exploring local concerns and contributions in light of further-reaching phenomena, in areas of sustainability and beyond.
Our researchers explore and practice aspects of culture and arts, and gather understanding of the components of civil society which strengthen community resilience to cope with contemporary changes and challenges. Based on significant archival and contemporary resources combined with artistic activity, they actively contribute to community culture and the arts to provide a place for the study of civil society in action. Alongside extensive activities in areas of creative writing, musical composition and performance, our research centres in this area include:
• Places of Climate Change
• Centre for Contemporary Poetry
• Stephen Colclough Centre for the History and Culture of the Book
• Centre for Film, Television, and Screen Studies
Complementing the Wales-focused theme, this theme encompasses interdisciplinary and inter-cultural studies addressing minoritization, marginalisation, identities and belonging, spanning diverse cultures and societies in Europe and beyond, and including research that synergises theory and practice in performance.
Communities across the world are connected by a complex web of governance, financial, and economic links, human migration, and questions around the scope and nature of institutions and principles of justice. The competing interests of local communities, nation states, and global and international economic systems require responsive research on regulations and governance, institutions, and community studies. Our economists, lawyers, social scientists and historians explore these complex links and how they are affected by questions of power, politics, and global challenges. Relevant research groups include:
• Centre for Sustainability
• Institute for European Finance
• Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD)
• Emotional AI Lab
Facilitated by its location in a bilingual environment, Bangor University has outstanding strengths in areas of multi- and bilingualism and language use across communicative contexts, encompassing research excellence in language policy and planning, first and second language acquisition, discourse analysis and corpus studies, community and civil society use of language and its implications for identity, as well as the role of technology in language development. Additionally, research in this theme raises broader questions about the relationship of language and communication as a form of power, through corporate communications, ethics, journalism, persuasive communications and the media. In this theme, we are working closely with colleagues across the University and in particular colleagues in Canolfan Bedwyr and the Language Technology Unit. Our research centres and networks include:
• Centre for Galician Studies in Wales
• Media and Persuasive Communication Network
• Technology and Language Research Network
• Language Revitalisation Lab
The Institute’s Strategic Priorities for Research
This strategy considers research to include, but is not limited to, publication, grant capture, engagement and outreach, pathways to impact, innovation and knowledge exchange.
The Institute’s Strategic Priorities for Research are constructed in the context of Bangor University’s commitment to the Wellbeing of Future Generations and principles of Sustainability. Research in CAHB should consider the One Sustainable Development principle; the four pillars of sustainability; the five ways of working towards sustainability; and the seven well-being goals.
The Institute facilitates research, engagement, and impact of regional, national and international excellence across the four research themes, recognized through high profile, quality and peer-reviewed, publications, awards and prizes, prestigious grant capture and other means of external recognition. Specific focus concerns are:
• Supporting Bangor University’s 2030 Research and Impact Strategy that places Sustainability firmly at its centre
• Embedding engagement into our academic enterprises, thus building pathways to impact into the research process from proposal to implementation and dissemination
• Mentoring, feedback and advice on research ideas, grant applications, and engagement, impact and innovation activities
• Access to Institute researchers with experience of grant capture and research award panel membership, especially UKRI
• Engaging with national and international researchers through seminars, workshops and a visiting researcher scheme
• Connecting our research to the wider community to ensure that research supports the building of community resilience
• Facilitating and embedding knowledge exchange, engaging with external partners in the private, public or 3rd sector, reinforcing links to society and industry
• Facilitating and encouraging strategic coproduction of funding bids with stakeholders - engaging with KESS and KTP programmes and more
• Raising awareness within the Institute towards societal needs and economic concerns
• Enhancing focus on ethical industrial strategy, innovation, commercialisation and civic engagement
• Targeting areas of social need and funding opportunity
• Engaging with government, informing policies, developing research projects with the intention to inform governmental agendas
• Supporting Bangor University’s ‘Bangor 2050’ Strategic Plan that promotes the spread and use of Welsh, through research and practice.
The College is fully committed to the Concordat to Support the Career Development for Researchers and provides support for researchers at all stages of their careers. We support researchers by:
• Encouraging research managers’ and researchers’ participation in relevant training programmes
• Involving ECR representatives in the Institute’s Research and Impact Strategy Committee and its activities
• Recognising the variety of research, engagement and impact activities present in the Institute including creative practice as research and cultural engagement
• Mentoring to support grant capture and research career development
• Encouraging and recognising researchers’ contributions to research award panels, learned societies, and journal and other editorial work
• Providing time for research by supporting the principle of parity of protected time within schools and by offering Institute-wide study leave where it is well justified
• Representing the Institute’s research community’s interests and voice in the University
• Supporting researchers’ recognition through external measures of research excellence such as the Research Excellence Framework
Interdisciplinary research generates novel forms of knowledge, innovation, insights and creative outputs which are needed to address the grand challenges facing global society.
The Institute acts as a platform for encouraging and facilitating interdisciplinary research, engagement and impact activities, connecting Schools across the Institute, as well as across the three Institutes in the University and their constituent Schools by:
• Organizing Institute wide and cross-Institute events
• Involving the Institute in strategic University-wide initiatives
• Establishing mechanisms to monitor governmental priorities, and match researchers and projects with relevant grant funding schemes as soon as they become available
• Supporting inter- and cross-disciplinary collaboration and grant applications
• Raising awareness of the Institute’s research, engagement and impact achievements, priorities, and strengths across the University, wider community, and internationally
The Institute aims to:
- Enable and encourage all researchers to apply for appropriate (career level and discipline specific) high-quality research funding on a regular basis
- Continuously increase number and range of successful grant applications
- Embed engagement activities in all research projects from the outset
- Increase the number of high-quality publications through a coherent publication framework with a focus on quality over volume
- Encourage interdisciplinary networking events and participate in an increased number of interdisciplinary grant applications
- Encourage the building of teams within and beyond the institution, with a view to large grant capture.
College of Arts, Humanities and Business Our Research Themes
Researchers in the College of Arts, Humanities and Business undertake award-winning, internationally excellent, and impactful research. Across different disciplines, we combine academic excellence with community engagement, policy impact, and creative and cultural contributions.