Arts and humanities research leadership

Research leadership is a key priority for development at Plymouth. As research leadership becomes increasingly important to many funders in arts and humanities (A&H) disciplines, the Arts Institute is investing in supporting research leaders, both established and emerging.

Leaders can be defined as research-active academics who:

  • demonstrate a strong track record of research
  • break new ground within their discipline and/or engage non-A&H academics
  • mobilise others using intellectual leadership
  • exhibit HR, people management, and budgeting skills
  • secure strong institutional support.

Plymouth University and the Arts Institute offer a programme of institutional support for identifying and developing research leaders.


Targeted research mentoring schemes offer every staff member on a research or teaching and research contract support with developing their leadership skills and potential. This mentoring develops all aspects of researchers’ activities, but a key aim is identifying and nurturing research leadership potential amongst exceptional researchers whose work fits (or might be developed to fit) the profile outlined above. Through a series of regular mentoring meetings and the University’s Performance Development Review process, research mentors within arts and humanities aim to identify and nurture colleagues with exceptional leadership potential and direct them on to further support and resources. The Arts Institute deals with leadership development work on behalf of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business, which includes education and environmental building. Contact your research coordinator for more information.

Research coordinators:

The Arts Institute offers targeted faculty-level support for those identified as potential research leaders, including focused individual mentoring and specialist support for those making research leadership grants. If you are thinking of making a leadership grant application, contact Professor James Daybell, who will be happy to talk through your application with you. Dr Bonnie Latimer is Research Leadership champion for the Faculty of Arts,  Humanities and Business and can also be contacted about issues relating to research leadership.

The following additional support is available:

  • The University’s Research and Innovation Directorate offers a series of research leadership workshops which are open to all staff and essential for those making a research leadership grant application. These modules focus on team building and management, networking, and the practical aspects of leading a research team.

  • The University is also a member of the Vitae network, which offers virtual modules in intellectual leadership to complement our face-to-face seminar series.