Research Policy

The Royal Historical Society, led by our Research Policy Committee, plays a key role in speaking for historians in the UK on policy issues related to research. The Committee maintains close contacts with research councils, funding providers and government, and liaises directly and regularly with other learned societies in History and the Humanities more broadly.

The Research Policy Committee’s current priorities include:

  • developing guidelines to help historians navigate the requirements of GDPR;
  • responding to the REF agenda, submitting evidence to the Stern Review and submitting to REF2021 consultation exercises. Our responses included a stress on the importance of the monograph, our opposition to greater use of metrics; the position of early career historians; the importance of equality and diversity;
  • pro-actively examining Equality and Diversity within historical teaching and the profession;
  • the open access agenda. We have consistently expressed support for the principle of open access research, including in our own publications, while seeking to ensure that historians are not disadvantaged by requirements shaped by the working practices of very different disciplines;
  • ensuring that the interests of Early Career Researchers and other historians working outside permanent academic posts are properly represented. As part of these endeavours our own funding schemes are expressly focused on supporting postgraduate and early career scholars.

We aim to ensure that the views of historians are taken into account when designing and implementing research policies. A wider commitment to historical research, together with the impact agenda, means that we also look to the relationship between historical research, public bodies and cultural institutions, and wider society.

The Research Policy Committee, chaired by Professor Jonathan Morris (University of Hertfordshire) brings together councillors and officers of the RHS, along with co-opted members from key organisations such as The National Archives. There is also an annual joint meeting of the Research Policy Committee and the Education Policy Committee, which provides an opportunity to discuss overlapping or related policy matters. These include: public history; school curricula and the ‘pipeline’ into historical study; and postgraduate training. In addition to our monitoring and advocacy roles, we aim to provide the membership with information and guidance about policy changes that are likely to affect them.

Read more about the RHS Research Policy Committee’s current work here.


Research Policy News Archive

Date Headline
10 Jul 2020 RHS Responds to REF2021 Survey on Proposed modifications to REF2021
12 May 2020 RHS Responds to REF2021 Revised Timetable Consultation
19 Dec 2019 RHS Response to Plan S Transformative Journals consultation
06 Sep 2019 Interim Working Paper – History Journals and Plan S
05 Jun 2019 New Funding to support BME Histories
10 Apr 2019 RHS Working Paper – History Researchers and Plan S (Journal) Compliance (April 2019)
02 Apr 2019 Updated Guidance on Submissions and Panel Working Criteria for REF2021
15 Oct 2018 RHS Response to REF2021 Consultation on Guidance & Criteria
24 Jul 2018 REF2014 History Sub-panel Report
23 Jul 2018 REF2021 Draft Guidance & Criteria Consultation