Creating Our Future Histories: AHRC Skills Training Programme

Creating Our Future Histories was a new collaborative skills-training programme hosted by the Humanities Research Centre (HRC) and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
The programme, which consisted of a series of practice-led workshops and other group activities, was led by Professors Melanie Tebbutt and Berthold Schoene. It was designed to assist early-career academics and local Manchester-based community organisations in the development of their partnership-building skills. The main aim of the programme was to set up actual public-academic research partnerships.
The AHRC provided training for this kind of partnership building because they have a keen interest in increasing the utility of academic research by supporting research that touches people’s lives and makes a real-life difference to communities. Rather than attempting to get the public interested in their research after it has been completed, researchers are encouraged to find out about the actual research interests and needs of the public and to develop research projects in dialogue with communities.
‘Creating Our Future Histories’ set out to provide both researchers (mainly postgraduate students in the final stage of completing their doctoral studies) and their community partners with a hands-on learning experience. The programme was geared towards the creation of a public exhibition event, which showcased the ‘future histories’ of the participating community groups.

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