11 March 2013

A new one-year research study led by The National Archives has been launched to investigate collaborative working practices between academic researchers and practitioners of heritage science.

'Mind the Gap: Rigour and Relevance in Heritage Science Research' sees The National Archives, Centre for Sustainable Heritage (UCL), Tate and The University of Exeter working together with other UK and international bodies to investigate whether differences in culture, expectations and language can have an effect on collaborative research.

The study, which is funded by the UK AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme (SHP), will use areas such as linguistics, social anthropology and history to examine the attitudes of participants in the UK heritage science field to collaborative research and practices.

Nancy Bell, the Principal Investigator for the study and Head of Collections Care at The National Archives, commented: 'Collaborative research and practice is often seen as offering the promise of bringing the interests of researchers and practitioners closer together. Nevertheless, difficulties in bridging the gap between cross-disciplinary research and practice still persist. We need to understand the reasons for this and identify positive steps we can take to increase the impact of heritage science research on professional practice and vice versa'.

The study will be carried out between February 2013 and January 2014, and the findings will be published as a framework of recommendations on how to improve the quality of collaborative research and increase the impact of publicly funded research.

Find out more about this project.