About the HRC

The Humanities Research Centre (HRC) is one of Australia’s pre-eminent gateways to humanities scholarship throughout the world.

Since 1972 the Centre has been a catalyst for innovative advanced research in and across the humanities nationally and internationally. Every year we host a highly distinguished annual Visiting Fellowship Program and a range of conferences, workshops, and other events related to an annual theme. We engage with and support all humanities related research disciplines, fields, and questions and are committed to facilitating public engagement with humanities knowledge and scholarship.



The HRC will provide a readily identifiable face for humanities research expertise at ANU to meet the following objectives:

  1. Consolidate reputation as a high profile, internationally preeminent centre for excellence and innovation in humanities research.
  2. Attract leading international scholars to Australia to interact with knowledge-based communities and academics within ANU and throughout Australia.
  3. Support the conditions, resources, infrastructure, networks and capacity for the production and dissemination of excellent, impactful, and transformative knowledge in the humanities.
  4. Raise the profile of humanities scholarship by encouraging public engagement and debate, and advocating for the contribution of humanities knowledge to all matters of current and emerging academic, government, and social challenges.
  5. Emphasise the importance of research communication strategies for humanities researchers to translate and communicate research and shape national and global debates.
  6. Generate conversations about what the national remit of the ANU means to stakeholders and communities, and consider the role of co-design and shared authorship in humanities scholarship.
  7. Engage with Australian public and national institutions in ways that are mutually beneficial and compelling, to maximise the reach and impact of new forms of knowledge and understanding about the world.
  8. Provide leadership for an agile and dynamic coalition of cognate research centres across The ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences (CASS) and ANU to generate critical mass, ‘joined-up’ services, and to maximise resources and opportunities. The HRC will function as a ‘hub’ connecting individual research centre ‘nodes’.
  9. Deliver distinctively outstanding support and opportunities for graduate students and early-career academics in the humanities in inclusive and collegial learning environments.



The HRC seeks to achieve its objectives through these core activities:

  • Providing a distinguished annual Visiting Fellowship program for national and international scholars; co-funding visiting and internal ANU Fellowships based in the HRC; hosting and supporting long term ARC and externally funded fellowships; and hosting short term fellowships.
  • Functioning as a point of contact and interface for collaboration with universities, research centres, learned academies and disciplinary associations, as well as governments, policy-makers, and cultural institutions, nationally and internationally. Leading collaboration across HASS and STEM sectors at ANU and beyond.
  • Hosting a topical annual theme relevant to multiple humanities fields and seeking broad participation in our events.
  • Facilitating contemporary debates within and across a diverse range of humanities fields and differently located fora, and supporting the development of communication skills for researchers in the humanities and other fields.
  • Nurturing and acting as a coordinating hub for research centres and new research initiatives at ANU and providing a means for connection across campus facilities, services, and opportunities.
  • Providing an intellectually engaged social and collegial environment for alumni, emeritus staff, ‘friends’, and the general public interested in HRC events.
  • Funding ANU academics to convene conferences, participate in and build inter and multi-disciplinary research projects, and develop their personal research.
  • Sponsoring national conferences, colloquia, public lecture series, work in progress seminars and summer schools at the HRC and throughout Australia for a range of different audiences and participants.
  • Delivering research development and leadership training for graduate students and early career researchers in conjunction with ANU staff and HRC Visiting Fellows. Providing individual research supervision and career mentoring for humanities researchers at all levels.
  • Hosting joint appointments across national cultural institutions and the HRC, facilitating collaborative research projects and internships, and hosting professional PhDs for senior staff in national cultural and collecting institutions (GLAM sector).
  • Recognising research excellence and achievement for humanities research by graduate students and early career researchers through prizes and accolades.
  • Hosting the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres.
  • Caretaking historical HRC archives and collections.


Strategic alignment

The HRC’s objectives are consistent with the intent of “ANU by 2025”, ‘to serve society through transformational research and education’ and the university’s vision to ‘be among the great universities of the world and driven by a culture of excellence in everything we do’.

The HRC will make specific contributions to ANU priorities to:

  • Strengthen our national mission and meet our unique responsibilities.
  • Conduct research that transforms society and creates national capability.
  • Enable the co-creation of new approaches to interdisciplinary problem-solving to support our academics realise the social possibilities of their discoveries.
  • Be second to none in Australia in our research areas.

More generally, the HRC’s objectives seek to progress the following priorities:

  • Research excellence, development, and infrastructure.
  • Outward-facing communication and engagement processes.
  • The social impact of research.
  • Community-led contributions and collaboration.
  • Institutional partnerships (national and international, cross-sector).
  • Advocacy – for the university sector and humanities research fields.
  • Commitment to academic freedom, ethical leadership, visibility and accountability.
  • Research training and innovation in new methods for all levels.
  • Academic leadership capacity building and career development.



The HRC is located in the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, in the Research School of Humanities and the Arts. It works directly with the Centre for Digital Humanities Research and Digital Humanities Lab, and in partnership with cross-institutional initiatives including the Gender Institute, the Freilich Project for the Study of Bigotry, the Interdisciplinary Cross-Cultural Research program (for HDR students), and the Centre for Art History and Theory. It also works with researchers across CASS Centres and Schools, and ANU, including the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS).

A core objective of the HRC is to support and nurture relationships across research centres in CASS and ANU to generate critical mass, ‘joined-up’ services, and maximise resources and opportunities. Together, these centres function as an agile and dynamic coalition. A full list of humanities-related research centres at ANU is here, or contact the Head of the HRC for more information.

The HRC hosts the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres (ACHRC). Through this, the HRC provides an interface and point of contact for humanities research centres across Australia and New Zealand to participate in a community of networks, representation, visibility and advocacy.

Updated:  26 March 2024/Responsible Officer:  Head, Centre/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications