Director's welcome

Welcome to the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities.

As Director of IASH, it’s my privilege to lead a unique institution which was founded in 1969 to promote creative and interdisciplinary thinking across the humanities and social sciences. The Institute forms part of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science at the University of Edinburgh, but it supports the development of activities and ideas which come out of all of the College’s Schools and from elsewhere in the University.

IASH welcomes Visiting Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Fellows from across the world. So far we’ve had well over 1000 Fellows through our building. Up to 25 Fellows are in residence at any one time, and visits last between two months and ten months. We occupy an amazing – and eclectic – eighteenth century building just on the edge of the University’s central campus, boasting views of the Meadows. We have our own garden and private courtyard.

We try to make every fellowship a transformative experience for the Fellow, whether that’s using the opportunity to build new collaborations with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, using some of the facilities and archives offered in the city and elsewhere in Scotland, or taking the opportunity to write in the midst of a stimulating academic community. There is no fixed format for a Fellowship, and we are always interested in prospective fellows pitching us new ideas and models. We keep in touch with our Fellows after they leave, sending them regular quarterly newsletters about our activities.

We also host and support many exciting interdisciplinary events, with a focus on supporting the incubation of new projects that promise to bring new collaborations and innovative thinking to the fore. But our interests are not solely ‘academic’, because we also work with creative arts organisations across Edinburgh and Scotland to support new collaborations, we engage with the Edinburgh Festivals, and we offer reflective and accessible events for the general public on important and sometimes controversial domestic and international topics.

If you would like to know more about IASH, please get in touch, or just turn up at one of our many open events.

–Professor Jo Shaw