RLUK and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) are delighted to be working in partnership with the Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) to deliver a multifaceted Research Engagement Programme (REP) for academic libraries. Find out more about the programme.

The programme consists of a tailored cohort training programme, open events, case studies, and resources to support colleagues working across the academic library community to develop their research confidence, skills and capabilities. The programme is open to colleagues working within both RLUK and non-RLUK member institutions.


The RLUK-AHRC Research Engagement Programme (REP) is a direct response to the findings of a collaborative scoping study, commissioned by RLUK in partnership with the AHRC, and undertaken by research consultancy, Evidence Base, across January-June 2021.

The scoping study explored the role, and potential role, of research and academic libraries as partners in, and leaders of, academic and scholarly research. This included colleagues working across a wide variety of professions and disciplines. The scoping study made a series of far reaching recommendations, including the need for direct investment in the research capacity and capabilities of libraries. This scheme is a direct response to this recommendation.

The full report, its findings, and recommendations can be viewed here.


Applications open: Research Catalyst Cohort

Applications are now open for colleagues to apply to join a tailored training programme for academic libraries. Applications will close at 17.00 on Friday 11 March 2022. 

The training programme will be delivered between April 2022 and February 2023 to a small cohort of academic and research library colleagues, and will support them to envisage, develop, and submit highly-competitive funding applications to research funders. It will provide participants with an overview of the academic funding landscape, offer a tailored programme of events, activities, and mentoring opportunities to guide them through making a funding application, and enable them to share this knowledge within their institutions and with the wider library community (via taking a “train-the-trainer” approach).

This will be a qualitative training programme and spaces are limited to a cohort of 18 colleagues.

Find out more and apply for the Research Catalyst Cohort Programme


Open events and symposia

A programme of events associated with the Research Engagement Programme have now been announced and include:

  • 25 February 2022: The RLUK-AHRC Research Engagement Programme and the meaning of ‘research’ for academic and research libraries. This event will include an overview of the Research Catalyst Cohort programme and an opportunity for potential applicants to ask questions about the programme ahead of the application deadline of 11 March 2022: Register here.
  • 27 April 2022: The Technician Commitment and the role of research and academic libraries as centres of technical and specialist expertise. Register here.

These events are free to attend and are open to all. They will include case studies and speakers from across the academic library and research communities.