DARIAH Theme 2020/2021

The DARIAH Theme is a bi-annual area of focus for investment by the DARIAH Board of Directors. For 2020, we have selected two streams of funding ‘Arts Exchanges’ and 'Arts, Humanities and COVID-19' as our fifth theme. Previous themes have been: ‘Open Humanities’ (6 funded projects), ‘Public Humanities’ (7 funded projects), ‘Cultural Heritage and Humanities Research’ (7 funded projects) and 'Strategic Service Sustainability for DARIAH' (6 funded projects).


Theme 1: DARIAH Arts Exchanges

The DARIAH community is diverse: we are humanities scholars and research managers, software engineers and cultural heritage professionals.  This plurality is a strength, so long as all community members feel their voices can be heard and their needs be met.  In the 2020 Theme call, we would like to focus on one of our sub-domains where we feel we may be less connected and relevant than we should be: arts practice and those for whom artistic practice is their mode and method research.

With this call, we would like to explore what the current DARIAH knowledge base has to offer arts practitioners researchers, encourage institutional and organisational DARIAH partners within local and national DARIAH nodes to embark on collaborative projects with artists and grow our understanding of the infrastructural requirements of this community with regards to the technologies they use.  We would like to explore new ways of bringing artists into DARIAH’s day-to-day activities, instigating unexpected conversations about infrastructure and research, and fostering openness to artistic methods and innovation in our environments.  The most common format for such an engagement would be the artistic residency, and while we welcome this mode of interaction in our proposals, we realise that for some locations, the funding may not be sufficient (or the lives of the individuals wanting to collaborate not conducive) to this model.  We would therefore also welcome other models in the scheme as well, which may include arts-led events, user needs assessment exercises and engagements, and/or small scale commissions to artists, so long as the focus on mutual learning, infrastructure, and the DARIAH network and assets presents a clear central added value for the project. 

Artists and creators from any field and in any medium or professional role are welcome to participate in these applications with one or more DARIAH national network members.  We therefore invite members of the DARIAH community interested in exploring how the arts can help them to communicate, envigorate or expand their work to submit proposals for this scheme.  Proposals should be bold and innovative: while we expect a certain amount of organisational and administrative structure, we also realise that this mode of exploration carries risks in return for the many gains it also promises.

Independent artists and creators but also non-profit institutions from any field are eligible to participate to this call under the lead of one or more existing official DARIAH partners which will act as budget holding institution of the grant. DARIAH partners are: Institutions situated in the territory of a DARIAH member country (1), or, institutions which have the status of DARIAH Cooperating Partners (2). 

Theme 2: Arts, Humanities and COVID-19 

The arts and humanities, and DARIAH by extension as their research infrastructure, have much to contribute to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Boccaccio’s Decameron, from the 14th century, provides us with a particularly apposite example of how arts and literature can sustain us in times of quarantine and social distancing, and the response of the arts community to the current situation has been truly heartening, giving many a means for inspiration, connection and self-expression.  In addition, it has become clear that the historical example of the 1918 flu is becoming a historical touchstone for understanding what we may now face in the near future.  In DARIAH, we believe that this kind of activity can have a greater resonance in research, but that the incentives and context must be tailored to the strengths of our specific disciplines.  We are therefore launching a call for proposals under our bi-annual DARIAH Theme funding scheme that will seek specific responses to the pandemic that engage arts and humanities sources, approaches and insight.

It is important to remember in this context that as disciplines that process and interpret human experience, the time step for our greatest contribution to this crisis may be yet ahead of us.  One of the areas of emphasis in this scheme will therefore be on how we will collect, curate, preserve and interpret the heterogenous record of the experience of life and work in early 2020.  This will be an important strand within the range of activities we will seek to fund.  We will also look for innovative projects exploring humanities contributions to understanding the virus and its impacts, and what the study of culture, the arts, values, practices and language can contribute to our response to this global challenge.

We are therefore launching a call for proposals under our bi-annual DARIAH Theme funding scheme that will seek specific responses to the pandemic that engage arts and humanities sources, approaches and insight. Institutions situated in the territory of a DARIAH member country or institutions which have the status of a DARIAH Cooperating Partner are eligible to apply to lead a DARIAH Theme project. 

Application Procedure

To apply, please submit a description (2–4 pages in length) providing us with:

●      A description of the artistic exchange/COVID-19 related project you would like to undertake

●      A clear plan for how you will use the funding to deliver an exchange of knowledge and documented or durable output

●      A description of how you will spend the funding requested

●      The name and postal address of the main partner and budget holding institution

●      The name and e-mail address of the contact person leading and/or coordinating the project.


Furthermore, we expect an outline of the costs of not more than 1 page. Maximum allowable budget is €10 000, but please note that value for money will be an assessment criterion. Allowable costs under the scheme include:

●      Costs related to events to build an audience or community for the exchange

●      Materials required to deliver artistic work

●      Modest honoraria to non-salaried artists to compensate their time

 ●     Travel and subsistence to facilitate interaction (if travel restrictions allow)

●      Other justifiable costs (by previous agreement with the DARIAH team)


The scientific committee for the reviewing process will be comprised of members of the DARIAH Senior Management Team with additional invited experts, as required. Upon successful application, Grant Agreements will be signed between DARIAH and the budget holding institutions.

All successful applicants will be expected to apply for participation and present the results of their funded projects at the DARIAH Annual Event 2021 planned to take place in Athens (Greece) in Spring 2021.

All successful applicants are expected to make their project results openly available following DARIAH’s Open Access Guidelines. They are also required to share both their outputs and their project reports either in the HAL DARIAH collection or as a part of the ZENODO DARIAH community. For practical information about self-archiving, please consult DARIAH’s green Open Access guide.


Key dates

●      Deadline for submissions: September 18, 2020

●      Review process: until October 9, 2020

●      Notifications to applicants: mid-October 2020

●      Signature Grant Agreements: October/November/December 2020

●      Start date of projects: November/December 2020

●      End date of projects: November–December 2021 (1-year project funding)


Please, submit applications directly on the website https://dariahtheme2020.sciencesconf.org/  (you need to create an account, then to register before submitting your abstract) AND by e-mail to theme@dariah.eu.

For more information contact: theme@dariah.eu

Online user: 2 Privacy