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March 2016

Stephen Hutchings leads team that wins £3.9 million AHRC grant

(31 March 2016)

A consortium led by the University has been awarded a multi-million pound grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Open World Research Initiative. The title of the project is ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Communities’.

Aimed at investigating the central role languages play in relation to key contemporary issues such as social cohesion, migration, the global media landscape, business, international relations, and diplomacy, the £3.9 million grant seeks to have a significant impact on the study of Modern Languages in the UK. The initiative will develop transformative new ways of understanding the relationship between language and community. The Manchester share of the award is £950,000.

The Principal Investigator of the consortium’s programme is Stephen Hutchings, Professor of Russian and Interim Head of Manchester’s School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. Yaron Matras, Professor of Linguistics in SALC, a Co-I (Co-Investigator) on the project, and also leader of the University’s Multilingual Manchester initiative, will head up one of the consortium’s three main research strands, the Multilingual Strand, based at Manchester. Professor Phil Grange (Music) and Professor Eva Schultze-Berndt (Linguistics) also have Co-I roles.

Professor Hutchings said: “The success of this grant reflects the quality of research in Modern Languages and Linguistics at The University of Manchester. The new project will reshape Modern Languages research, teaching and impact agendas within universities.

“It will locate Modern Languages at the heart of a powerful vision for the civic university’s changing role in a globalizing world, establish the discipline at the cutting edge of humanities research and deepen public understanding of the importance of language as a driver of community values. It is a strong indication of Manchester’s continuing commitment to Modern Languages.”

Professor Yaron Matras said: “We are excited by the opportunity the AHRC award has opened to expand our existing collaboration between the academic community and local stakeholders in the public, private, and voluntary sectors, including local government. As a city, Manchester is proud of its linguistic and cultural diversity, and we will help flag how this diversity is an asset and a valuable resource.”

School of Arts, Languages and Cultures