The Institute of Archaeology is a long-established international leader in the discipline, unique in the scale and diversity of its research and the global scope of its expertise and collaborative links.
The Institute's key strategic research aims are:
- to be internationally pre-eminent in the study, and comparative analysis, of world archaeology.
- to maintain and enhance its reputation for the quality and breadth of its multi-disciplinary and thematic approach to the study of the human past.
- to develop theory, method and practice in the study and management of cultural heritage in its social, political and economic contexts.
- to be at the forefront of international research in archaeological sciences.
The Institute’s research covers fieldwork, laboratory analysis and conservation, artefact studies, and theoretical, synthetic, and analytical work across a range of perspectives. It has more than 60 research active staff, projects on five continents and in the Pacific, and wins regular and substantial research funding from a wide range of national and international sources.
Since 2008 Institute of Archaeology staff have published >30 authored or co-authored books, >30 edited books together with >700 book chapters and journal articles.
In the 2008 UK Universities Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 90% of the Institute’s research activity was rated as internationally recognised by the assessment panel, with 30% considered world-leading. The panel also noted that, ‘UCL's Institute of Archaeology is one of the very few places in the world that is actively pursuing research on a truly global scale‘; that it has ‘a generally outstanding research environment in which all [its] research groups participate, [contributing] to an increasingly cohesive research environment‘; and that its staff and their work have ‘generally excellent impact and recognition‘.
In the last few years the Institute has won over 40 UK Research Council and charity grants over £10,000 and many smaller ones. Competitive funding that has been obtained includes: UK Research Councils: more than £6.10M; UK charities: more than £1.993M; EU: more than 6.5M euro.
Margarita Gleba has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant for her research project 'Production and Consumption: Textile Economy and Urbanisation in Mediterranean Europe 1000-500BCE (PROCON)' (2013-2018). Read more»
Marc Vander Linden was also successful in obtaining a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant for his research project 'EUROFARM: Transmission of innovations: comparison and modelling of early farming and associated technologies in Europe' (2012-2017). Read more»
Ignacio de la Torre has been successful in obtaining a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant for his research project 'ORACEAF: The Origins of the Acheulean in East Africa' (2012-2016). Further details are available here»
Stephen Shennan has been successful in obtaining a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator Grant for his research project ‘EUROEVOL: Cultural Evolution of Neolithic Europe’ (2010-2014). Further details are available here»
Thilo Rehren has also been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Project
Grant for collaborative research with Serbian and German partners on the Origins of Metallurgy in Eurasia (2012-2015).
James Steele (Director of the AHRC Centre for the
Evolution of Cultural Diversity) was successful, in collaboration
with the University of Exeter, in obtaining funding from the Leverhulme Trust
for their project on ‘Learning to be Human: Skill acquisition and the
development of the human brain’ (2010-2013).
Andrew Reynolds also obtained a Leverhulme Trust research project grant for his research project on ‘Landscapes of Governance: Assembly Sites in England, 5th-11th Centuries’ (2009-2012).
Dorian Fuller has obtained a Natural Environment Research
Council (NERC) research project grant for research on the evolution of rice systems from China to Southeast Asia. Read more»
He had previously received NERC funding for research on ‘The Identification of Rice in Prehistory’ (2009-2012).
Postdoctoral research has been significantly developed through external research funding. Since 2008 34 postdoctoral researchers have been funded by external grants. Six of this postdoctoral group have gone on to lectureships, 28 are either still employed as Institute researchers or in research or curatorial positions elsewhere. The Institute has continued to be successful in attracting PhD students, with >100 fee-paying students currently registered, from 27 different countries.