Institute of Advanced Studies
University College London

Back to Directory
Previous | Next


Nicola Miller

Deputy Director

Megan Vaughan

Deputy Director

Phiroze Vasunia


Catherine Stokes


UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies is closely aligned with the Faculty of Arts & Humanities and the Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences. Together, these faculties form a renowned centre of excellence where research of world-leading quality feeds directly into programmes of study within traditional discipline-based departments, as well as those with an area focus or a consciously cross-disciplinary approach. The IAS provides a locus for dialogue and debate in the humanities and social sciences from across UCL and collaborates in particular with colleagues from the School of East European and Slavonic Studies, the Bartlett School of Architecture, the Institute of Education and the Faculty of Laws. We are exploring connections across the traditional art/science divide and welcome opportunities to engage in cross- and inter-disciplinary discussion and research. The IAS has a central place in an outward-facing, globally-orientated university devoted to developing and protecting the research cultures of both ‘arts’ and ‘sciences’, and to seeking points of interaction and dialogue across traditional institutional and disciplinary boundaries.

The IAS has provided a home for already established research forums as well as newly formed initiatives. There is no uniform model for IAS research centres and they include externally externally-funded units (e.g. the Post-socialist Art Centre and the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies), experimental forums (e.g. the FRINGE Centre for the Study of Social and Cultural Complexity) and thematically-driven research clusters (e.g. the Centre for Collective Violence, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation). The IAS provides a home for the LGBTQ network (qUCL) as well as the Gender and Feminism Research Network. In addition, the IAS is working to consolidate and co-ordinate the extensive work across Health and Humanities currently being undertaken at UCL. Each research centre brings colleagues, research students and visiting speakers from multiple disciplines, periods and geopolitical contexts into dialogue with one another.

Critical area studies is also at the heart of IAS research initiatives. If we can no longer conceive of areas as distinct geographical regions, how can the study of area be re-thought? How can areas be mapped in ways that do not just emphasise their internal and external borders, but also their fluidity and contestation, their fringes and margins, their multiplicity and their transversal flows? In addressing these questions, this initiative draws together a series of related movements across the fields of Area Studies, Modern Languages, Geography, History, the History of Art, Politics and International Relations, Archaeology and Anthropology, and beyond.

Each year the IAS identifies specific themes for the organisation of research-led events and encounters. Through collaboration with colleagues and dialogue among researchers both within and beyond UCL, future themes will be developed and research-orientated initiatives will shift and adapt in a spirit of collective and collaborative endeavour. Visiting members of the IAS will be invited to participate in our deliberations and designs so that together we create a dynamic and responsive framework in which to speak, to write and to act.