As of 1 December 2012, the former AHRC Technical Appendix has been replaced by a Technical Summary and a Technical Plan. Further details are on the AHRC site.
All proposals for AHRC research grants must complete a Technical Summary section in their Case for Support. If digital outputs or digital technologies are essential to the planned research outcomes of the proposal, then the section should be used to provide a brief description of the project’s proposed digital outputs and/or digital technologies, and a Technical Plan should be included with the application.
A digital output or digital technology is defined as an activity which involves the creation, gathering, collecting and/or processing of digital information. This does not include conventional software such as word processing packages or ICT activities such as email, which require no explanation or justification in this context.
If your proposal involves digital outputs or technologies that are not essential to the planned research outcomes (e.g. web-pages containing information about the project), then you should use the Technical Summary section to explain this. If your project does not involve digital outputs or technologies at all, you should say so in the Technical Summary section. In neither case do you have to complete a Technical Plan.
The Technical Plan covers much the same ground as the former Technical Appendix, but is submitted as a separate document with the application, not as a form. It provides much more extensive instructions for completion, which are more explicit, among other things, in their requirements regarding sustainability and preservation. These instructions can usefully be born in mind by all digital humanities project applications, whatever their proposed funder.
About 30% of projects with AHRC Standard Research Grants completed the former Technical Appendix. The success rate was roughly the same for applications with or without the Technical Appendix. Recently the value of Standard Research Grants with a Technical Appendix has been around 25% higher than that of those without. It is important not to undercost the digital element of your application.
Digital.Humanities@Oxford is currently developing supplementary advice on the Technical Plan for Oxford applicants to the AHRC. This will be published shortly on these pages.
The requirements of the Technical Plan follow the recommendations of the Review of the AHRC Technical Appendix (pdf) led by David Robey in conjunction with the Network of Expert Centres, and particularly the University of Sheffield's Humanities Research Institute.