We have become one of a select number of organisations to be granted Independent Research Organisation (IRO) status by Research Councils UK. IROs have freedom to apply directly to Research Councils for funding, therefore maximising the opportunity to carry out pioneering and valuable research studies.

The new appointment is unique in that MOLA is the first archaeological contractor to ever be awarded IRO status and demonstrates the contribution that developer-funded archaeology makes to archaeological understanding and academia. It is also highlights the impact that commercial collaborations can have, above and beyond product based advances, such as biomedical research.

In excellent company, we join the British Museum, the National Archives, the British Library and the Imperial War Museum on the IRO list. So what makes an IRO? The organisation and its staff must have a track record for leading innovative research projects and maximising the impact and value of its research to the benefit of the UK economy and society. Our outstanding in-house capacity to undertake innovative projects, its peer-reviewed publication programme, grey-literature reports and dissemination of its research to the wider public are recognised by this status.

Ground-breaking research we have already carried out includes the study of human remains from the UKs largest cemetery site, under Spitalfields Market, which demonstrated a direct link between mass burials in London in the 14th century and a catastrophic volcanic eruption in Indonesia. Other significant research work includes Locating London’s Past, a Jisc funded online resource, led by the Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire. The interactive website allows users to search the locations of crimes as recorded at the Old Bailey between 1674 and 1913. MOLA provided spatial data and manipulated the digital images and maps for the widely used research tool.

This new appointment presents an exceptional opportunity for researchers to investigate archaeological material as it is lifted fresh from the ground. We are eager to hear from potential research collaborators with ideas for pioneering and valuable research studies.

Discover our online Resource Library, explore previous research projects and search our publications.

For more information take a look at our Research with MOLA leaflet.

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