Filling the Gaps

We worked with the heritage science community to 'crowd-source' knowledge of research to 'fill the gaps' in the 2010 National Heritage Science Strategy. This allowed us to raise awareness of the priorities for heritage science research in the UK.

In 2015, the NHSF commissioned an initial review of the heritage science research that had been carried out since 2009. The resulting report Filling the Gaps maps research listed on the Gateway to Research (i.e. funded by the UK Research Councils) to the gaps in knowledge and practice identified during the development of the National Heritage Science Strategy, in the first of three evidence reports: The role of science in the management of the UK’s heritage.

In 2016, NHSF worked with the heritage science community to 'crowd-source' knowledge of current and recent research, in order to further 'fill the gaps' in the 10 topics identified in the evidence report.

The aim of the project was twofold:

  • Identifying the remaining gaps in knowledge and practice, allowing us to promote them to researchers and funders as opportunities to be addressed in the future
  • Sharing information on where to find research that has been carried out.


The help of the heritage science community has been invaluable in carrying out this work – but it’s an on-going process. You can still contribute your knowledge of post-2009 research against the topics identified under the broad themes of understanding of material behaviour, understanding of environments and improving practice.

View or add to the list of research projects grouped by National Heritage Science Strategy (2010) gaps in research. (Takes you to an editable online GoogleSheet)

The work to ‘Fill the Gaps’ complements broader work by NHSF to identify heritage science research projects that have been carried out with UK involvement. The list of projects, funding source, amount and participants helps to build a picture of heritage science research activity that will be of use to researchers and practitioners, as well as provide evidence to support policy arguments.