Academic research is a key activity at IWM, with projects encompassing a number of unique partnerships and challenging themes, including refugees and displacement, sexual violence in war and the role of social media in conflict.

Part of the IWM Institute

IWM Institute is IWM’s research and knowledge exchange hub. We provide access to IWM’s rich collections for research and innovation to increase the public’s understanding of war and conflict.


  • Lifesavers: How conflict innovation can build a better world

    Imperial War Museums and Lloyd’s Register Foundation are collaborating on a five-year project to explore how conflict has driven innovation in science and technology, and how this innovation affects safety today on land, at sea, and in the air.

  • Shared Digital Futures

    In partnership with the Delfina Foundation,  IWM received Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funding in 2021 to engage community voices collaboratively in the interpretation of archival collections and to interrogate the systems and processes which govern their care and use.

  • Provisional Semantics

    Provisional Semantics: Addressing the challenges of representing multiple perspectives within an evolving digitised national collection was one of eight Foundational Projects under the Towards a National Collection Programme, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

  • The Tim Hetherington and Conflict Imagery Research Network

    In partnership with the University of Leeds , IWM received AHRC funding in 2019 for a series of network events which took place from 2020  to 2022, that explored the archive of the award-winning conflict photographer Tim Hetherington. 

  • Filming for Peace in 1990s Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina

    IWM received AHRC funding in 2019 for an international research network to examine the work of United Nations Television and its collection, produced during the Yugoslav War and deposited at IWM in 1996.

  • Listening to the World: BBC Monitoring Collection AHRC Research network

    IWM received a research networking grant from AHRC in 2015 to examine the academic potential of the transcripts of the broadcasts monitored between 1939-1982 (the BBC Monitoring Collection).

  • Cultural Exchange in a Time of Global Conflict

    In partnership with Dr Santanu Das of Kings College London, IWM was awarded funding from the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) in 2013 for a three year project to investigate how the First World War created and shaped encounters between peoples and cultures from belligerent, colonised and politically neutral countries.

  • First World War Film Collection

    I n collaboration with the European Film Gateway EFG1914 project,  over 200 hours of IWM's First World War film collection was digitised and made freely available online, for the First World War centenary. 

  • Whose Remembrance?

    Whose Remembrance? (2012-2013) sought to investigate the state of research into the experiences of the peoples of Britain's former empire in the two world wars, and the understanding and availability of this research to audiences and communities today.

  • Languages at War

    In partnership with the University of Reading, IWM explored the official foreign language policies of government, military and multilateral agencies and the foreign language experiences of those involved in the conflicts. 

  • Colonial Film Project

    In collaboration with Birkbeck College, University College London, the BFI, and the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, IWM sought to create a catalogue of moving pictures of the British Empire.

  • Posters of Conflict

    In partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, IWM sought to digitally photograph and publish online around 10,000 posters from our internationally important collection.