Welcome to the Centre for Robert Burns Studies

Welcome to the Centre for Robert Burns Studies

Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, was born in Alloway in 1759. A farmer's son, he rose to literary prominence in 1786 with the first collection of his poetry, which came to be known as the Kilmarnock edition. He died young, at the age of 37, but his legacy endures.

The Centre for Robert Burns Studies was established in July 2007. Its mission is the development of research, scholarship and teaching in the area of Robert Burns, his cultural period and related literature:


Aims of the Centre

  • to lead the development and coordination of research of excellence related to Robert Burns both in the UK and beyond; 
  • to encourage Robert Burns Studies through publications, seminar series, colloquia, conferences, performance events and other meetings both in the UK and internationally;
  • to foster links with other institutions working in the area of Robert Burns Studies and housing significant collections of Burns material;
  • to establish and maintain a centre of excellence in postgraduate studies and early career research;
  • to broaden interest in Robert Burns Studies by inviting visiting lecturers and by encouraging academic and student exchanges both within the UK and globally.

What we do

Since its establishment in 2007, the Centre for Robert Burns Studies has proudly followed the University of Glasgow’s ‘world-changing’ ethos through its significant contribution to Scottish knowledge and culture.

Alongside the Centre’s flagship research project, the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded ‘Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century, the Centre has hosted many other projects with a specific focus on Burns, his life, works, cultural period and related literature. Projects include  ‘Robert Burns in the Scottish Economy, a groundbreaking study commissioned by the Scottish Government, the AHRC-funded multi-volume edition of ‘The Collected Works of Allan Ramsay’ and the 'Burns Beyond Reality' Virtual Reality experience. The Centre further supports a variety of smaller networks, and staff at the Centre for Robert Burns Studies undertake collaborative and independent research projects related to Burns’s literary, cultural, historical and political contexts.

As a global network, the Centre for Robert Burns Studies is connected with an active body of international scholars and has welcomed visiting scholars from across the world, including the USA, Slovenia and Czechia, amongst other places. Closer to home, the Centre supports a number of postgraduate students with their work on Robert Burns, providing financial assistance for Masters-level research through the Shaw Scholarship as well as the direct supervision of postgraduate research projects and support in early career research. In line with the Centre’s aim to broaden further interest in Burns, the Centre offers online courses which are open to all, allowing further exploration into the life and works of Robert Burns. 

The Centre has further encouraged Robert Burns Studies through a wide range of public engagement events, including conferences, high-profile performance events, and seminar series. Annual events, such as the Centre for Robert Burns Studies Annual Conference and the University of Glasgow's Global Burns  events series, connect audience members from the academy and beyond.