The RAI is Oxford’s centre for the study of the United States and its place in the world.
Its mission is to support research in Oxford and beyond, to act as a catalyst for interdisciplinary work and research collaboration, and to engage non-university audiences, all with the aim of improving the scholarly and public understanding of America. The RAI’s activity falls into three broad areas: hosting/supporting academic and public events; hosting visiting fellows; and directly supporting research. Its public programmes include a podcast, online and in-person lectures, and an annual event for schools.
The RAI community includes a large number of graduate students, the academic post-holders in US History, American Literature and US politics, several Fellows-in-Residence, two Junior Research Fellowships in US History, and a wide group of early career researchers, retired colleagues and many others. The RAI collaborates widely with other research institutes in the University. The RAI’s Vere Harmsworth Library offers the strongest collection in US history in Europe, including a wide range of digital resources for the study of twentieth-century US History.
The current RAI Director is the Edward Orsborn Professor of US Politics and Political History, Adam Smith. The RAI has a small but dedicated staff including a part-time Administrator, Communications Officer and two Administration and Finance assistants. Opened by President Clinton in 2001, the RAI and its sister institution, the Vere Harmsworth Library (VHL), are housed in a magnificent modern building in the centre of Oxford.