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Funding & Resources


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Arts Council Research Grants

WCE members will be interested to see that Arts Council England has announced a new research grants programme which 'seeks to build collective knowledge and deepen understanding of the impact of arts and culture, and to promote greater collaboration and co-operation between the arts and cultural sector and research partners'.

£700,000 is available for 2015-16, and there are indicative budgets of £900,000 for 2016-17 and 2017-18. Applications can be made for between £50,000 and £100,000 per year. The programme is now open and applications must be submitted by 12th March 2015.

More information from:

AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council)


The AHRC's themes provide a funding focus for emerging areas of interest to arts and humanities researchers. In recognising that interdisciplinary and collaborative research often requires particular forms of support to develop its full potential, themed funding calls can be particularly supportive of developmental activity, partnership-based activities, and innovative approaches.

  • Care for the Future
  • Digital Transformations in the Arts and Humanities
  • Science in Culture
  • Translating Cultures
Digital Transformations Small Grants Call

Applicants may apply for projects up to the value of £50,000 FeC. The aim of the call is to explore the potential for digital environments to facilitate collaborative research and dialogue between practice-based research in the arts and other forms of research in the AHRC disciplinary domain. Projects will be expected to commence between 1 April and 30 October 2015. Further details of the call and access the call document is available at:

Deadline: 27 November 2014 at 4pm

Cultural Value

In launching this two-year Cultural Value Project, the Arts & Humanities Research Council wishes to make a major contribution to how we think about the value of arts and culture to individuals and to society.

The Cultural Value Project seeks to establish a framework that will advance the way in which we talk about the value of cultural engagement and the methods by which we evaluate that value. The first part of the framework will be an examination of the cultural experience itself and its impact on individuals and its benefit to society. The Project will take as its starting point the different forms of cultural experience, such as, for instance, the aesthetic and cognitive dimensions of our cultural encounters. This might be seen as analysing the phenomenology of cultural experiences in order to understand better the benefits uniquely associated with cultural activity. This significant approach will be conducted alongside exploration of the many other economic and social benefits conventionally associated with cultural activity. The ambition underpinning the second part of the framework is to articulate a set of evaluative approaches and methodologies suitable to assessing the different ways in which cultural value is manifested.

Introduction to the Cultural Value Project: (PDF Document)

There are currently no open funding calls (as of 24 June 2013) the last funding call having ended on 16 April, however, more funding opportunities will be available in the future:

Knowledge Exchange and Partnerships

The only current call open (which is relevant) is Knowledge Transfer Partnerships operated and managed by the Technology Strategy Board

The AHRC has recently funded Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy which may be of interest to partners

There are also a number of Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange projects which are currently ongoing

Collaborative Doctoral Awards

Collaborative Doctoral Awards (also known as CASE awards) are intended to encourage and develop collaboration and partnerships between Higher Education Institution (HEI) departments and non-academic organisations and businesses.

These awards provide opportunities for doctoral students to gain first-hand experience of work outside an academic environment. The support provided by both an academic and non-academic supervisor enhances the employment-related skills and training a research student gains during the course of their award.

Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships

The AHRC has introduced a new route for supporting Collaborative Doctoral Awards. In addition to the existing Open call the AHRC has now made awards for Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDP). Through this route Non-HEI Organisations with a strong track record in the CDA scheme, are allocated a cohort of CDA studentships for the next three academic years for which they will then be able to nominate projects with academic partners. The AHRC have made 55 studentships per year available through this route with the intention of giving partners greater autonomy and the ability to develop strong programmes of PhD study.

The call for CDA and CDP are closed for 2013 but a new call for 2014 projects will be announced later in the year.

Research Grants

Two routes: standard and for early career researchers

Standard Route: £50,000-£1,000,000; maximum of 60 months (

Early Career Route: £50,000-£250,000; maximum of 60 months (

Deadline: rolling

Research Grants are intended to support well-defined research projects enabling individual researchers to collaborate with, and bring benefits to, other individuals and organisations through the development of high quality research. They are not intended to support individual scholarship; however, projects may include elements of individual research if it can be shown that there will be added value from bringing these elements together within a jointly developed research framework.


• to assist researchers in all areas of the arts and humanities to improve the breadth and depth of our knowledge of human culture both past and present

• to support well-defined research projects of the highest quality and standards that will lead to significant advances in creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding, of interest and value both in the research community and in wider contexts where they can make a difference

• to enable arts and humanities researchers to pursue, and to bring to completion in due time, collaborative research projects of the highest quality that require leadership from more than a single scholar. You are required to include a principal investigator and at least one co-investigator jointly involved in the development of the research proposal, its leadership and management and leading to significant jointly authored research outputs

• to enable arts and humanities researchers to establish or enhance effective working relationships with fellow researchers - both within and beyond the arts and humanities and within and beyond the UK - practitioners and the wide range of individuals and organisations who may benefit from their research

• to provide opportunities for less experienced researchers to develop their expertise and their careers by working collaboratively with senior researchers on well-defined projects and by leading projects themselves

• to maximise the value of research outcomes by promoting their communication and dissemination with individuals and organisations outside academia; where appropriate, to facilitate the knowledge transfer of those outcomes to both the research community and other contexts where they will make a difference.

Additional Information

· The PI and the Co-I are expected to spend at least 4 hours per week on average on the project

· International researchers may be named as Co-Is; this policy will be reviewed by the AHRC in 2015

· Collaboration can take place within a single institution or a combination of institutions and between people from the same research area or different research areas including areas outside the arts and humanities

Research Networking Scheme


Duration: 2 years

Value: £30,000; an additional £15,000 may be applied for to cover international participants, co-investigators or activities

Deadline: rolling

The Research Networking Scheme is intended to support forums for the discussion and exchange of ideas on a specified thematic area, issue or problem. The intention is to facilitate interactions between researchers and stakeholders through, for example, a short-term series of workshops, seminars, networking activities or other events.

The aim of these activities is to stimulate new debate across boundaries, for example: disciplinary, conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and/or international.

Proposals should explore new areas, be multi-institutional and can include creative or innovative approaches or entrepreneurship. Proposals must justify the approach taken and clearly explain the novelty or added value for bringing the network participants together.

Although the Research Networking scheme is primarily aimed at the development of new networks and interactions, existing networks can also apply where they are addressing a new or novel area.


• support collaboration and the exchange of ideas across boundaries, primarily between researchers in the arts and humanities, as well as with colleagues in other disciplines and other stakeholders, to explore a particular theme, issue or problem

• enable groups of researchers and other stakeholders to explore ideas which could lead to tangible projects and maximise opportunities for advances in creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding in the area to be explored, with results of value both to the arts and humanities research community and to wider contexts where they can make a difference

• encourage and enable researchers within the research community to involve new researchers and research students, as well as people or organisations from outside the academic and research community, in the discussion and development of ideas

Follow on Funding for Impact and Public Engagement


Duration: 12 months

Value: £30,000-£100,000

Deadline: rolling

Follow on Funding provides funds to support innovative and creative engagements with new audiences and user communities which stimulate pathways to impact. Funds will be awarded for knowledge exchange, public engagement, dissemination and commercialisation activities that arise unforeseeably during the lifespan of or following an AHRC-funded project. The scheme does not support supplementary funding for continuation of research activities.

Proposals must clearly demonstrate both a well-defined non-academic need for the work and engagement with potential users and stakeholders in developing their project. Proposed activities must enhance the value and wider benefit of the original AHRC-funded research project, and clearly demonstrate how they will deliver significant economic, social, cultural and/or policy impacts.

Only for engagement activities which stem from a previous AHRC funded project.

ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)

Knowledge Exchange Opportunities Scheme

Our Knowledge Exchange Opportunities Scheme scheme provides the opportunity to apply for funding for knowledge exchange and public engagement activities at any stage of the research lifecycle, and is aimed at maximising the impact of social science research outside academia.

The flexibility built into the scheme is intended to encourage applicants to think creatively about knowledge exchange, and applications are welcomed for either a single activity or a combination of activities. This could involve activities such as setting up a network to help inform the development of a research proposal; arranging an academic placement with a voluntary or business organisation; developing tools such as podcasts and videos aimed at communicating the results of research to the general public; or developing existing research to make it more applicable to policy or practice.

On 3 April 2013 the Knowledge Exchange Opportunities Scheme became an ‘open call’ scheme with no end date

Call Specification Document)

NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts)

Current work focuses on Creative Industries and the Creative Economy, specifically the relationship between publicly funded arts and the private sector

There are no funding calls currently open. They have recently funded Digital R&D for the Arts

They are also interested in the Cultural Value question

Leverhulme Trust

Research Project Grants


The aim of these awards is to provide financial support for innovative and original research projects of high quality and potential, the choice of theme and the design of the research lying entirely with the applicant (the Principal Investigator). The grants provide support for the salaries of research staff engaged on the project, plus associated costs directly related to the research proposed, and the award is paid directly to the institution at which the applicant is employed.

Proposals must reflect the personal vision of the applicant and demonstrate compelling competence in the research design. The Trust favours applications that surmount traditional disciplinary academic boundaries and involve a willingness to take appropriate degrees of risk in setting research objectives.

Value: maximum value is £500,000

Duration: up to five years

The following guidelines are drawn to the attention of potential applicants:

  • Because of the substantial funding available from other sources for medical research, the Trust does not fund research which is of direct relevance to clinicians, medical professionals and/or the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Similarly, because of the availability of alternative sources of funding, the Trust does not fund policy-driven research where the principal objective is to assemble an evidence base for immediate policy initiatives.
  • The Trust will not fund applications for research of which advocacy forms an explicit component.
  • The Trust does not support research which is aimed principally at an immediate commercial application.
  • The Trust will not fund applications in which the balance between assembling a data bank or database and the related subsequent research is heavily inclined to the former.
  • The Trust does not fund applications in which the main focus is on capacity building, networking, or the development of the skills of those involved.

Philip Leverhulme Prizes


The Prizes commemorate the contribution to the work of the Trust made by Philip Leverhulme, the Third Viscount Leverhulme and grandson of the Founder.

For the 2013 competition the selected disciplines are:

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics;
  • Economics;
  • Engineering;
  • Geography;
  • Modern languages and Literature;
  • Performing and Visual Arts.

The disciplines selected are intentionally broad, and nominations will be considered irrespective of a nominee’s departmental affiliation.

Value: £70,000

Duration: use should be made of the award over a two or three year period

Artist in Residence Grants


These awards support the residency of an individual artist in a UK institution in order to foster a creative collaboration between the artist and the staff and/or students of that institution. The term ‘artist’ encompasses visual artists, creative writers, musicians, poets and other producers of original creative work. The scheme is intended to bring artists into research and study environments where their artistic form or creative art is not part of the normal curriculum or activities of the host department. It is not the objective of the residency to provide additional teaching capacity. Priority will be given to new collaborative ventures.

Value: a stipend for the resident artist plus up to £2,500 for costs associated with the artist’s activity, e.g. consumables or materials. The maximum total cost is £15,000.

Arts Scholarships (

The Trust is no longer accepting applications for the Arts Scholarship scheme. The next competition will be in 2015; application details will be available in the Spring of that year.

Arts Council England

Grants for the Arts

From 17 June 2013 Grants for the Arts is changing. The scheme is for 3-year projects between £1,000 and £100,000

 Research Grants Programme

A new research grants programme which 'seeks to build collective knowledge and deepen understanding of the impact of arts and culture, and to promote greater collaboration and co-operation between the arts and cultural sector and research partners'.

£700,000 is available for 2015-16, and there are indicative budgets of £900,000 for 2016-17 and 2017-18. Applications can be made for between £50,000 and £100,000 per year. The programme is now open and applications must be submitted by 12th March 2015.

More information from:

Big Lottery Fund

Every year BIG gives out millions of pounds from the National Lottery to good causes. The money goes to community groups and projects that improve health, education and the environment. Funding Finder

European Commission Funding

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation Negotiations regarding the budget are currently on-going and the programme is expected to launch 1 January 2014.

Other Sources of Funding (from ACE)




In this section we plan to post information, documents and links to resources of interest to WCE members.