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Our Collaborate fund supports innovative new research partnerships between cultural sector practitioners and academics. There will be two rounds of funding – one in autumn 2021 and one in autumn 2022.

Company Chameleon perform Witness This on Manchester city centre streets. Photo: Joel Chester Fildes
Image shows the inside of a gallery with white walls and images on the walls. In the background is a visitor wearing a face covering.
Days Like These exhibition. Image: The Lowry

What is Collaborate?

Collaborate is a new fund to support the development of collaborative research projects between the cultural sector and academic researchers.

We will support around 15 projects and funding awards will range from £5K – £20K.

Successful projects will contribute to deeper understanding of the differences arts, culture, heritage and screen makes to people’s lives, and the range of research methodologies used to explore cultural value.

Key information

Who can apply?

  • Academic researchers: individual academic researchers or research teams from any discipline. You must have a PhD at the time of application or similar research qualification or research experience, and currently be working at a UK based university or higher education institution.
  • Cultural sector: UK -based not for profit organisations (including social enterprises), creative practitioner or artist currently working in the arts, cultural, heritage or screen sectors.

Please note: expressions of interest for the cultural sector are now closed for the 2021 round of funding. Academic expressions of interest are open between 6 December 2021 and 26 January 2022. There will be a further funding round in autumn 2022.

What can I apply for?

  • Funding between £5k and £20k

Key dates

  • Academics: expressions of interest between 6 December 2021- 26 January 2022. Before you apply, read our FAQs and guidance for academic applicants.
  • Cultural sector: expressions of interest for the first round of funding are now closed
  • There will be a second round of funding in autumn 2022


We are holding a briefing event for academics on 9 December. Find out more and book your place.

Why apply?

Cultural sector applicants

  • To explore and more deeply understand your practice and to communicate the cultural value of your work more effectively
  • Working in partnership with academic researchers can help open up new ways of thinking, develop innovative ideas and practice and build new networks.
  • You’ll also develop knowledge and skills in collaborative research, with access to a cohort of peers, and workshops and learning resources.

Academic applicants

  • To co-develop a collaborative research project to more deeply understand an area of cultural value.
  • The research could form the basis of future research publications, be cited as impact activity for future REF case studies or be the foundation for further external funding in the future.
  • You’ll have access to a cohort of peers, learning resources and the chance to develop skills in research leadership and new ways to communicate research.

Helpful resources

Tate Families, 20 Days. Photo: Rob Harris


Frequently asked questions about how to apply to the Collaborate Fund.
Group discussion round table
Who are we? Counterpoint Arts and The Open University. Tate Exchange. Photo: Dan Weill Photography

Before you apply

Find out more about how to apply to Collaborate, how the fund works and the key stages of your project.
Images of socially distanced visitors at the Unfinished Business: the fight for women’s rights and Hebrew Manuscripts: journeys of the written word exhibitions at British Library St Pancras
Unfinished Business at The British Library. Photo: David Jensen

Your application

Cultural sector and academic applicants can make an expression of interest via our online form.
Musicians from the Manchester Camerata orchestra
Image: Manchester Camerata

Collaborate projects

Find out more about the projects that have been awarded funding from our Collaborate programme

Keep in touch,
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