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Funding FAQs

Frequently asked questions about how to apply to the Collaborate Fund.

Who Are Ya? with Alex Fox at Tate Exchange: Photo David Owen

Frequently asked questions

See below for frequently asked questions about the Collaborate fund. You can also find detailed information about the fund and how to apply in our guidance for cultural sector applicants and guidance for academic applicants


We welcome expressions of interest from any UK based charitable organisation, individual creative practitioner or independent artist currently working in the arts, cultural, heritage or screen sectors. This includes music, theatre, dance, visual arts, literature, combined arts, festivals, circus, carnivals, accredited museums, screen, libraries (where there is an arts, culture, heritage focus), archives and heritage organisations.

By funded Sector Support Organisations we mean those funded and designated by Arts Council as SSO i.e. organisations such as Bridge Organisations, Museum Development

Providers, umbrella and networking organisations, strategic library and museum partnership bodies, and other organisations that support the arts and cultural sector as their function as opposed to producing or delivering art and culture.

It does not include art and culture producing NPOs. Those organisations are eligible to apply to this fund.

For-profit organisations, non-accredited museums, funded sector support organisations.

We welcome expressions of interest from individual academic researchers or research teams from any discipline. You must have a PhD at the time of application and currently be working at a UK based university or higher education institution. All participants must be open to exploring and co-creating a research project in partnership with a cultural sector organisation or creative practitioner.

Academic researchers or research teams based outside of the UK or who are not currently working at a UK based university or higher education institution. Academic researchers who have not yet received their PhD. Independent researchers or those working in for-profit organisations.

Academic researchers do not have to be on a permanent contract, though they should be attached to a UK based higher education institution for the period of the project (we expect projects to run for up to 12 months from June 2022).

Application process

Cultural sector applicants will submit an online expression of interest (EOI) between 18 October 2021 and 24 November 2021. An assessment panel will then select up to 10 potential projects from the submitted EOIs and these will be advertised to academic researcher applicants. If your potential project is selected, the panel will identify a shortlist of up to three academic research partners who could be a suitable match to work with you. You will have two weeks to meet with the shortlisted academic researchers and select your choice of partner. Once matched you will then be able to work with your partner to co-develop a research plan and full project funding application. There will be a further funding round in autumn 2022.

Academic researchers or research teams will submit online expression(s) of interest (EOI) to be matched with proposed cultural sector projects. The EOIs can be made between 6 December 2021 and 26 January 2022. An assessment panel will select a shortlist of up to three academic EOIs that would be suitable for each proposed project. If selected, you will have two weeks to meet with your potential cultural sector partner(s) and decide if you wish to work with them to co-develop a research plan and project funding application.

Expressions of Interest and project funding applications will be assessed against published criteria by a panel that includes Centre for Cultural Value staff, academic experts and cultural sector representatives against published criteria. Assessment panel members from the UK will be recruited through an open call.

If you are planning to apply and want to find out what research is already out there, read our ‘How to… search for relevant research’ resource.

Cultural sector applicants may request a bursary of up to £300 to contribute to development time in creating the project funding application only.

There is no guarantee that every potential project or academic researcher will find a match. If unmatched, these applicants will be eligible to reapply to future funding rounds.

The matchmaking is an essential part of the programme as we have to ensure that all participants (cultural sector and academic) meet the criteria for the fund. However, if a cultural sector applicant makes an expression of interest and their proposal is among the 10 shortlisted for academics to express interest, they are free to encourage their identified partner to submit an expression of interest to work with them.

Yes, you may submit an expression of interest in being matched with one or more of the potential projects.

Projects should be no less than 6 months and no more than 12 months.


You can apply for between £5K and £20K which can be used to cover all or part-costs of collaborative projects lasting between 6-12 months. There will be two funding rounds. Round one launching in October 2021 and round two in October 2022.

The funding can cover all or part-costs of the project activity including, but not limited to:

  • Cultural sector partner time
  • Research assistant time (e.g. PhD researchers or student interns supporting project activity)
  • Research participant costs (includes volunteers supporting project activity/events)
  • Project consumables
  • Venue and equipment hire
  • Travel and subsistence
  • Lead academic staff time
  • Building projects
  • Purchase of assets with no public benefit
  • Ongoing overheads
  • Duplication of funding
  • Training
  • Commissioning of art
  • Evaluation of existing projects
  • Economic impact studies
  • Part-funding of an existing project

Awarded project teams will be issued with contracts and payment schedules set against the milestones provided in their joint project funding application. There can be no payment in advance of activity and payment will be subject to delivery of milestones and evidence of spending as appropriate. The funding shall be awarded to the cultural sector organisation and academic research partner as outlined within the joint project application.

If the Collaborate funding is being used to part-fund the costs of a project, match funding would be any other source of funding supporting project activity. It can be made up of cash or in-kind support or a mixture of the two. In-kind support includes, but is not limited to, the contribution of organisational resources, staff time or reduced costs for services.

No, this is not a requirement, although we are supportive of applicants using the fund as an opportunity to attract funding from other sources to develop more ambitious projects.

There will be a requirement to submit a new budget for approval if project costs increase beyond 5% of the original award.


The differences that arts, culture, heritage and screen engagement make to people’s lives and society.

Covering topics or issues that need further research to strengthen the evidence base and/or which seek to investigate perspectives on cultural value from individuals who are currently under-represented in cultural value research.

This includes but is not limited to people who:

  • experience racism (people from migrant communities, Black, Asian and minoritised backgrounds)
  • identify as D/deaf or disabled
  • are from socio-economic backgrounds and communities that are under-represented in the cultural and research sector

Demonstrating an openness to working together on an equal footing to co-create a shared, mutually beneficial research question and methodology.

Having respect for each partner’s knowledge and skills in a way that brings together theoretical knowledge and rigour with practice-based expertise.

We also welcome projects that seek to work with audiences and research participants in the co-creation of research activity and/or co-authoring of project outputs.

We are looking for projects where value is placed on learning from the process, not just the findings. The project approach should include opportunities for ongoing learning and reflection, and demonstrating a willingness to adjust and pivot where necessary.

We are looking for projects that help develop fresh understandings of cultural value by bringing together knowledge, data, methodologies or techniques from different bodies of specialised knowledge. We welcome approaches from academic researchers both within and outside of the arts and humanities who are seeking to develop new or emerging research methodologies and /or the application of proven methodologies in new contexts.

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.
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


Our Collaborate fund supports innovative new research partnerships between the cultural sector and academics.
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

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