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Collaborate: second round of funding announced

Five people sit on a bench in the centre of a museum gallery room observing a set of paintings in front of them, presented on a white wall.

We are pleased to announce a new round of Collaborate funding.

The Centre for Cultural Value is reopening its Collaborate fund to support the development of innovative new projects between UK-based cultural sector practitioners and academic researchers

Collaborate was launched in 2021 with the commitment of investing £200,000 into the UK cultural sector over two funding rounds. Successful projects will receive awards of £5k to £20k to examine an under-explored question relating to cultural value.

Collaborate supports the Centre’s core aim of deepening understanding of the difference arts, culture, heritage and screen makes to people’s lives.

Projects should be driven by real-world questions of the cultural sector and provide opportunities to test new methodologies and explore cultural practice. As the Centre for Cultural Value’s Director Ben Walmsley notes, the Collaborate research partnerships can also play an important role when communicating cultural value to policymakers and funders: 

“The majority of the UK population equate cultural activities with their wellbeing, and in this context, it is more important than ever that we capture the impacts that cultural activities have on people through rigorous and meaningful research.”

Working alongside academic researchers, Collaborate offers cultural practitioners the chance to break down barriers of understanding through alternative perspectives.

Practitioners involved in projects supported by the first round of Collaborate funding have highlighted the value of having an academic perspective to open up new ways of thinking and develop innovative ideas. For example, Peter Reed from Compass Live Art, who is working with Matthew Reason and Lauren Hall from York St John University to understand the value and impact of co-created participatory work, says: 

“We were keen to work with someone with a bit of critical distance to our work, which is what we’ve really found through the process.”

Similarly, academics involved in the fund have also seen the real value of working on an ambitious and innovative research project. Dr Michelle Phillips, a senior lecturer at the Royal Northern College of Music who is partnering with Manchester Camerata as part of the Collaborate pilot project, says:

“It’s a project that people want to be part of and a really stimulating research team.”

This round of funding will begin by welcoming cultural sector applicants to submit an Expression of Interest. Applications will be open from 17 October to 25 November 2022

Once the 10 strongest project proposals have been selected by an expert panel, academics will be invited to submit their own Expression of Interest to work with the cultural sector partner on exploring these projects and developing a research question and methodology. 

Successful partnerships will then work together over the next 6 to 12 months, and the Centre will also provide the participants with professional development opportunities. Applications for academics will be open from 5 January to 20 February 2023.

If you are interested in finding out if you are eligible for Collaborate and how to submit an Expression of Interest, please visit our website.

You can also sign up for one of the Collaborate briefing events on 5 and 12 October 2022. These events will provide an opportunity to hear more about the fund, the application process and ask any questions you may have. 

Image credit: National Museums Liverpool. Photo by Dave Jones

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