twitter YouTube LinkedIn

FAQs for Academics

Funding FAQs: academics

Frequently asked questions about how to apply to the Collaborate Fund. These FAQs are for academics.

Photo: Electron Microscopes at Leeds University

Frequently asked questions for academics

See below for frequently asked questions about the Collaborate fund. These FAQs are for academics

The detailed guidance contains helpful information about applying to the fund. We will reopen the fund between 5 January 2023 and Monday 20 February 2023 to expressions of interest from academics.


We welcome expressions of interest from individual academic researchers or research teams from any discipline. The lead applicant must have a PhD or similar qualification or research experience at the time of application and currently be employed at a UK 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 employed at a UK or ROI based university or higher education institution. Please note academic researchers do not have to be on a permanent contract, though they should be attached to a UK or ROI based higher education institution for the period of the project (we expect projects to run for up to 12 months from June 2024).

Academic researchers who do not have a PhD or similar research qualification or experience.

Independent researchers or those working in for-profit organisations

Yes, you may submit multiple expressions of interest if you wish to be considered to be matched with more than one of the potential projects

Application process

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 5 January 2023 and 20 February 2023. 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.

For academic applicants who do not have a PhD we ask for similar research qualifications or experience. We would expect this to include a first degree or equivalent in any discipline plus evidence of conducting original, independent research resulting in a significant contribution to knowledge and sustained, active and critical understanding of a particular research area.

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. External assessment panel members will be recruited through a UK wide 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.

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.

Detailed guidance will be made available in January 2023, when we open the fund to expressions of interest from academics.

You will also be able to make your application by video.

You can watch the recording of our briefing workshop for academics here.

If you require any information in alternative formats, or there is anything more specific we could provide to make this accessible to you, please email

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.

Please note the programme cannot fund lead academic staff time. However, it can support the costs of research assistants to carry out data collection and any direct costs of events and activities associated with the research.

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 they provide 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 partner in the first instance, however a proportion of funding can be made directly to the academic research partner for eligible costs (e.g. research assistant time) if requested and as outlined within the joint project application. There is no requirement that any proportion of the funding will be ring-fenced for any specific activity. All awards are inclusive of any applicable VAT.

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.

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
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.

Keep in touch,

Sign up to our newsletter