Our professional network grants provide funding to support Subject Specialist Networks (SSNs) and other curatorial and professional networks in sharing expertise across the museum sector, for the benefit of collections and audiences.
The grants are designed to be ‘light-touch’ and responsive to need. We want to help networks capitalise on opportunities to develop and expand their activities; develop and share knowledge and skills relating to subject-specialisms, professional skills and public engagement; collaborate with each other and with museum audiences; innovate, test new ideas and share their findings; and create tangible public outcomes.
The grants are available to support, for example:
- workshops, seminars and conferences that document and highlight new research into a collection
- toolkits, case studies and dynamic resources that enable museums to better use and interpret their collections for a wide public, or curators to function within their roles
- development opportunities that improve specialist knowledge and professional skills, and so help influence and benefit public programmes
- advice, training or mentoring to support new routes into the curatorial sector, or to encourage curators to act as advocates for their institutions, collections and subject specialisms
- testing and exploring new/pilot networks
Who should apply
The programme is open to SSNs and other curatorial and professional networks, both formal and informal – either independently or in partnership.
‘Curatorial networks’ are defined as professional communities which share interests in curatorial specialisms, collections and/or exhibition- and museum-based practices.
Networks can be established or emerging, but must have a mission statement and/or clear long-term objectives.
Networks must be not-for-profit and be formally constituted, or identify a formally constituted organisation that is willing to act as the recipient of funds. Funds cannot be paid to individuals.
There are two categories of grant available:
- small grants: any amount up to £5,000
- large grants: over £5,000
COVID-19 Update (21/3/20)
We are working hard to support our museum network during this hugely challenging time. Our professional network grants are still open, and we are particularly keen for this funding to provide opportunities for professional networks to continue engaging with each other remotely. We encourage applications for activities which can be delivered digitally, such as virtual conferences and webinars, increased website resources, or collaborative online collections engagement projects. We can turn applications around in a short timeframe and are happy to discuss projects which may fall outside the criteria specified in our guidance for applicants. Please get in touch if you are interested in applying.