UKRI and Museums Association Launch Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has partnered with the Museums Association to launch a call to support digital innovation and engagement activities carried out by museums in response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Funds can be used to start new activities, or expand on or evaluate existing activities.

The fund is designed to enable applicants to extend their digital innovation to either engage new audiences or to embed their digital practice to connect their audiences to collections. It will particularly support museums that have made changes to their audience engagement activities during lockdown and who wish to build on the benefits of this.

Applicants must be institutional members of the Museums Association. Eligible projects must achieve the following:

Seek to engage at least one underserved audience or community as defined by the applicant.

Use an existing museum collection to engage with and inspire audiences or communities.

Build on and demonstrate an understanding of existing innovation for audience engagement.

Include robust plans for evaluation and learning dissemination, including participation in the Museums Association’s Collections Network and scheme level evaluation.

Applicants must demonstrate that their project falls outside ‘business as usual’ but fits into their long-term plans, mission and vision.

Partnership projects are welcome where partners share the benefits of funding, and/or where they support delivery. Applicants, or lead applicants in a partnership, must be institutional members of the Museums Association and must be accredited museums, or otherwise be formally working towards accreditation, or be able to demonstrate equivalent long-term care of and access to their collections.

The total value of the fund is £400,000. Individual grants of between £25,000 and £50,000 are available. Projects may last for up to one year, and UKRI will fund 100% of a project’s budget.

Applicants must contact the Museums Association to discuss their eligibility and ideas before applying.

Museums and galleries that have been recommended to apply should submit the mandatory expression of interest form by the 21 December 2020 deadline.

Selected applicants will subsequently be invited to submit full applications by the 22 February 2021 deadline.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.