Curatorial Research Grants are offered annually to institutions, galleries or museums to help towards the costs of appointing a Research Curator to undertake research for a specific project.

The Grant is an award of up to £40,000 to cover the full length of the research project.

The Paul Mellon Centre is an educational charity that champions new ways of understanding British art history and culture. Through all areas of our work, including our grants and fellowships programme, we promote activities that enhance and expand knowledge of British art and architecture. As an institution, we pledge ourselves to ensuring that the histories of British art are enriched and made more relevant to a broader range of people in the future. The inclusion of voices, narratives and experiences that have been marginalised or excluded in the past will have a transformational impact on the future of the Centre and upon British art studies. Accordingly, the Paul Mellon Centre particularly welcomes applications from those who are under-represented within the academic field of the humanities in the UK.

Scope

Curatorial Research Grants are specifically designed to help institutions, galleries or museums towards the costs of appointing a Research Curator to undertake research for either:

  • An exhibition or installation of British art or architectural history, or related topic
  • A cataloguing project on part of a collection or archive that will result in a printed or online catalogue

Alternatively an institution may apply for a Curatorial Research Grant to provide replacement staff costs to provide temporary cover for a curatorial staff member to work on a specific exhibition or cataloguing project.

Applications for the support of part-time curatorial researchers are also welcome.

Funding

Curatorial Research Grants are offered for up to a maximum of £40,000 to cover the full length of the project. Applications for less than £40,000 are also eligible.

The award will be paid directly to the institution as a lump sum only.

The institution should give details of any financial support already in place or funding expected or being sought from other sources.

Eligibility

Our funding programme supports scholarship, academic research and the dissemination of knowledge in the fields of British art and architectural history, and of British visual culture understood more broadly, from the medieval period to the present day. All supported topics must have a clear art-historical perspective, including those that focus on recent or contemporary artistic practice. All applications must demonstrate that British art, architecture or visual culture provides a substantial focus for their project. Applications will be assessed according to their academic rigour, originality, and contribution to scholarship. We do not fund research projects focusing on archaeology, current architecture practice, or the performing arts.

Applications are open to international as well as national institutions.

The Grant is designed to cover the wage of a researcher, it is not to be used for other costs related to staging a curatorial project such as loans or equipment.

Only one Curatorial Research Grant application per institution will be considered each year.

For further questions on eligibility please contact the Fellowships & Grants Manager.

Application

Curatorial Research Grants are offered in our Autumn round of funding, the next round of Curatorial Research Grants will open on 8 August 2022 and close on 30 September 2022.

To apply for a Curatorial Research Grant you must use our online system at grants.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk. Once registered you will be able to fill out the online application form (example of which can be downloaded below) and provide the details of two referees. The option to provide the referee details will be available once the application is submitted. We will then contact the nominated referee with details on how they submit their reference which must be completed through our online system and must be no more than 500 words.

Referees ideally should have specialist knowledge of the topic and subject matter and/or have first-hand knowledge of the nominated research curator’s academic career. Advisory Council would like to be informed of the originality of the subject matter and the applicant’s suitability to pursue such research. We do not accept references from individuals who are directly involved in the project or individuals who are affiliated with the institution (employee, trustee etc.) unless it is a large institution, such as a University, and the individual is not personally associated with the project. If you have any questions about your choice of referee, please email the Fellowships & Grants Manager at grants@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk.

Applications and nominated referee details must be received by 30 September, referees have until 10 October to submit their references.

Requirements:

  • Due to the large amount of funding offered, institutions should provide a comprehensive and detailed timeline and budget in their application
  • The institution must provide details of the expected outcomes of the project in the application. Curatorial research might result in an exhibition (physical or virtual), an exhibition catalogue, or a printed or online catalogue of part of a collection/archive
  • The institution must provide annual reports on the projects progress until completion and a final report six months after the project has been completed

Image: Ronald Moody and Orchid Bird, 1968. Digital image courtesy of The Ronald Moody Trustees