British Academy launches pilot public engagement funding programme

10 May 2023

A shot of a mid-adult secondary school teacher talking with her sixth form students in class, they are wearing casual clothing and discussing what they learned in class

The British Academy has today launched a new pilot programme to invest in and support innovative public engagement in the SHAPE disciplines (social sciences, humanities and the arts for people and the economy).

From Autumn 2023, the "SHAPE Involve and Engage” programme will support researchers across the UK to develop innovative and creative public engagement projects and activities, connect with communities and audiences, and inspire the public by involving them in participatory research. There will be funding available for around ten awards of £8,000 each.

Projects supported by the programme will be delivered in partnership with an organisation from the galleries, libraries, archives and museum sector. The programme seeks new, creative and innovative approaches, methodologies, outputs, impact, audiences, and approaches to co-production, with a focus on showcasing innovative research and interactive ideas.

Applications for the programme are now open.

Professor Julia Black, President of the British Academy, said: 

“We are thrilled to launch this pilot, which we hope will enable researchers to mobilise their knowledge and learning for public benefit in collaboration with others. We know from our longstanding Small Research Grants scheme that these relatively small pots of funding can help seed new ideas on which future initiatives can be built.”

She added: “As part of our new strategic plan, we are keen to strengthen links with the cultural sector and the arts more widely and see this scheme as a way in which we can start to do that. We know that researchers within the SHAPE disciplines often lead the way in innovative modes and methods of public engagement and hope this funding will enable that further still.”

Contact the press office

For further information contact the Press Office on [email protected]  / 07500 010 432.

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