Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: AHRC Community-led Heritage Research and Skills Hub

Start application

Apply to lead a community-driven heritage research and skills hub.

The hub will convene a consortium of heritage organisations (spokes) across the UK to undertake collections and heritage research driven by local communities. It will build capacity in research and digital skills within its partner organisations and support the development of networks for future research capability.

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funding.

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £1 million over three years. AHRC will fund a combination of 80% and 100% of the FEC.

Who can apply

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for AHRC funding

Before applying for funding, check the Eligibility of your organisation.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service.

For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

Hub Consortium

We will make one award to a consortium to lead the hub. Through a model of devolved funding, the successful hub will be expected to award funding to community-led heritage research projects across the UK. The hub ‘spokes’ projects should include organisations from museums, galleries, libraries, archives and the heritage sector, and it will be up to the hub to outline how they will allocate the funding to the projects within the application.

The hub will have oversight of all the projects and will act in a coordinating capacity.

Partnerships with non-HEI organisations and people across the third sector, community groups, and the public sector can be included. These can take different forms including project partners, collaborating organisations, or as project co-leads.

We would welcome partnerships which demonstrate collaboration across the UK, which link to existing networks that bring heritage research and skills together beyond academia and which will develop sustainable research capability in organisations not able to apply directly for UKRI funding.

We are looking for a hub leadership team that can demonstrate strong collaborative and equitable working and have contributed to the development of your application.

Who is eligible to apply

All applications must include the following roles:

  • a project lead based at an eligible independent research organisation (IRO) or higher education institution (HEI, including University GLAM) (formerly known as a principal investigator in Je-S)
  • a project co-lead (formerly known as co-investigator in Je-S) from a HEI, IRO or an organisation/individual outside academia
  • a grant manager (hub manager), who will oversee the coordination of the hub
  • other professional staff associated with the running of the hub such as communication staff, assistants (formerly known as ‘other staff’ in Je-S)

For administrative purposes it is necessary to identify a single project lead who must be affiliated with the lead research organisation. The project lead and their research office will be ultimately responsible for administration of the grant.

There is no limit on the number of project co-leads you can have but please note these must be fully costed within the funding envelope.

Your application should be submitted by the project lead but must be co-created with input from all partners. This should be evidenced in the application.

Early career researchers

We welcome the inclusion of early career researchers (both as project leads and project co-leads) as we recognise the important pipeline for growing researcher capacity in the UK. Support for leadership from early career researchers and showing that you have the right skills at the right level should be clearly explained in your application.

If the project lead is an early career researcher, as defined by AHRC , a mentor must be included within the application. This mentor must be clearly outlined in the resources and cost justification section of the application form.

Spoke Projects

We want to offer as much flexibility to the successful hub as possible, therefore it will be up to the applicants to decide on the selection process for the devolved funded projects (Spokes). This should be outlined clearly within the application. There is no set eligibility criteria for the spoke projects but you should bear in mind the aims of this funding opportunity.

We would expect the projects to have:

  • a strong community-led focus
  • to involve smaller to medium GLAM or Heritage organisations
  • the opportunity to reach new or diverse audiences
  • a commitment to collaborative and equitable working with partners
  • a focus on knowledge exchange and transfer of skills such as digital skills
  • to see a breadth of projects based across the UK to extend the reach of the hub, within the funding available

Who is not eligible to apply

  • This funding opportunity is not open to international applicants, including international project co-leads.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI.

What we're looking for


In October 2021 AHRC funded two pilot GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) research hubs. The aim of the investment was to explore how Independent Research Organisations (IROs) can support community-led research that would help to understand the social value of heritage and culture in the UK and promote more inclusive engagement with culture and heritage.

The pilot hubs operated on a devolved funding model, whereby we award the grant to a principal investigator at an (IRO with a second IRO as co-investigator, and each hub distributed funding to ‘spoke’ partner organisations to complete smaller projects.

Please refer to the additional information section, where further information on the work of the pilot hubs can be found, including links to the project’s evaluation material.

To provide longer-term investment, we are now looking to fund one consortium to become a hub for community-led heritage research. Through a framework of devolved funding, the hub will be expected to award, coordinate and support a cohort of the spoke projects across the UK.

The hub’s activity will be driven by the long-term research and engagement aims, and diversity and inclusion challenges of the communities that collaborate in the project. The hub will act as a centre of excellence and expertise in heritage and collections-based research and community participation.

It will provide a place to support the exchange of research and digital skills, to enable heritage research to become more accessible and usable to a range of audiences including researchers, members of the public, practitioners, policy makers and funders.

To do this the hub will operate on a hub and spokes model. The hub will support the spokes; smaller and regional GLAM/Heritage organisations and specific community and interest groups to undertake collections and heritage research, interpretation and engagement. The hub will have oversight of all of the projects and will act in a coordinating capacity.

The main aims of the Community-led Heritage Research and skills Hub will be:

  • to enable GLAM/Heritage organisations without IRO status to engage in active research supported by a larger hub, and in doing so equip non-research-intensive GLAM/Heritage organisations with research and digital skills, knowledge and experience. A long-term aim would be to build a research culture and capacity across these spoke organisations
  • to provide the opportunity for diverse communities and audiences to engage with, and to drive research within their cultural heritage, collections or historic environment. Delivering a more inclusive understanding of cultural heritage
  • to empower those communities to utilise the learning and understanding, creating networks for longer-term change within the sector and a diversity of voices within GLAM/Heritage organisations


The hub will support the spoke projects; smaller and regional GLAM/Heritage organisations and specific community and interest groups to undertake collections and heritage research, interpretation and engagement. The hub will:

  • manage funding opportunities to select the spoke projects. Please note applications to the hub (if there is a competition for funds) need to be light touch, and well-supported in development by the hub team to limit the demands on spoke partners and community groups
  • have oversight of the spoke projects, coordinating activities, providing advice and support, creating a network
  • develop and deliver a communications and stakeholder engagement plan to promote the funding opportunities and engage relevant stakeholders within the projects and work of the hub
  • build research skills, digital skills and knowledge exchange within smaller GLAM/Heritage organisations and community groups
  • develop a monitoring, evaluation and learning plan (in conjunction with AHRC) in order to manage the monitoring and evaluation of the spoke projects and produce an end-of-project evaluation report and other evaluation material

The spokes will comprise a small network of heritage organisations that want to develop, build upon, and champion constructive approaches to inclusive community-driven cultural and heritage themes.

The spokes will be supported by the hub to enable delivery on a range of activities that have been identified as specific priorities opportunities, or both, of purpose for the communities or sections of the public they aim to engage with. Areas of activity may include, but are not limited to:

  • delivery of interdisciplinary workshops, seminars and other consultations and engagements with stakeholder communities on cultural and heritage themes
  • commissioning small-scale research projects related to cultural and heritage assets, environments and collections
  • exploring new reflective practices and participatory action research
  • co-operative curation, interpretation, and narration in cultural and heritage programming
  • validating approaches to inclusion and plurality of perspectives in collection-based research and engagement
  • sharing or exchanging of skills

Thematic areas

An overall aim of the funding opportunity is to increase collaboration across the heritage sector, to encourage a plurality of voices in collections-based research and community engagement. We want to encourage dialogue, knowledge exchange and participatory research which privileges the partnerships between smaller and regional GLAM/Heritage organisations and specific community and interest groups.

Examples of thematic areas from the pilot hubs include:

  • equality, diversity and inclusion for community engagement
  • widening access to culture and heritage assets (in person and online)
  • exploring community identities and histories
  • heritage research as community-led practice
  • inclusive, constructive civic discourse on culture and heritage
  • social justice in a cultural context

Please note these are just examples taken from the pilot hub funding opportunity, it will be up to you to decide on your own thematic areas to reflect the current needs of the GLAM/Heritage sector.

For more information on the background of this funding opportunity and the work of the pilot hubs, go to the Additional information section.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Promoting Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is an integral part of UKRI’s vision to deliver new knowledge and an enriched, healthier, more sustainable and resilient society and culture, and to contribute to a more prosperous economy. EDI is also strongly embedded in AHRC’s Theory of Change and Strategic Delivery Plan for 2022-25 and we have recently refreshed our EDI Action Plan. The hub will play an important role in helping us deliver against our EDI commitments.

The hub will also play a crucial role in increasing the diversity of GLAM audiences and equitable participation in research. It is essential that throughout your application you clearly demonstrate how you have considered and will address challenges and opportunities related to EDI.

Public engagement

Community engagement with diverse public groups will be at the heart of the new hub and spoke projects. You should ensure that equitable and collaborative community engagement, where communities are given agency and decision-making power and placed at the heart of participatory collections-based research, is woven into the hub’s ethos, and is clearly articulated in the proposal, and throughout hub and spoke activities.

This community engagement activity will lead to improved outcomes for collections-based research, by making it more relevant and valuable to the host organisation, to its public audiences and to the communities involved in delivering it; positive impacts upon the personal or professional lives of the communities involved in the spoke projects (for example, improved skills leading to career opportunities, greater representation of diverse groups in public collections, improved wellbeing and new networks).

Governance and reporting

We will convene an advisory group to support the hub leadership team which will include independent representation from sector leaders, community practitioners, academics and an AHRC representative.

The hub will be required to provide us with regular updates and reporting, with key performance indicators and metrics to be agreed post-award, with a final report submitted at the end of the award period.  The successful applicant will work with us to develop a monitoring, evaluation and learning plan.

Long term sustainability

We do not expect the hub to be completely self-sustaining after three years, but we do expect you to have plans from the start to build up that sustainability over the three years. We see this investment as one that will have a legacy beyond the funded period, both within and beyond the organisations involved in the hub.

You will need to have clear plans for where the hub will be in three years, what it will have achieved, and what its longer-term role will be. The hub will also need to have plans for how it will sit as part of the institutions and partners involved as well as any potential revenue streams, additional funding opportunities, and sponsorships, as well as potential opportunities for new partnerships.

During the award, you will need to build regional networks with HEIs, IROs and community-led groups, which will develop potential for the spokes to have onward plans beyond the three years.


We expect the hub to deliver clearly defined, positive impacts across all objectives. Impact should be a major consideration throughout the scoping of your proposal, and during and beyond the lifetime of the hub.

You must demonstrate how you will deliver significant impact within and beyond research. As part of this you must include a logic model in your application demonstrating the changes the hub will bring about, and how your hub will bring about those changes.

Monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL)

We will work with the successful hub to agree a monitoring and evaluation plan in the starting phase of the award. In addition to standard Research Fish reporting, this is likely to include light touch quarterly reporting, including providing data required for internal reporting mechanisms, and more detailed annual reporting. We are also likely to ask for some form of interim and final evaluation or report.

We also expect to draw on the expertise of the hub to respond to other internal and external ad hoc reporting requests. You should ensure your proposal includes sufficient staff time to support this.

You will need to demonstrate how you will measure progress against the objectives and your own logic model, track impacts, and share learning with us and others. This should include plans for how the hub will measure a baseline against which any progression can be compared.

Building on existing investments and infrastructure

We expect the hub to leverage and add value to existing infrastructure and investments, within and beyond AHRC and UKRI, to maximise value and impact.

Similarly, AHRC and UKRI have made investments which could engage with and support the work of the hub. For example, the work of AHRC’s programme directors. Any digital outputs and assets that arise from the hub could also be sustained through AHRC’s infrastructure plans.

Where relevant in your proposal you should identify any key existing investments and infrastructure the hub would look to work with and how this would add value.


The duration of this award is for three years.

The award must start on 2 January 2025.

Funding available

We have allocated £953,000 for this funding opportunity. Indexation will be applied once the funding has been awarded.

We will fund the award using a combination of 80% and 100% of the Full Economic Cost (FEC). The following costs can be included at 100%:

  • all devolved funding for the spoke projects
  • hub staff time, such as the grant manager role (hub manager) and support staff
  • staff time for co-leads from smaller GLAM/heritage organisations or the community sector (non-HEI/IROs)

All other costs should be costed at 80% FEC in line with standard UKRI terms and conditions.

Note: projects can be costed to include the full £953,000 available from UKRI, in addition to the standard research organisation 20% contribution required for all non-exception costs. As such, the FEC of your project may exceed £953,000, provided all costs meet UKRI’s FEC and transparent approach to costing guidelines.

We have taken this approach to allow you to shape proposals in the way you see best, and to offer flexibility when deciding on the proportion of funding allocated to the running of the hub, and the devolved funding to the projects.

You should cost your budget for the ‘hub funding strand’ and the ‘spoke projects (devolved) funding strand’. To allow flexibility, we have not specified what percentage funding should be allocated to the running of the hub, and how much should be allocated to the spokes.

As a guide, we would expect between 40-60% of the funding to be allocated to the spoke projects. Your chosen approach should be clearly outlined and justified within the application.

You can include costs for the following roles:

Project lead

Standard AHRC eligibility criteria will apply to this funding opportunity for UK project leads and research organisations.

You must be a resident in the UK and be hosted by an eligible research organisation (higher education institutions or recognised independent research organisations) as stated in AHRC’s Research Funding Guide.

If the project lead is an early career researcher, as defined by AHRC, a mentor must be included within the application. This mentor must be clearly outlined in the resources and cost justification section of the application form.

For mentoring cost, an hour per month of the mentor’s time should be built into the budget as a directly allocated cost and entered in the application form in the ‘directly allocated costs’ section. Estates and indirect costs for this one hour can also be charged to the grant.

Project co-lead

Project co-leads can be included from HEIs, IROs or from organisations outside of academia. Project co-leads from outside of academia can be costed at 100% FEC where justified and their time can be listed under ‘Exceptions’. Please note, 100% FEC ‘exceptions’ costs are only for staff time, all other costs relating to project co-leads from outside of academia (including estates and indirect costs) will be funded at 80% FEC.

Co-leads not based at eligible research organisations should submit a statement of support from their organisation (if they are based at an organisation) as part of your application. This will be used to assess how effectively the proposed work integrates with community assets and other organisations outside of academia.

Grant Manager (meaning a hub manager)

A grant manager (hub manager) must be included in the leadership team. Their role is to lead the administration of the hub and the devolved funding opportunities. They must be employed by the lead organisation and by exception, can be funded at 100% FEC. They might be a researcher, including an early career researcher (as defined by AHRC), or an individual with experience of community engagement projects, or from within the GLAM/Heritage sector.

Other professional staff, known as ‘other staff’ in Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S)

Applications can include other professional staff, as appropriate to the hub. They must be employed by the lead organisation or one of the collaborating organisations. They can be funded at 100% FEC if their role relates to the running of the hub or the delivery of the devolved funded projects (meaning not a research post). Their role must be to provide professional contributions to the project, for example:

  • public or community engagement activities
  • engaging and working equitably with broad and diverse public audiences and groups
  • ethics and safeguarding
  • providing practical guidance, training and support
  • monitoring and evaluation, including reporting requirements
  • communications

How to apply

We are running this funding opportunity on the new UKRI Funding Service. You cannot apply on the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system.

The project lead is responsible for completing the application process on the Funding Service, but we expect all team members and project partners to contribute to the application.

Only the lead research organisation can submit an application to UKRI.

To apply

Select ‘Start application’ near the beginning of this Funding finder page.

  1. Confirm you are the project lead.
  2. Sign in or create a Funding Service account. To create an account, select your organisation, verify your email address, and set a password. If your organisation is not listed, email
    Please allow at least 10 working days for your organisation to be added to the Funding Service.
  3. Answer questions directly in the text boxes. You can save your answers and come back to complete them or work offline and return to copy and paste your answers. If we need you to upload a document, follow the upload instructions in the Funding Service. All questions and assessment criteria are listed in the How to apply section on this Funding finder page.
  4. Allow enough time to check your application in ‘read-only’ view before sending to your research office.
  5. Send the completed application to your research office for checking. They will return it to you if it needs editing.
  6. Your research office will submit the completed and checked application to UKRI.

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into words
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • files must be smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.

For more guidance on the Funding Service, see:


Applications should be self-contained, and hyperlinks should only be used to provide links directly to reference information. To ensure the information’s integrity is maintained, where possible, persistent identifiers such as digital object identifiers should be used. Assessors are not required to access links to carry out assessment or recommend a funding decision. You should use your discretion when including reference and prioritise those most pertinent to the application.

Reference should be included in the appropriate question section of the application and be easily identifiable by the assessors for example, (Smith, Research Paper, 2019).

You must not include links to web resources to extend your application.


AHRC must receive your application by 26 June 2024 at 4:00pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time.

Make sure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines.

Following the submission of your application to the funding opportunity, your application cannot be changed, and applications will not be returned for amendment. If your application does not follow the guidance, it may be rejected.

Personal data

Processing personal data

AHRC, as part of UKRI, will need to collect some personal information to manage your Funding Service account and the registration of your funding applications.

We will handle personal data in line with UK data protection legislation and manage it securely. For more information, including how to exercise your rights, read our privacy notice.

Publication of outcomes

If your application is successful, we will publish some personal information on the UKRI Gateway to Research.


Word limit: 500

In plain English, provide a summary we can use to identify the most suitable experts to assess your application.

We usually make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, therefore do not include any confidential or sensitive information. Make it suitable for a variety of readers, for example:

  • opinion-formers
  • policymakers
  • the public
  • the wider research community

Guidance for writing a summary

Clearly describe your proposed work in terms of:

  • context
  • the challenge the project addresses
  • aims and objectives
  • potential applications and benefits

Core team

List the key members of your team and assign them roles from the following:

  • project lead (PL)
  • project co-lead (UK) (PcL)
  • specialist
  • grant manager (hub manager should use this role)
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate

Only list one individual as project lead

You must include the following roles:

  • a project lead
  • at least one project co-lead
  • a grant manager (hub manager)

You can also add other roles such as professional staff or research staff.

Find out more about UKRI’s core team roles in funding applications.

Application questions


Word limit: 500

What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how your proposed work:

  • is of excellent quality and importance within or beyond the field(s) or area(s)
  • has the potential to advance current understanding, or generate new knowledge, thinking or discovery within heritage research or community-led practice
  • is timely given current trends, context, and needs
  • impacts world-leading research, society, the economy, or the environment
  • will embed EDI considerations into, and how these will guide your aims, as well as other activities such as stakeholder engagement, events and networking

Within the Vision section we also expect you to:

  • describe the concept, context and coordination function of your project
  • if applicable, demonstrate the alignment of the application to the funding opportunity objectives/aims

Please use this section to highlight the thematic areas you will address through the hub/spokes.

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the service.

References may be included within this section.


Word limit: 2,500

How are you going to deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your approach so that it:

  • is effective and appropriate to achieve your objectives
  • is feasible, and comprehensively identifies any risks to delivery and how they will be managed
  • uses a clearly written and transparent methodology
  • will maximise translation of outputs into outcomes and impacts
  • describes how your, and if applicable your team’s, research environment (in terms of the place and relevance to the project) and associated networks will contribute to the success of the work
  • will build EDI considerations into the formation, operation and governance of the hub, including how these will be operationalised

Within the Approach section we also expect you to:

  • eco-creation and user engagement
  • provide a detailed and comprehensive project plan including milestones and timelines
  • explain how the partnership will be planned and managed
  • explain how the partnership will enable stakeholders to work together, network and build capability in a strategic area
  • outline future plans for sustaining the partnership beyond this application, or for funding research which may develop from the partnership

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the service.

References may be included within this section.


How will you manage the award to successfully deliver its objectives?

Word limit 500

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how the proposed award will be managed, demonstrating that it:

  • will be effectively governed, including details about advisory structures
  • will be effectively and inclusively managed, demonstrated by a clear management plan
  • has clear leadership team roles and responsibilities
  • will manage and encourage partnerships with non-HEI organisations across government, industry and civil society
  • has plans for monitoring your progress as well as self-evaluation throughout the lifetime of your award
  • Will put in place appropriate governance and administration to deliver the range of devolved funding opportunities

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the service.

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 1,650

Why are you the right individual or team to successfully deliver the proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how you, and if relevant your team, have:

  • the relevant experience (appropriate to career stage) to deliver the proposed work
  • the right balance of skills and expertise to cover the proposed work
  • the appropriate leadership and management skills to deliver the work and your approach to develop others
  • contributed to developing a positive research environment and wider community

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the service.

The word count for this section is 1,650 words: 1,150 words to be used for R4RI modules (including references) and, if necessary, a further 500 words for Additions.

Use the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) format to showcase the range of relevant skills you and, if relevant, your team (project and project co-leads, researchers, technicians, specialists, partners and so on) have and how this will help deliver the proposed work. You can include individuals’ specific achievements but only choose past contributions that best evidence their ability to deliver this work.

Complete this section using the R4RI module headings listed. Use each heading once and include a response for the whole team, see the UKRI guidance on R4RI. You should consider how to balance your answer, and emphasise where appropriate the key skills each team member brings:

  • contributions to the generation of new ideas, tools, methodologies, or knowledge
  • the development of others and maintenance of effective working relationships
  • contributions to the wider research and innovation community
  • contributions to broader research or innovation users and audiences and towards wider societal benefit

Provide any further details relevant to your application. This section is optional and can be up to 500 words. You should not use it to describe additional skills, experiences, or outputs, but you can use it to describe any factors that provide context for the rest of your R4RI (for example, details of career breaks if you wish to disclose them).

Complete this as a narrative. Do not format it like a CV.

References may be included within this section.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new Funding Service.

For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Organisation letter (or email) of support from co-lead/s not based at eligible research organisations

For co-lead/s not based at eligible research organisations, where applicable, upload a single PDF containing letters of support from each co-investigator organisation.

If your co-lead/s is not based at a research organisation or are not associated with an organisation at all (for example, some people with lived experience or from a community group), they do not need to submit a letter of support.

If this is the case for your co-Lead/s then add ‘N/A’ into the text box, mark this section as complete and move to the next section.

If you have named co-Lead/s that are not based at eligible research organisations who can provide letters of support from their organisation, enter the words ‘attachment supplied’ in the text box below.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Each letter you provide should:

  • describe how their organisation will support them during the lifetime of the project
  • confirm their commitment to the project
  • clearly explain the value, relevance, and possible benefits of the work to them
  • describe any additional value that they bring to the project

Letters should be no more than two sides of A4.

Unless specifically requested, please do not include any personal data within the attachment.

Upload details are provided within the service on the actual application.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Project partners

Add details about any project partners’ contributions. If there are no project partners, you can indicate this on the Funding Service.

A project partner is a collaborating organisation who will have an integral role in the proposed research. This may include direct (cash) or indirect (in-kind) contributions such as expertise, staff time or use of facilities.

Add the following project partner details:

  • the organisation name and address (searchable via a drop-down list or enter the organisation’s details manually, as applicable)
  • the project partner contact name and email address
  • the type of contribution (direct or in-direct) and its monetary value

If a detail is entered incorrectly and you have saved the entry, remove the specific project partner record and readd it with the correct information.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Project partners: letters (or emails) of support

Upload a single PDF containing the letters or emails of support from each partner you named in the Project Partner section. These should be uploaded in English or Welsh only.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Enter the words ‘attachment supplied’ in the text box, or if you do not have any project partners enter N/A. Each letter or email you provide should:

  • confirm the partner’s commitment to the project
  • clearly explain the value, relevance, and possible benefits of the work to them
  • describe any additional value that they bring to the project
  • be no more than 2 sides of A4 per partner

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply. If you do not have any project partners, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Ensure you have prior agreement from project partners so that, if you are offered funding, they will support your project as indicated in the project partners’ section.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word limit: 500

What are the ethical or RRI implications and issues relating to the proposed work? If you do not think that the proposed work raises any ethical or RRI issues, explain why.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate that you have identified and evaluated:

  • the relevant ethical, safeguarding or responsible research and innovation considerations related to the inclusion of public or community participants or partners
  • how you will manage these considerations

If you are collecting or using data you should identify:

  • any legal and ethical considerations of collecting, releasing and storing the data (including consent, confidentiality, anonymisation, security and other ethical considerations and, in particular, strategies to not preclude further reuse of data)
  • formal information standards that your proposed work will comply with

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Resources and cost justification

Word limit: 1,000

What will you need to deliver your proposed work and how much will it cost?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Justify the application’s more costly resources, in particular:

  • project staff
  • significant travel for field work or collaboration (but not regular travel between collaborating organisations or to conferences)
  • any equipment that will cost more than £10,000
  • any consumables beyond typical requirements, or that are required in exceptional quantities
  • all facilities and infrastructure costs
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘Exceptions’
  • International collaboration costs

Exceptions can be costed at 100%. These can include:

  • all devolved funding for spoke projects
  • hub staff time, such as the grant manager role (hub manager) and support staff
  • staff time for co-leads from smaller GLAM/heritage organisations or the community sector (non-HEI/IROs)

Assessors are not looking for detailed costs or a line-by-line breakdown of all project resources. Overall, they want you to demonstrate how the resources you anticipate needing for your proposed work:

  • are comprehensive, appropriate, and justified
  • represent the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes
  • maximise potential outcomes and impacts

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.


We will invite experts to assess the quality of your application and rank it alongside other applications after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

The panel will consist of experts from the GLAM/Heritage sector, academia, those with experience of working with communities or leading community research, and other related disciplines/expertise.


We aim to complete the assessment process within five months of receiving your application.


Panel feedback will be provided.

Principles of assessment

We support the San Francisco declaration on research assessment and recognise the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

We reserve the right to modify the assessment process as needed.

Assessment areas

The assessment areas we will use are:

  • vision
  • approach
  • governance
  • applicant and team capability to deliver
  • ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)
  • resources and cost justification

Find details of assessment questions and criteria under the ‘Application questions’ heading in the ‘How to apply’ section.

Contact details

Get help with your application

If you have a question and the answers aren’t provided on this page

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Helpdesk is committed to helping users of the UKRI Funding Service as effectively and as quickly as possible. In order to manage cases at peak volume times, the Helpdesk will triage and prioritise those queries with an imminent opportunity deadline or a technical issue. Enquiries raised where information is available on the Funding Finder opportunity page and should be understood early in the application process (for example, regarding eligibility or content/remit of an opportunity) will not constitute a priority case and will be addressed as soon as possible.

Contact Details

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

For questions related to this specific funding opportunity please contact Karen Buchanan, Senior Investment Manager GLAM/Heritage at

Any queries regarding the system or the submission of applications through the Funding Service should be directed to the helpdesk.


Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

To help us process queries quicker, we request that users highlight the council and opportunity name in the subject title of their email query, include the application reference number, and refrain from contacting more than one mailbox at a time.

Find out more about submitting an application.

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email

Include in the subject line: [the funding opportunity title; sensitive information; your Funding Service application number].

Typical examples of confidential information include:

  • individual is unavailable until a certain date (for example due to parental leave)
  • declaration of interest
  • additional information about eligibility to apply that would not be appropriately shared in the ‘Applicant and team capability’ section
  • conflict of interest for UKRI to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection
  • the application is an invited resubmission

For information about how UKRI handles personal data, read UKRI’s privacy notice.

Additional info


AHRC previously funded two pilot GLAM Hubs between 2021 to 2023, which operated on a hub and spokes model. Both projects completed an evaluation, with the evaluation material being available on the project websites using the links in the related content section.

The aim of the pilot was to inform a larger programme of work, and our long-term investment in a research agenda that will support small to medium size GLAM/heritage organisations, and the sector more generally. As such, we have allocated a total of £1 million over three years to support a larger community-led research and skills hub.

Webinar for potential applicants

We will hold a webinar on Thursday 25th April.

This webinar is an opportunity to find out more about AHRC’s funding opportunity for a Community-led Heritage Research and Skills Hub. You will hear about the aims of this funding opportunity, along with details of the eligibility criteria and how to apply.

Register for the webinar.

The webinar will provide more information about the funding opportunity and a chance to ask questions.

Research disruption due to COVID-19

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities. We are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career, such as:

  • breaks and delays
  • disruptive working patterns and conditions
  • the loss of ongoing work
  • role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic

Reviewers and panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the capability to deliver and career development of those individuals included in the application. They will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the research they are proposing.

Where disruptions have occurred, you can highlight this within your application if you wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

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