Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: India and UK creative industries and cultural heritage engagement

Apply for one of three opportunities:

  • review and map the creative economy in India and the research and innovation ecosystem which supports it
  • analyse AHRC’s portfolio of India and UK cultural heritage research
  • deliver impact and engagement activities for India’s 75th anniversary of independence, following on from past and existing AHRC-funded research.

You and your organisation must be eligible for UKRI funding. You can work with international co-investigators.

We will fund:

  • 80% of the full economic cost for UK researchers
  • 100% full economic cost for some international costs.

Depending on the opportunity, your project can last either up to six or up to nine months.

Who can apply

Applications must be submitted by a UK:

  • eligible higher education institution
  • independent research organisation
  • research council institute.

Unless otherwise stated in the full guidance (PDF, 373KB), standard eligibility criteria apply to these opportunities as set out in the AHRC research funding guide.

For all three opportunities, we welcome and encourage proposals that include international academic co-investigators, particularly based in India, and that involve:

  • partnership or collaboration with non-academic organisations in India
  • subcontracting of work to partners in India.

This must be delivered in keeping with the 2020 amendments to the Indian Foreign Contributions Regulation Act.

An individual applicant can be named as principal investigator on either the Creative Industries Scoping Study or Cultural Heritage Scoping Report, but not both.

If you are applying to the India 75 Follow on Funding for Impact and Engagement opportunity, your proposed activity must follow on from current or past research projects funded by AHRC.

Applicants to the creative industries and cultural heritage opportunities may also apply to India 75 Follow on Funding for Impact and Engagement, so long as it can be demonstrated that a sufficient amount of time can be committed to both concurrently.

Applicants must be able to start their projects between 1 and 14 February 2022.

What we're looking for

AHRC, working with UKRI India, Innovate UK, the British Council, and partners in India, is seeking to commission scoping and engagement activity related to India-UK research within the areas of:

  • creative industries
  • cultural heritage
  • the 75th anniversary of independence in India in 2022.

The aims are to support a programme of India-UK collaborative research activities which:

  • map and analyse the current research and innovation landscape in these areas
  • highlight key outcomes of recently funded research
  • identify synergies and emerging research challenges
  • foster new partnerships for engagement.

There are three distinct funding opportunities that can be applied for:

  • Creative Industries Scoping Study
  • Cultural Heritage Scoping Report
  • India 75 Follow on Funding for Impact and Engagement.

A detailed programme description for each opportunity, including the context, aims, requirements and eligible activity, can be found in section two of the full guidance (PDF, 373KB).

Creative Industries Scoping Study

Apply for funding to:

  • provide an overview and mapping of the creative economy in India, and the research and innovation ecosystem that supports it, including highlighting particular areas of strength, growth and innovation
  • map these areas of strength and growth against existing studies that map UK strengths in creative economy research and innovation
  • provide an overview of current levels of connectivity between creative economy research and innovation systems in the UK and India, including barriers to collaboration
  • identify areas within the creative economy where there may be the greatest potential to grow or develop India-UK research and innovation collaboration
  • identify areas where there may be a need for further in-depth scoping or research to fully understand possible UK-India opportunities.

Cultural Heritage Scoping Report

Apply for funding to:

  • gather evidence and provide analysis on AHRC’s portfolio of India-UK cultural heritage research, including Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR)-AHRC cultural heritage programmes
  • provide case studies and analysis of research findings
  • identify thematic synergies and gaps in the research portfolio and important emerging or innovative research areas
  • identify opportunities for new partnerships in the research area
  • build an evidence base to help inform AHRC’s future work
  • consider issues that can potentially cut across all areas of cultural heritage research such as:
    • skills development
    • digitisation
    • cultural value
    • community engagement
    • sustainability
    • role of cultural or heritage institution
    • policymaking
    • equitable partnership working
    • ethics
    • issues of equality, diversity, and inclusion.

India 75 Follow on Funding for Impact and Engagement

Past and existing AHRC award holders can apply for funding to support activities relevant to the 75th anniversary of independence in India (India 75).

This funding will support impact and engagement activities that follow-up AHRC research that would:

  • contribute to marking this anniversary
  • enhance India-UK collaborative partnerships and research impact activity
  • contribute to reflection and understanding of India’s history, heritage, culture, creativity and global connections
  • consider, imagine and support civic discourse about futures for India.

Funding available

AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost for UK researchers and 100% for some international costs.

All projects must have a start date between 1 and 14 February 2022.

Creative Industries Scoping Study

One award is available. Applicants will be able to apply for up to £100,000 (full economic cost).

The award duration is up to six months.

Cultural Heritage Scoping Report

One award is available. Applicants will be able to apply for up to £100,000 (full economic cost).

The award duration is up to six months.

India 75 Follow on Funding for Impact and Engagement

Up to three awards are available. Applicants will be able to apply for up to £50,000 per award (full economic cost).

The award duration is up to nine months.

How to apply

Applications must be made through the online application form.

The application form asks for the following information:

  • opportunity that you are applying for
  • title
  • name
  • organisation
  • contact email
  • overview of project team
  • short project summary
  • equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) characteristics (optional and not part of the assessment. We will use this information to help AHRC address the needs of our research communities and ensure we are meeting our commitments to equality, diversity and inclusion).

Applicants will need to complete the form and upload a single PDF that includes the following required documentation:

  • case for support (compulsory, six sides A4 limit)
  • curriculum vitae (compulsory for the principal investigator, each co-investigator, and any named researchers, two sides A4 limit)
  • publication lists (compulsory for the principal investigator and each co-investigator – one-side A4 limit)
  • justification of resources (compulsory, two sides A4 limit)
  • project partner letter of support (compulsory for all listed partners, two sides A4 limit per partner)
  • data management plan (compulsory, two sides A4 limit)
  • workplan (compulsory, one side A4 limit)
  • visual evidence, to illustrate the proposed aims and objectives and research methods (optional, no more than two sides of A4 of non-textual, visual evidence in support of the proposal)
  • international co-investigator head of department statement (compulsory if applicable, two-sides A4 limit).

Further detail on what should be included within the above documentation can be found under section five of the full guidance (PDF, 373 KB).

Unless otherwise stated in the full guidance document, all documentation should follow the standard guidance provided in the AHRC research funding guide.

How we will assess your application

AHRC staff will review applications for eligibility, completeness, and fit after the submission deadline.

Proposals will be considered by an independent cross-disciplinary expert assessment panel drawing on members of AHRC’s Peer Review College, and other experts as appropriate.

For some strands, such as the creative industries scoping study, we may seek additional advice, for example from the cross-HMG UK-India Creative Industries working group, to feed into the assessment panel’s discussions or to contribute to feedback to the funded projects.

There will not be a separate stage of individual peer review for each application prior to consideration by the panel, therefore applicant teams will not receive feedback on their applications in the form of individual peer reviewer comments.

The assessment panel will agree on grades for each proposal, agree a ranked priority list of applications for each of the three opportunities respectively, and make funding recommendations to AHRC.

Applicant teams will be notified of funding decisions by email in December 2021 or January 2022.

Assessment criteria

The following criteria will be used to assess proposals:

  • overall fit with the opportunity specification, including the vision established by the proposed project, its achievability and potential to realise its aims
  • the quality, ambition, and innovative nature of the proposal
  • the appropriateness, effectiveness, and feasibility of the proposed research methods and approach
  • the strength and balance of the project team, including:
    • track record
    • ability to successfully manage the project
    • areas of research expertise
    • career development opportunities
  • whether a realistic timetable, incorporating milestones, is presented which will achieve the project’s aims and objectives within the proposed timescale
  • the extent to which the likely outcome of the programme will represent value for money
  • whether the resources requested are reasonable and justifiable in the context of the proposed activity.

As well as the above criteria, additional criteria will also be used to assess proposals according to the funding opportunity being applied to. The opportunity specific assessment criteria can be found within section seven of the full guidance (PDF, 373 KB).

Contact details

Ask a question about the funding opportunities


Additional info

Submission of successful project through Je-S

The successful applicants will be required to submit project details, including a detailed budget, through our Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S) before the official start date of the award.

AHRC will provide further instructions to the successful applicants.

Supporting documents

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