Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Higher Education Museums, Galleries and Collections Fund

The Higher Education Museums, Galleries and Collections Fund provides funding support to higher education museums, galleries and collections so they can meet the costs of serving the wider research community beyond their own institutions.

£14 million a year.
The fund provides an annual allocation to higher education museums, galleries and collections. The funding is reviewed periodically, most recently in 2023 to inform funding from academic year 2024 to 2025.
Partners involved:
Research England

The scope and what we're doing

Research England funding supports the infrastructure on which research and scholarship depends. This includes support for university museums, galleries and collections.

The funding is intended to support higher education museums, galleries and collections based in England to provide a service to the wider research community.

In 2023, a review took place to determine the funding levels from academic year 2024 to 2025 onwards. Higher education museums and galleries were invited to apply for funding in early 2023, with applications assessed by an independent expert review panel.

Funding was uplifted from £11.7 million to £14 million a year with 40 higher education museums, galleries and collections across 21 higher education providers receiving funding. This is an increase from previous rounds of the scheme which only had 33 higher education museums and galleries recipients.

Allocations will be made for the next five years, subject to available funding.

For a museum, gallery, or collection to be eligible, they must:

  • be a university museum or gallery and have a substantial and long-term financial commitment to maintaining a collection
  • incur significant reach beyond the higher education provider’s own researchers and students and as far as possible demonstrate the additional costs associated with this
  • make, or have the potential to make, a unique and significant contribution to research and scholarship in the higher education sector
  • be operated in an efficient manner and demonstrate financial sustainability
  • hold Arts Council accreditation status, ‘working towards accreditation’ status or provide reasons for ineligibility for this status

Why we're doing it

Our funding helps museums, galleries and collections to serve the wider research community, where this costs them significantly more than meeting the needs of their own researchers and students.

Who to contact

Ask a question about this area of investment


Governance, management and panels

An independent expert review panel chaired by Dr Nick Merriman, Chief Executive at English Heritage, was set up for the 2023 review to inform funding allocations for the academic year 2024 to 2024 onward. They considered how the submissions demonstrated activity that met the fund’s aims and provided recommendations to the Research England Executive Chair.

Expert panel members for 2023 review

  • Dr Nick Merriman, English Heritage (Chair)
  • Professor Dinah Birch, University of Liverpool
  • Dr Valerie Johnson, The National Archives
  • Dr Catherine Eagleton, University of St Andrews
  • Professor Jane Henderson, Cardiff University
  • Dr Alice Stevenson, University College London
  • Professor Anthony Musson, Historic Royal Palaces

Read the impact assessment for the review of Research England’s Museums, Galleries and Collections Fund.

Last updated: 9 April 2024

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.