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Headley Fellowships

This funding programme provides experienced curators with the time and resources to carry out research projects which deepen collections expertise and encourage the sharing of specialist knowledge across the sector.

The Headley Fellowships with Art Fund give curators focused time to research their collections either on a full-time basis for six months or part-time over the course of a year, providing funding for their posts to be backfilled.

Please note: Applications will re-open in June 2020

Fellows additionally receive funds towards their proposed training and research project which can be assigned towards travel, training opportunities, courses of study and more.

Made possible by the support of the Headley Trust, the scheme is especially intended to support those museums and galleries facing the most acute funding challenges.

The programme aims to:

  • encourage ambitious and high-quality museum projects which have collections at their core
  • give curators the time and resources needed to develop specialist expertise and skills relating to focused parts of their collection
  • invest in museums across the UK and their curators, helping them to realise exceptional ideas for communicating with a spectrum of audiences
  • broker new productive relationships between museums and curators across the sector to support future collaboration
  • facilitate an enhanced flow of knowledge and expertise across the sector by feeding into established mechanisms for knowledge-sharing (such as subject specialist networks)

Proposed projects should:

  • result in the delivery of a significant public outcome for the museum
  • involve research into a part of the collections that a museum may not have the specialist expertise to use effectively, or where that specialist provision has been lost
  • present a timely and considered approach to developing the curator’s knowledge, skills and expertise
  • present a plan for disseminating knowledge with colleagues across the sector
  • demonstrate a strong need for this opportunity and evidence benefits for both the individual and the institution

Who should apply

Applicants should normally be:

  • curators, or those with curatorial responsibility, employed by accredited museums, galleries, historic houses, libraries or archives
  • working with any kind of accredited museum collection, from fine art and social history to archaeology and natural history
  • considerably experienced within the sector; likely to be mid-career and/or working at a relatively senior level

The scheme is intended to support fellows in museums that are facing the most acute funding challenges, especially local authority museums, independent museums and those operating in the regions. National museums based in London are not eligible to apply directly, although we welcome and encourage their involvement as partners in collaborative projects.

We will accept applications from national museums outside London where they can make a strong case for meeting the aims of the fellowships.

Funds available

The fellowship is budgeted at a fixed fee of £19,250, based on 0.5 FTE for 12 months, as per the Museums Association’s 2017 salary guidelines for senior curator level.

This would provide funding for the museum to backfill the fellow’s post, releasing them to undertake their period of research and development. There is flexibility for fellows to allocate this time in a way that meets their particular needs and makes most sense in terms of their role and the museum’s wider priorities (eg full time for six months, or part-time for 12 months).

Each fellow will additionally receive up to £5,000 towards their proposed training and research project. There is also a modest allocation of funds available for fellows to undertake their proposed knowledge-sharing activity.

Get in touch

You are encouraged to review the Guidance for applicants and contact the Programmes team to discuss your potential project before submitting an application.

Please contact:

Emma Coleman, programmes manager
020 7225 4822

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