MUPI National Designated Collections Sandpit, Birmingham

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 10:00am to 4:30pm
Image of people in discussion round a table

Arts Council England Birmingham Office

*this event is now fully booked*

A key element of the Arts Council England Designated Collection scheme is that the collections meet the Research Value criteria – so that the collection is, or has the potential to be, an essential research collection; and the collections makes a major contribution to the public understanding of the subject. One of the major challenges faced by museums developing academic partnerships is networking with academics, and having sufficient resources to plan effective and mutually beneficial projects.

The ACE funded MUPI project aims to address this by bringing together museums and academics in a series of focused and facilitated networking events; which will help museums explore their research potential, meet academics, and provide seed funding grants to help develop project ideas. The MUPI Match event on Wednesday 14 June is dedicated to museums with Designated Collections.

To find out more about the Designated Collections scheme, click here.

There are many benefits to museums and universities working together, from improving audience understanding to developing more effective collections knowledge or interpretation; from inspiring museum audiences with cutting edge research to developing new exhibits and exhibitions; the opportunities are endless;and networking within and between the sectors can help museums and academics realise the research potential of these nationally important collections .

However, finding a partner and having the resources to explore how you might work together can be challenging. This MUPI National Sandpit draws upon a tried and tested methodology, which brings people together to develop new partnerships. Each session involves museum staff, volunteers, and academics working together to find mutually beneficial ideas that they would like to develop together. This event focuses on unlocking the research potential of designated collections. (For those wanting to develop partnerships in their region, please see the regional sandpits.) 

A small grants fund of £6000 available; the MUPI Match event includes an opportunity for teams formed at the event to bid for funding (of between £500-£1500) from the MUPI Match fund. This ‘thinking funding’  will enable people to do desk research; have conversations; travel and attend site visits/meetings; test ideas; and work together to plan their potential project. This thinking funding provides a critical part of the process, helping people to work out if and how to work together and refine their ideas. Teams will be supported to develop their partnership, and find effective ways to fund their project in the future. 

How to get involved

Are you:

  • Working or volunteering in an ACE Accredited museum (or one working towards Accreditation) with a designated collection;
  • A postgraduate, postdoctoral or established researcher, keen to explore the rich possibilities for working with collections that are a vital part of England's artistic and cultural heritage;
  • An academic whose students would like to research designated collections?

If so, this MUPI National Sandpit could be just what you are looking for! The event is interactive and free to take part in. Bring your ideas, your energy, and your expertise and prepare to be challenged and inspired. Who knows this could be the beginning of something very special...

Please follow the registration link above to apply for a place at the National MUPI Sandpit.

MUPI Match events are delivered through the Museum University Partnership Initiative, funded by Arts Council England's Museum Resilience Fund and developed by the NCCPE, Share Academy project and Paddy McNulty Associates.