North East Creating Connections – Museum university partnership sandpit

Date and Time: 
Friday, January 22, 2016 - 11:00am to 5:00pm

Venue: Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Audience: Academics from Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Teesside University, and the University of Sunderland; Museums that are Accredited, Provisionally Accredited, or Working Towards Accreditation in the North East Museum Development area.

Are you interested in a partnership project with a university or do you want to broaden your existing university partnerships? Do you need some funds to kick start a joint project? If so, this ACE funded initiative may interest you. The Museum and University Partnership Initiative is facilitating a free sandpit event and inviting museums and academics in the North East region to join us for a series of cross sector discussions with the objective of generating ideas for future projects. 

The Museum and University Partnership Initiative (MUPI) has been allocated £5,000 from Arts Council England to support organisations in planning museum and higher education partnerships in the North East region.

MUPI is an Arts Council England funded partnership project involving the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, and Share Academy (UCL, the University of the Arts London, and the London Museums Group). MUPI is currently exploring the landscape of collaborative practice between museums and universities and the project seeks to identify key drivers for collaboration as well as test new opportunities for activities and cross-sector development.

The fund 

A major challenge facing museum and higher education partnerships is that it is difficult for people from the two sectors to meet, discuss, and plan project ideas. This fund will address this issue by bringing together academics and museums professionals; providing them with the opportunity to discuss project ideas and pitch for grants to help resource project planning. 

  • Projects
    • The projects can involve any academic discipline or area of museum practice, expertise, or collections. We are particularly interested in partnerships that go beyond museological based museum and university partnerships. Examples of some Share Academy funded museum and university partners can be download at the bottom of this page. 

    • The funding is specifically for project planning and not delivery. The fund will provide academics and museums with time and resources - e.g. collections assessments, site visits, cover for planning meetings, exploratory conversations, scoping research – to develop and plan well structured and realistic projects ready for future delivery. 

    • There are five partnership themes for applicants to consider:
    • ~ Audiences
    • ~ Business
    • ~ Collections
    • ~ Engagement
    • ~ Internationalism 

    • MUPI are in the process of exploring funding for project delivery but successful applicants to the fund may research and apply for further funding independently. 

    • Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 will be allocated from this sandpit. The total funding available is £5,000.
    • The full call document can be found at the bottom of this page. 
  • How will the funding be awarded? 
    • The fund will be awarded through a Creating Connections Sandpit which will bring together participants to plan innovative projects in interdisciplinary cross-sector teams. Only attendees at the sandpit may apply to the fund. 
    • The steps from application to award are as follows: 
    • 1. Individuals apply to attend the sandpit through the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) via a designated web-portal. More information about the sandpit event and how to apply is available below.

    • 2. Applications to attend will be considered by a selection panel against the criteria set out in the call document consisting of the sandpit mentors, NCCPE and other key stakeholders in order to ensure a mix of disciplines and experience. Up to 40 participants will be identified to take part in the sandpit from the applications received.

    • 3. Successful applicants will be invited to attend the sandpit in January 2016.

    • 4. Teams will be formed at the sandpit and pitches for funding made at the end of the day.

    • 5. Funding will be allocated based on the pitches.

    • 6. Successful teams will then be required to submit a formal proposal and subject to the proposal being accepted the funding will be formally awarded.

The sandpit event 

  • What is the sandpit event? 
    • Sandpits are intensive facilitated workshops which aim to uncover innovative solutions.
    • The Creating Connections sandpit event is an opportunity to share ideas and plan future partnerships, to address the issues and challenges facing museum and higher education partnership.
    • Participants will be expected to engage constructively in dialogue with each other, the facilitators and mentors, and to develop partnership proposals focused on museum and university knowledge exchange and mutual benefit. 
  • Who can apply to attend the sandpit? 
    • Participants from the five universities within the North East region at any stage of their career after completion of their academic training, or who are employed by the university as a practitioner, can apply to attend the sandpit. The five universities are Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Teesside University, and the University of Sunderland. 

    • Participants from any museum in the North East Museum Development region that is Accredited, Provisionally Accredited, or working towards Accreditation can apply to attend. 
  • How to apply to attend the sandpit 
    • If you would like to apply to attend the sandpit please complete the following steps: 
    • 1. Read the call specification in the ‘Call for applicants’ document below, taking note of the requirements for participants.

    • 2. Ensure you are available for the full session on the 22nd January 2016. Attendance at all the activities is required. An application to attend will be taken as confirmation that participants will be available on 22nd January 2016, and will attend the whole event if selected.

    • 3. Ensure your head of department or relevant senior manager is willing for you to participate. If you are successful in your application to the sandpit you will be asked to provide a letter of support from them.

    • 4. Complete your application via the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) via their designated web-portal. Please refer to the Call for Applicants guidance document below for more information.

  • Sandpit content
    • The first part of the event will explore current collaborative practice and provide participants with the opportunity to build their knowledge and formulate future partnerships.  

    • In the second part of the event, participants will form self-directed break out groups and explore ideas for future partnership projects around the following themes: 
    • ~ Audiences

    • ~ Business

    • ~ Collections

    • ~ Engagement

    • ~ Internationalism 

    • At the conclusion of the sandpit potential partners can ‘pitch’ their project ideas to the panel. Up to £5,000 of funding is available for a further stage of project planning; we welcome bids for the funding between £1,000 and £5,000. Please note that funding must be spent by 31st March 2016

    • This event is an ideal opportunity for increasing access to resources, cross sector networking, and sharing expertise. Funding can be used to facilitate the next stage of your planning – providing a unique opportunity to explore the dynamics of your partnership and potential ways forward. 
  • Applications
    • We welcome academics from all disciplines, and are particularly interested in contributions from business and STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics); and we welcome applications from all museums in the North East region that are Accredited, Provisionally Accredited, or working towards Accreditation; we also would welcome representatives of local, county, or regional museum forums or networks. 

    • If you are keen to participate in the sandpit then please fill in our online application form no later than 7pm on Wednesday 16th December 2015. Please complete the online application form here

      Successful applicants will be notified by the 21st December 2015. Please note that places are limited. We will seek to ensure that there is a balance between museum and university staff to enable cross sector working. and places will be allocated on the basis of the application criteria. Whilst priority will be given to applicants from museums not currently partnering a university - we also welcome applications from those who want to develop their partnership work.