British Council Architecture Design Fashion

Menu Show search

Art Connects Us Research Grants: Open Call 2018

Art Connects Us Research Grants: Open Call 2018 FASHION DNA NIGERIA / © NINA MANANDHAR


20 April 2018
by Gian Luca Amadei

The British Council is seeking expressions of interest from UK organisations working in any of the following art forms: Architecture, Design, Fashion, Craft, Visual Arts, Literature, Music, Theatre, Dance and Film; to undertake research in Sub-Saharan Africa between June and December 2018. 

Apply by Friday 11 May 2018.

Research may take the form of meeting with potential artists and partners; finding out more about your chosen art forms’ ecosystem in a particular country or countries; gaining an understanding of art trends in Sub-Saharan Africa; meeting arts organisations and/or attending events and festivals with a view to programming or curating work in the UK.

The countries covered under the programme (in which the British Council operates) are:  Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

This opportunity aims to

  • Facilitate the UK creative sector’s ambitions to connect with young, African creatives and art professionals who are 18 to 35-year-olds;
  • Increase opportunities for UK arts organisations and individuals to visit African cities and gain further insight into the chosen local art sector;
  • Encourage and support the development of networks that connect the UK and Sub-Saharan African arts sectors for the long term;
  • Widen the opportunities for art professionals in Sub-Saharan Africa to connect with UK arts organisations and arts professionals.

Sub-Saharan Africa Region Structure

The region is arranged in three clusters: East, West and Southern Africa. Each one of the clusters has its own Arts strategy that takes as a starting point the overarching strategy for the region, and responds to the needs of the local cultural context, its strengths, issues and potentials.

Expressions of interest will need to focus their research within a specific cluster. We welcome proposals that will aim to research in more than one country in their chosen cluster. Please find details of each cluster strategy and objectives in the Notes section at the end of the open call document.   

The Grant

The British Council will award up to 12 research grants of £2,500 (each) to proposals to undertake research in the Sub-Saharan Region between June and Dec 2018. A maximum of 4 proposals per Cluster will be selected.


The successful applicant is likely to:

  • Be based at UK arts organisation or individual with a proven track record of working internationally
  • Have a minimum of 5 years professional experience in their sector;
  • Demonstrate how the research proposal aligns with (or addresses) at least one of the ‘Three Key Objectives’ of the cluster you have selected;
  • Demonstrate experience in working with international partners to deliver collaborative arts programmes;
  • Have a basic knowledge of their chose art sector in the region which is being visited (although the British Council will provide support in putting together a detailed programme);

In addition, applicants should:

  • Commit to programme a UK public forum to share/disseminate the research findings;
  • Be able to travel between June and December 2018. 

The closing date for submissions is Friday 11 May 2018

Further details on the Art Connects Us Research Grants and on how to apply can be found on the Open Call document


Applications will be assessed against the project aims and criteria outlined above (and in the open call document). They will be reviewed by a selection panel, including representatives from the British Council Art team, previous Arts Connects Us grant recipients and the Royal African Society.

Successful applicants will be notified by Monday 28th May 2018

British Council Project

Sub-Saharan Africa


On the web