The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts was created to fund experiments with new technologies that enhance audience engagement and test new business models. For this, a rigorous research proposition is essential.

We are aware that in some cases digital experimentation is already taking place in the arts with these same objectives, but where research is not integral to the project. In some such instances the addition of research  might help to capture data and insights that would not only benefit the project but that would also be of significant value to the wider arts sector.

For this reason we are creating an opportunity for existing projects, or projects that are due to start very soon, that are NOT funded through the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, to apply for a grant solely to support a researcher to work on the project. As well as benefiting the project during its progress, the research must provide insights that will be of value to the wider arts sector.

We are calling this new stream of funding Research+

If you are successful in your application it will be a requirement that the research is disseminated to the wider arts sector.


How to apply – the differences between Research+ and the Main Fund

Applications for the Research+ funding should be submitted by the organisation leading the art project. We will expect a named researcher to be on board. This will ensure that the research element is integral to the project.
The research partner can be from either:

The research partner must be UK based.
There must be a clear research proposition.
The project must already be fully funded apart from the research element and should be due to start shortly or else be at a sufficiently early stage of delivery for research to be appropriately developed. All research projects must be complete and the findings written up for dissemination before the end of May 2015.

The application form for the Research+ Fund can be accessed here or preview a copy of the application as a downloadable PDF here



  1. Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until noon on the 7th Janaury 2014.
  2. All applications are assessed.
  3. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application within 7 weeks, though we will aim to inform applicants sooner than this.
  4. Rejected applicants are given feedback on their application and can re-apply, if they think it appropriate, before the deadline.




Applications are invited up to a limit of £50,000.

Note this funding only covers research costs.

We will require a full budget breakdown including rates of pay and costs. We understand that academic researchers will be using the full economic costing model.




I am a lead organisation with funding from the Digital R&D Fund for my project; can I apply for further research funding through Research+?



I have a project that is currently part funded, can I use Research+ funding to support the rest of my project as well as the research?



I have a project that is currently part funded. I want to apply for Research+ funding while I’m awaiting the outcomes of other funding bids. Is this acceptable?

Yes. If you are successful however, you will not get the Research + funding until you have secured the full project costs and you must be able to demonstrate that the research element of your project will be completed and written up before the end of May 2015.


I have a funded project that is underway with a limited research element. Can I apply for Research+ funding to increase this research element?

Yes, if the project is investigating technology to increase audiences or a new business model for the arts and is at a sufficiently early stage to enable research to be appropriately developed. If you are successful it is a requirement that the research is disseminated to the wider arts sector.


I have a project that fits with the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts criteria, but it’s nearly completed. Is it too late for me to apply for a Research+ grant?

No. If your project has nearly concluded it would be too late to get any meaningful research from the project. In order for the research to have any impact it needs to be integrated into the project from the beginning or as close to the beginning as possible.