About Us

ICOM UK is the museum association dedicated to the international work of British museums

ICOM UK Travel Bursary Fund

Guidelines, Criteria and Application Form

The ICOM UK Travel Bursary is a designated fund operated by ICOM UK to provide grants for individuals working in and with museums from across the United Kingdom to attend ICOM triennial meetings, meetings of its international groups, and other conferences with a demonstrable international remit.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Individual members of ICOM who have not received an ICOM UK Travel Bursary during the previous calendar year.
  • Institutional members of ICOM are eligible to receive up to two ICOM UK bursaries per year for employees of their institution who are not individual members in their own right.
  • Applicants, whether individual members of ICOM, or as staff of institutions which are in ICOM membership, must have been in membership for at least 12 months.

What may you apply for?

Those eligible to apply may seek support to attend;

  • Meetings of ICOM International Committees,
  • ICOM Triennial conferences,
  • Other official meetings of ICOM, its International Committees or Regional Organisations (at the discretion of the ICOM UK Board),
  • Meetings of Affiliated Organisations of ICOM,
  • The conferences of other organisations which have a distinct international focus (while not being prescriptive, this might include, for example, the annual gatherings of the Best in Heritage, the American Alliance of Museums, International Institute for Conservation or Ecsite).

For all applications the onus will be upon the applicant to make the case on the benefits of their attendance at a chosen meeting and on how they will disseminate what they learnt through attending the meeting to others in the sector.

How much can you apply for?

Bursaries are normally given towards the costs of travel, conference fees and accommodation, subject to a minimum threshold of £100 and a maximum threshold of £1,000. The maximum grant for events held in Europe is £750, and £1,000 for meetings outside Europe.

Individual members of ICOM UK who are not employed by a museum or a museum sector body may apply for a grant to cover up to 100% of the associated costs.

Applicants affiliated to museums and museum sector bodies, which currently hold ICOM UK membership and have an annual turnover of less than £1 million pounds, may also seek a grant of up to 100% of associated costs.

It is expected that larger museums and museum sector bodies will assist with the costs of their affiliated individual’s attendance at meetings as part of their continuous professional development. Applicants from such organisations may seek a grant of up to 65% of associated costs.

ICOM UK reserves the right to vary the thresholds and percentage allocations as it sees fit when considering individual applications.

Guidelines for applicants

You should note that ICOM UK anticipate that a total of  £5,000 will be available for all bursaries in any one year and that it will make awards on a ‘first come first served’ basis until allocated funds are exhausted. Consequently, applicants are urged to plan well in advance and to submit grant applications as early as possible.

In assessing the applications received, special consideration will be given to members who have not previously attended ICOM meetings.

The norm is for one award only to be made per international meeting. However, ICOM UK reserves the right of discretion on this point. Similarly, ICOM UK would be disinclined to award multiple applications from a single museum or institution in a year.

How do you apply?

  • Applications must be made using the ICOM UK bursary application form which follows.

ICOM UK Travel Bursary application form (Word)

ICOM UK Travel Bursary application form (PDF)

  • This must be completed electronically.
  • Completed applications must be sent by email to the  designated ICOM UK Committee Member charged with co-ordinating its bursary programmes by one of the following deadlines.

Deadlines for applications

Applications to the ICOM UK Travel Bursary will be considered four times a year. Completed application forms must be received by one of the following dates.

28th February

31st May

31st August

30th November 

It is preferable that applications are submitted to meet the deadline which falls at least 3 months prior to the date of the conference / meeting.  We recommend you apply as far in advance as possible as funds are allocated on a first-come-first-served bases.

Where do you send your completed application?

Completed application forms may be sent electronically to the following e-mail address,


What happens to your application?

  • Your application will be assessed by the ICOM UK Bursary Committee using the criteria set out below.
  • That Committee will make recommendations to the ICOM UK Executive Committee on the applications received.
  • The ICOM UK Executive Committee usually meets in January, April, July and October of each year and you will receive written confirmation of the outcome of your application after the Board meeting at which your submission was considered.

Assessment Criteria

In addition to the eligibility, qualifying conditions and guidelines set out above, the ICOM UK Bursary Committee will use the following criteria to assess the applications it receives:

  • Is the application form completed and does it provide sufficient information upon which to judge the merit of what is proposed?
  • Does the applicant clearly state how they hope to benefit from attending the meeting or conference?
  • Is there sufficient time between the date on which the application was received and the date of the meeting to allow the application to be processed?
  • Is the proposed project effectively planned and budgeted?
  • Where appropriate, is the application supported by the applicant’s institution?
  • Are the wider benefits to the ICOM UK membership and the means by which any associated information will be disseminated deemed to be appropriate and worthy of support?

Conditions relating to Bursaries

If you are awarded a bursary you will receive correspondence indicating the amount awarded and any conditions associated with the offer of support. You will need to complete and return the ‘offer acceptance’ form that will accompany the offer letter, otherwise ICOM UK may not pay the grant.

To claim the grant awarded you will have to submit

  • a written report (and images) which should cover relevant information regarding the conference/meeting attended. This should be sent within one month of return and may subsequently be published on the ICOM UK website or newsletter. ICOM UK reserves the right to edit the reports it receives from grant recipients.
  • an invoice to ICOM UK for the agreed grant amount
  • evidence of expenditure relating to attendance at the meeting/conference (e.g. copies of invoices or receipts)
  • any other evidence in line with the conditions set out in the offer letter
  • confirmation of the address to which correspondence and payments will be sent.


  • Cheques covering the agreed grant will only be issued on receipt of these five items
  • Bursaries will not be awarded retrospectively.
  • All decisions are final.

The Camilla Boodle Fund

ICOM UK members are reminded of the support for travel available through the Camilla Boodle Fund.  The fund is designed to help ICOM UK members extend a professional visit abroad through Study Tours, Research Projects, Museum Visits or other projects related to museum work.

Details about the Fund and the associated application form are available HERE.