ICOM UK Bursary Fund

Guidelines, Criteria and Application Form

The ICOM UK Bursary Fund is now closed for applications for the current financial year (1 Oct 2023 – 30 Sept 2024). This is because all the bursary funds for 2023-24 have now been awarded. We will open for 2024-25 Bursary Fund applications in summer 2024.

The ICOM UK Bursary is a designated fund operated by ICOM UK to provide grants for ICOM UK members to attend ICOM General Conferences, meetings of ICOM International Committees (subject specialist groups) and other conferences with a demonstrable international remit.

Who is eligible to apply?

Individual members of ICOM UK who have not received an ICOM UK Bursary during the previous calendar year.

Institutional members of ICOM UK are eligible to receive up to two 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 ICOM members, must have been a continuous member of ICOM UK for at least 12 months prior to applying.

What can you apply for?

Those eligible to apply can seek support to attend:

  • Meetings of ICOM International Committees
  • ICOM annual conferences, including ICOM Triennials
  • Other official meetings of ICOM, its International Committees or Regional Organisations (at the discretion of the ICOM UK Committee) taking place outside of the UK
  • Meetings of Affiliated Organisations of ICOM taking place outside of the UK
  • Conferences that have a distinct international focus. The decision on eligible events rests with the ICOM UK bursary committee.

How much can you apply for?

For in-person conferences, 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.  For online conferences, bursaries are normally given towards the conference fee.

The maximum grant for events held in Europe is £750, and £1,000 for meetings outside Europe.

Guidelines for applicants

You should note that ICOM UK anticipates a maximum of £5,000 will be available for all bursaries in any one calendar 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, special consideration will be given to members who have not previously attended ICOM meetings and to the benefit to the ICOM UK membership and wider museum community.  ICOM UK reserves the right of discretion on this point.

ICOM UK would be disinclined to award multiple applications from a single museum or institution in the same year, or multiple applications for the same conference or event.

How to apply

Applications must be made using the ICOM UK Travel Bursary application form.  The form must be completed and submitted by email to the Head of the Bursary Committee.

ICOM UK Travel Bursary application form (Word)

ICOM UK Travel Bursary application form (PDF)

Deadlines for applications

There is a rolling deadline for bursary applications on a first-come-first-served basis.

Applications for ICOM Triennial conference must be received by 31st March in the relevant year.

Where do you send your completed application?

Completed application forms must be sent to the Head of the Bursary Committee:


What happens to your application?

Your application will be assessed by the ICOM UK Bursary Committee using the criteria set out below.  The Committee will make recommendations to the ICOM UK Committee on the applications received.  The ICOM UK Committee meets quarterly each year and you will receive confirmation of your application outcome following the Committee meeting at which your application was considered.

Assessment Criteria

In addition to the qualifying conditions set out above, the following criteria apply:

  • The application form must be completed and provide relevant information to judge the merit of the proposed conference attendance.
  • Allow sufficient time between the date on which the application was received and that of the conference to allow the application to be processed.
  • The amount of funding applied for must be appropriate and clearly defined.
  • The impact of attendance, wider benefits and the means by which any associated information will be disseminated need to be appropriate and clearly defined.
  • Applications are reviewed in the order they are received. We provide a first-come, first-served process.
  • Bursaries will not be awarded retrospectively.

Conditions relating to Bursaries

If you are awarded a bursary, correspondence indicating the amount awarded and any conditions associated with the offer of support will be sent to the email address on your application.

You will be required to submit a written report with images, following a template provided.  The report must cover relevant information regarding the conference/event attended, highlighting the benefits you gained from attending the event.

You must submit the text and images within 4 weeks of the conference for publication on the ICOM UK website and in the ICOM UK weekly news.  We reserve the right to edit the bursary reports received.

Payment covering the agreed bursary amount will only be issued on receipt of a completed ICOM UK expenses for, scanned receipts (PDF format) and upon receipt of the report and images.