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Take Me Somewhere, Scotland ©

Zivanai Matangi

Interested in applying for an International Collaboration Grant?

Find out more about the application and assessment process below with answers to our frequently asked questions.

Below, you can find videos full of top tips for submitting a strong application. It looks at some of the common areas where previous applications could have improved. If you need further help, please email us.

What is the International Collaboration Grants programme?

The International Collaboration Grants (ICG) is a £1m programme of grants now available to support UK arts and culture organisations connect and collaborate with their international peers and is designed to support artists to make and develop creative artwork, deepening existing partnerships in a creative space and to find innovative ways of working. This grant programme has been designed to support artists to make and develop creative artwork, and to encourage new international partnerships and innovative ways of collaborating. 

The second round of ICG was launched on 31 January 2024 and will close for applications on the 30 April 2024.

Grants of between £25,000 and £75,000 are available to UK and organisations from the list of eligible countries/territories. 

We are looking for applications that demonstrate genuine international collaboration, an explicit benefit to individual artists and international partners. The programme is designed to support artists to make and develop creative artwork with their international peers and demonstrate clear benefits to individual artists and international collaborators to create new arts projects.

We anticipate successful projects will start from September 2024 and run for one year, until September 2025. We appreciate some projects may have dates that fall outside this period and we can offer some flexibility. In these instances, please contact the International Collaboration Grants team before applying.

Are there priority project themes for this round of the International Collaboration Grants?

No. Projects can address any subject, theme or outcome, but they must be an Arts or Culture project.  

What do we mean by International Collaboration?

Applications must show a genuine commitment to international collaboration. When we say collaboration, you should be able to demonstrate how all collaborators will share knowledge, resources and experience to reach a communal and mutually beneficial goal. Take time to explore how you will work together across differing cultural and professional contexts. 

For more information, please read ‘Key Themes and Terms’ in the Application Toolkit.

What has changed since the first round of International Collaboration Grants?

The first round of International Collaboration Grants was a pilot project and since then we have learnt a lot from the feedback from our grantees and applicants, and through the research and evaluation commissioned to look at our first round. The feedback on how we can improve ICG has inspired and informed the below. 

Here are the main changes. 

  • We have increased the application period to three months. 
  • This round you will have more time to apply as we have extended the open call. It will be live for three months, which is best practice for access needs, and also gives a good period of time for you to develop and refine your application.
  • The amount you can apply for is now between £25,000 and £75,000.
  • A large majority of applications received in 2021 were for £25,000 or over, so we have increased the minimum amount you can request to £25,000.  
  • As with the 2021 round, projects do not have to respond to any specific theme. Projects can address any subject, theme or outcome.  
  • We have an updated list of eligible countries/territories: Americas – Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, México, Perú, Venezuela; East Asia – Mainland China, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam; Middle East and North Africa – Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen; South Asia – Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka; Sub Saharan Africa – Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe; Wider Europe – Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan. 
  • We have developed more support materials for applicants including an application toolkit, which is screen reader friendly, and a walkthrough video for the application platform. We will run an online briefing webinar about the grant on 13 February 2024.  
  • We won’t be running digital meet ups this year. We are currently reviewing how effective digital meets ups can be for applicants and the best model to achieve this.

Where can I find information about successful collaborations from the previous round?

We have several examples of previous successful collaborations. This includes a showreel, based on the materials from the last round of collaborations available on our website, and examples from the successful applications from 2021, included in the Application Toolkit

Who can apply?

The grants are designed to support officially registered organisations, based in the eligible countries and territories, and the UK to work on projects in partnership. Each project should include at least one UK-based organisation and at least one organisation based in eligible countries or territories listed below as part of the partnership. 

We will accept applications for multilateral projects and projects with more than one partner in the same country, with the focus on the programme being delivered mutually. However, the funding should be split between the UK and overseas countries and territories, with at least 50% of the funding benefiting non-UK partners. 

An additional partner, on top of the minimum two, from a non-eligible country or territory can take part in the project but cannot receive grant funding. 

Grants will be awarded to organisations – including consortia, community-based and artist-led – and we will particularly be looking for those that identify specific individual artists for inclusion in the project. 

All collaborating organisations must have a registered business bank account that belongs to an organisation and all necessary registrations in place according to local legislation in which your project will be delivered. For example, all Indian applications must comply in advance with the applicable FCRA regulations; UK-based companies must have a company registration number.

An application should be submitted by one organisation working collaboratively with all the partners.

Can I apply as an individual artist?

While the funds are designed to benefit the artistic community, due to financial regulations we can only award them to legally registered organisations and collectives (including consortia, community-based and artist-led), and not individual artists, sole traders or freelancers. Grants will be awarded to organisations (including consortia, community-based and artist-led), and we will be looking for those that identify specific individual artists for inclusion in the project. Projects can involve international artists based in any country on top of those in the UK and eligible countries, however they need to be contracted by collaborating organisations and the grant must be spent in eligible countries. 

We will prioritise applications and projects that show a clear benefit to the artistic community in the country or countries in which they are working. 

Can I apply for a grant without an international collaborator?

No. As the fund is designed to support collaboration, all applications must include at least one collaborator based in the countries or territories stipulated and at least one UK collaborator. We will not accept single-organisation applications when its offices are in different countries. 

What type of organisation can apply?

The grants are open to arts and culture organisations, and higher education and research organisations, with an arts and culture focus. While the funds are designed to benefit the artistic community, due to financial regulations we can only offer them to legally registered organisations and collectives (including consortia, community-based and artist-led), and not individual artists, sole traders or freelancers. All collaborator organisations must have a registered bank account and all necessary registrations according to local legislation. The UK-based company must have a company registration number and all the necessary registrations in place according to local legislation that apply  wherever your project will be delivered, e.g. all Indian applications must comply in advance with the applicable FCRA regulations; Grants will be awarded to organisations (including consortia, community-based and artist-led), and we will be looking for those that identify specific individual artists for inclusion in the project. Projects can involve international artists based in any country in addition to those in the UK and eligible countries, however they need to be contracted by collaborating organisations and the grant must be spent in eligible countries.  

Although applications must be completed through organisations, the grants are designed to benefit the artistic community. Therefore, projects that show clear benefits to artists and individual practitioners will be prioritised. 

We are keen to receive applications from UK organisations with whom we have not previously worked, especially those based outside London. 

What is an organisation (in an International Collaboration Grant context)?

An ‘organisation’ is defined as a legally registered entity with a registered bank account under organisation’s name, and can include collectives, consortia, community, charity, private and public limited companies. All collaborator organisations must have a registered bank account and all necessary registrations according to local legislation. The UK-based company must have a company registration number and all the necessary registrations in place according to local legislation that apply wherever your project will be delivered, e.g. all Indian applications must comply in advance with the applicable FCRA regulations; UK-based companies must have a company registration number.

What are the eligible countries / territories?

This round of International Collaboration Grants is open for the UK collaborating with organisations from: 

  • Americas – Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, México, Perú, Venezuela
  • East Asia – Mainland China, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam
  • Middle East and North Africa – Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen
  • South Asia – Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka 
  • Sub Saharan Africa – Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe 
  • Wider Europe – Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan.

Projects can involve international artists based in any country on top of those in the UK and eligible countries/territories, however they need to be contracted by partner organisations based in eligible countries/territories and the grant must be spent in eligible countries.  

We will prioritise applications and projects that show a clear benefit to the artistic community in the country or countries in which they are working.

What is ODA (Official Development Assistance)?

ODA Official Development Assistance is the term used by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to measure aid. The British Council works with countries in receipt of Official Development Assistance as part of their wider programmes that promote economic development and welfare in these countries, which contribute to building friendly knowledge and understanding with the UK. 

The countries eligible for this year's round of ICG are ODA countries. They have been selected due to the opportunities available for collaboration between these countries and the UK and where we, at the British Council, have capacity to ensure that we can support ICG projects and grantees.  

How did you select the eligible countries? Why isn’t my country / territory eligible?

At the British Council, we focus on certain countries where we have the capacity to help facilitate the project. We hope to be able to offer the programme, or similar work, in other countries in future and we recommend you keep an eye on our Arts Opportunities page for other opportunities as they arise. 

Will countries not eligible now be considered for a future round?

We cannot guarantee that non-eligible countries or territories for this round will be included in any future rounds as the decision depends on many factors including our capacity and funding. We encourage you to sign up to the British Council Arts newsletter to receive alerts about future International Collaboration grant rounds as well as our other opportunities and look for funding and partnership opportunities that may be relevant or of interest to you on the British Council Arts Opportunities webpage.  

What type of projects will be considered for the grants?

The International Collaboration Grants are designed to help arts organisations develop and deliver creative projects in collaboration with international partners.

We are looking for projects which have international collaboration at their heart and are new and innovative projects. This includes projects that demonstrate new forms of content, new methods of delivery, new design processes, work with a new collaborator or in a new country, a new approach to audiences.

Art Forms 

Proposed projects could include the following art forms: 

  • film 
  • creative technology (including XR [mixed, augmented and virtual reality] and games)
  • literature 
  • visual arts 
  • theatre and dance (including circus)
  • architecture, design and fashion (including craft) 
  • music. 

We also welcome proposals for: 

  • cross-art form projects 
  • projects with themes relevant to the creative economy 
  • cross-disciplinary art projects (e.g. art and science, art and technology). 

Project Types and Subjects 

The scope of a project might be to collaborate on a piece of art, a film, music or a piece of writing, or could include any of the following: 

  • residencies 
  • exhibitions, festivals, showcases, performances, screening programmes 
  • projects which focus on or include digital innovation (such as projects which combine art with technology in a new or different way)  
  • conferences, panels and talks 
  • creative use of archives 
  • research and development of future project ideas. 

Although this is not a fund focusing on professional development, the outcome doesn’t strictly need to be a completed artistic outcome. The development of skills can be part of a project with the primary outcomes supporting creative and artistic work. 

The delivery of projects can be digital, face to face or a blend of both and address any subject or theme. 

Will you fund projects which support young people under 18?

While there is not a restriction on young people under 18 being involved in projects, the main aim and intent of the fund is to support professional artists and their practice. Most of our Arts work as the British Council is direct with participants who are aged 18 and over. If your project includes audiences or participants who are under 18, please share details and relevant checks, DBS checks for example, DBS and please declare this in the application form

There will be an opportunity for you to include your safeguarding policy and this is where we will expect to see relevant information that details how you plan to support the under 18s. If your project is selected, we will ask you to attend a mandatory safeguarding webinar where guidance on completing risk assessments and safeguarding measures will be explained.  

Can I apply for a grant without a partner?

No. As the fund is designed to support collaborations, all applications must include at least one partner based in the countries / territories stipulated and at least one UK partner. We will not accept single-organisation applications even if its offices are in different countries. 

How many project partners can I have and who should they be?

We will accept applications for multilateral projects and projects with more than one partner in the same country, with the focus on the programme being delivered mutually. However, the funding should be split between the UK and overseas countries / territories, with at least 50% of the funding benefiting non-UK partners. We do not limit the number of partners on the project but we will look separately at successful collaborations for grant distribution between the partners in case there are more than three partners involved. 

An additional partner (on top of the minimum two) from a non-eligible country / territory can take part in the project but cannot receive grant funding. 

The budget will need to be split equally between the eligible partners. 

Can I submit multiple applications? Can I be part of multiple applications?

An organisation can apply twice for two different projects but it is likely that only one can be successful.  

The same organisation can be involved in two different applications as an applicant and as a partner respectively. 

An application should be submitted by one organisation working collaboratively with all the partners. 

Can I change my partners once I have been successfully awarded a grant?

Any change in the partnership after selection needs to have the prior approval of the British Council.  

What is the deadline for applications?

Applications must be submitted via the online digital application portal in full by 30 April 2024, 23.59 (GMT)

The online digital application portal to apply will go live on the International Collaboration Grants page on 31 January 2024.  

When will I find out if my application has been successful? When will I be able to start my project?

Successful projects may start as soon as the contract is signed or later. We aim to have all contracts signed no later than the end of September 2024 with a public announcement of our cohort of grantees at in September 2024. Grant projects should be completed by 30 September 2025.  

We know that some projects may need to complete later than this and we can look at some flexibility. Please email us before you apply and we will review this.   

We also know that sometimes unavoidable challenges will occur and that grantees may need extensions, but this will be done on a case-by-case basis (e.g. in the event of a force-majeure). We will share the process for this with grantees as part of the grantee onboarding. 

Grantees will be required to submit project monitoring forms and a project end report on completion of the project within 30 calendar days. 

I have previously received funding from the British Council. Can I still apply?

If you have previously received British Council funding for exactly the same activity as described in your application, you will not be able to apply for a new grant to repeat it. If you have previously received funding from the British Council for research or scoping-based activity to develop your project, you can apply for a grant to take the project forward.

If your application proposes the development or addition of new elements to a project previously funded by the British Council (including new country partnerships, or new ways of working); you can apply. 

I applied for the previous round of International Collaboration Grants. Can I apply again? Can I apply with the legacy project or the same project?

You will not be able to receive funding for exactly the same project you were previously funded for or to extend a previously funded project. However, if your application proposes the development or addition of new elements to a project previously funded by the British Council under a different grant scheme or programme (including new country partnerships, or new ways of working); you can apply.

Can I apply for two different British Council grants from separate funds for the same project?

Yes, you can apply for two different British Council grants, but we will not fund the exact same project out of two British Council funds. If you apply for both, we will involve the other fund in cross checking before awards are made.  

How much money is available?

The £1m programme is offering grants from £25,000 to £75,000 for work in ODA countries. You can see the full list of ODA countries under 'Participating countries / territories'.

How much can I apply for?

This round of International Collaboration Grants offers large grants from £25,000 to £75,000 with access costs for the delivery of your project factored in on top of your grant request. 

Are there match funding expectations and requirements?

The grant you request can be used to cover part of, or the full, project costs. Match funding from partners and / or other external funding is welcome but not required.

How will the funds be split between partners? Can one partner take charge of expenditure of funds?

The grant should be split between partners in participating countries equally. If there are more than three partners involved, we will look at grant distribution separately, however the funding should be split between the UK and international countries and territories with at least 50% of the funding benefiting non-UK partners.

Why do you mainly send payment to the UK collaborating partner?

We have spent a long time looking at the impact of paying the UK organisation and whether split payments could be made automatically to both partners instead. We have looked into the implications for the UK organisation and researched how this can create power imbalances, although our research indicated a majority of grantees did not feel this was a factor.  

We found a number of risks with splitting payments to both partners including shifts in currency, inflation fluctuations, local tax implications in different countries and specific local registrations and their legal implications which would impact projects. Given this, unless there are high risks associated with the UK partner making the payment – as determined by our Arts and finance teams in participating countries – payments will be made to the UK partner who will transfer the payments to their partner in country. In these cases, all compliances under local or foreign laws will need to be duly met by the international partner organisation confirming that they are eligible to receive the grant and have the required registration and approvals in compliance with the respective country laws. 

How should we plan to manage exchange rates in our budgets?

We know that it can be tricky planning against two different currencies. For the International Collaboration Grants, we set the exchange rate that collaborating partners use so that it matches  the same exchange rate on the date of transfer forfunds to the international partner. 

When transferring funds to the international collaborating partner, if they do not have an account in pound Sterling then, when transferred, the grant amount will be converted into local currency. We recommend you consider this when planning your projects and include bank fees in your budget which are an eligible cost. We will provide further support to grantees on reporting and exchange rates during onboarding. 

Can I get access support to help me complete an application and can I include access support costs that are needed to deliver my project?

As an international cultural relations organisation, at the British Council we work towards mainstreaming our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) principles and practices across all our work strands. This includes how we engage with stakeholders, participants and partners. We strive to put best practice in place in terms of access.

Accessibility of the application process 

We have extended the application period to three months which is best practice guidance for application phases. We have also developed several new materials to help with the application phase. This includes BSL and captions on our videos, audio versions of our documents and documents that are accessible, including for screen readers.  

When applying, if you identify as disabled, you are welcome to submit your answers to certain questions (where marked in the text) via a video format. For video submissions, please submit a different video for each answer and share a private YouTube link within the associated response box. Videos will not be assessed on quality, but we ask that we can clearly see and hear the speaker. Submissions can be in BSL. Please note that videos should all be within the maximum time indicated for each question.   

If you identify as disabled, you can also apply for additional access costs to help you complete this application. There is a separate question dedicated to it in the application form and this cost is covered regardless of the outcome of your application. 

Claiming additional access costs for the application process   

If you identify as disabled, you can also apply for additional access costs to help you complete this application. There is a separate question dedicated to it in the application form and this cost is covered regardless of the outcome of your application. It does not need to be included in your project budget.  

You can apply for these costs in the application form (section 1E), by confirming you would like to apply for access costs to complete the application form, listing the access costs you have incurred and then uploading the receipts or invoices for the access costs you are claiming for. We will arrange payment for these costs after the close of the applications.  

Additional costs for access in project delivery planning and budgets  

All projects should include access facilitation for delivery partners, freelancers and audiences, as part of their core project budget. We ask all applicants to explain how your project will address this and include accessibility costs in the budget proposals together with reasonable justification.  

If your organisation has accessibility requirements for the delivery of your proposed project – such as personal access costs for the individuals involved in the project planning, design and delivery, or costs to ensure that assets, events online or in person are accessible –  you can request additional funds beyond the core grant in the budget section of the application form. 

The grant amount will be assessed, excluding project delivery access costs, but you need to include them in your total amount. For example, if your project budget is £30,000, excluding access costs for delivery, and your access costs are £4,000, your total grant payment and budget total would be £34,000.

What costs can the grants cover?

The grants can cover project costs including: 

  • staff costs 
  • new staff positions to deliver the project 
  • additional hours for existing staff to deliver the project
  • filling a post left empty by moving an existing member of staff into a post created for the project 
  • training costs
  • professional fees
  • translation and interpretation fees
  • materials
  • activities relating to learning, advocacy and community engagement
  • evaluation
  • promotion
  • equipment 
  • first-party insurance costs
  • travel, accommodation, visa costs
  • access costs
  • bank commissions and fees for transferring funds between partners
  • a contingency of a maximum of 10% of the overall budget.  

Up to 25% of the budget can go towards overhead costs which are extra, time-limited overhead costs which directly related to the project you are applying for. For example, new online subscriptions, computers, equipment, additional rent, phone bills or insurance. You can apply for a contribution to your ongoing overheads if these are not covered by other funding. You can also include any additional caring costs that may be incurred as a direct result of delivering the project (for example, childcare costs). The amount you apply for under ‘Overheads’ must relate directly to the amount of time spent on the project you are applying for funding for, so please explain how you have worked this out in the notes section on your budget for this line.  

Artists should be paid fairly and this should be reflected in the budget in relation to any artist fees.  

The application must include a detailed budget that considers all of the collaborations costs that can be covered by our grant. You can find more details and tips in the Application Toolkit and the budget template for your application by following the links below. If you have a query about what can be covered by the grant, please contact us.

What is the role of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)?

Statement on Diversity, Inclusivity and Sustainability  

As an international cultural relations organisation, at the British Council we work towards mainstreaming our EDI principles and practices across all our work strands. This includes how we engage with stakeholders, participants and partners. We strive to put best practice in place in terms of access. This includes in how we engage with stakeholders, participants and partners. We will be assessing how projects address and consider Diversity, Inclusion and Environmental sustainability and, as part of the application, we ask applicants to submit the Equality Diversity and Inclusion monitoring form that tells us about your organisations. This is optional but the information helps us to understand more about who we are working with and informs how we can improve our work on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. 

We are committed to: 

  • continuing to nurture creativity, innovation and flexibility and spot new opportunities to work with others, as well as new inclusive approaches and sources of support which facilitate meaningful participation and other benefits
  • remain relevant and dynamic and achieve greater reach, impact and sustainability. This will come from engaging with a diversity of partners, perspectives, needs, abilities and opportunities
  • continuing to engage with our stakeholders, participants and partners in a constructive response to global environmental challenges through our arts, culture work. This is underpinned by our own ethical operations to reduce our environmental footprint. 

We ask our grantees to align with the British Council’s inclusive approach and our commitment to reduce our environmental footprint. We will be assessing how project proposals, and their delivery, address and realise this. 

In the application form and an optional EDI form we ask for the applicant’s gender and preferred pronouns to ensure we can address applicants according to their wishes. This information also supports us in understanding how our work contributes towards furthering gender equality.  

In order to monitor the effectiveness of our equality and diversity practices, and particularly because this is a British Council funded programme reaching a diverse range of people, we would like to know more about your organisation as well as how you found the application process. We consider this to be particularly important owing to the low representation of people with some protected characteristics in the creative and cultural sectors. The data you provide will be anonymised and may be shared with partners and funders for the purposes of improving inclusiveness and diversity through informed programme planning. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Notice in the application and an EDI form. 

For more information, please read the following documents:

Statement on Gender

In many locations, women and girls face barriers to progression including within the Arts, Culture and Creative sectors. At the British Council, we are committed to ensuring our work contributes to furthering gender equality. It is also a legal requirement, of the UK Government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding, that gender equality is considered.  

In the EDI section of your application, you will need to set out how your project considers gender equality. This can be through creating opportunities for the artists, employees and staff involved in the project, the audiences targeted and through the themes addressed by the project. Projects could seek to raise the profile of women artists and their work, enhance women’s leadership, address gender related themes through the collaboration and challenging gender norms.

What safeguarding considerations do I need to make for applying and what safeguarding considerations do I need to consider when working with under 18s and vulnerable adults?

At the British Council, we are committed to safeguarding children and adults and to upholding their rights through our safeguarding policy and procedures in accordance with relevant legislation, international articles and conventions and established best practises. As part of that commitment, we require that all staff, and those we work with, including partners and suppliers, operate within our Safeguarding Policy which articulates our approach to protecting children and adults from abuse and harm and promoting their wellbeing.  

Within the International Collaboration grants, while there is not a restriction on under 18s being involved in projects, the main aim and intent of the fund is to support professional artists. If your project does include audiences or participants who are under 18, we ask you to share details and relevant checks (i.e. DBS – Disclosure and Barring Service) and please declare this in the application form.  

Individuals and organisations must agree to comply with the British Council’s Safeguarding policy before partaking in any activities. As part of the International Collaboration Grants, successful applicants will have a safeguarding webinar briefing shortly after signing the contracts. These briefings will run through safeguarding, what you can put in place as well as resources and guidance and how we can help you in the delivery of your project in this, so you have the tools in place to help you. We will also provide you with a safeguarding resource pack which contains examples of our best practises and links to external sources of safeguarding support that can be accessed for information and advice and help with developing a robust safeguarding policy and framework if you don’t have one yet.  

You can find out more about safeguarding in the Application Toolkit

How will the projects be decided? What criteria will applications be marked on?

Eligibility criteria 

Before making your application, please ensure you have read the full list of FAQs and you answer yes to the following Eligibility Criteria questions. 

  • Is the partnership between a UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales) organisation and an organisation from an eligible country/territory (see the list for eligible countries/territories above)? 
  • Is the size of grant you have requested within the threshold of £25,00 – £75,000 (Note that  the total project budget may include funding from other sources and accessibility costs for delivering the collaboration is not included)?
  • Is your project an arts project (see the list of art forms and project types above)? 
  • If the applicants have received an International Collaboration Grant previously, is this a new project? 
  • Have you submitted a completed application including all required supporting materials? 

Assessment criteria 

Each application will be assessed and scored against three key criteria.

  • The Project: artistic activity, audience and innovation, legacy – 40%. 
  • Delivery: project plan, working in collaboration, positive contribution – 30%.
  • Diversity, Inclusion, Sustainability – 30%.

Remember, we will be assessing the content of your answers, not the quality of English used.

What are assessors looking for in Assessment Criteria 1?

Assessment Criteria 1: The Project: Artistic Activity, Innovation, Project Legacy – 40%   

Assessors will be looking at the project proposal and if it is of a high artistic and creative quality and if it is experimental and / or innovative in its approach. Is the project outline and what the project aims to achieve clear and who is the intended audience?  

Please provide:   

  • evidence of artistic quality and benefit to individual artists / creatives   
  • clear project outline and evidence of developed discussions between collaborators  
  • in-kind means non-financial support provided to a project, if relevant  
  • evidence of who the intended audiences are  
  • evidence of how the project might continue after this year of delivery
  • evidence of how project will incorporate innovation. Please note, by innovation we mean that the project demonstrates new forms of content, new methods of delivery, new design processes, or that the project approaches audiences in a new way or working in a new country with a new collaborator.

What are assessors looking for in Assessment Criteria 2?

Assessment Criteria 2: Delivery: Project Plan, Working in Collaboration, Positive Contribution – 30% 

Assessors will want to see the following explanations about your project proposal: 

  • how it has been planned and resourced and that it has considered reasonable risks and mitigations 
  • how the collaborators will market the project 
  • how you will work together as collaborators  
  • how your project will bring a positive contribution to the countries you are working in. 

Assessors will look for evidence of: 

  • how the collaborators will work together in a way which factors in equality within the partnerships
  • the mutual and equal benefit to both UK and international countries and territories and that it demonstrates shared use of the budget between the UK and international collaborators
  • a realistic of project plan – in terms of timescale and budget – and evidence of the collaborator’s ability to deliver, based on their track record
  • consideration of risks and solid plans on how collaborators will reduce risks – including those related to the countries they are working in, and plans for marketing and promotion of the project
  • an equitable approach to collaborative working, e.g. how the collaborators will work together, what each will contribute and benefit from their relationship, that consideration has been made on international working, such as culture, time zones, different environments. How do the collaborators know each other? How will they support each other, how will the budget be split between collaborators? What each collaborator will bring to the project, and how will this benefit all collaborators and how the collaboration might continue beyond this project
  • projects that demonstrate they are making a positive contribution to the cultural development of the international collaborator’s country / territory which could support social and economic development to the country involved, such as: skill sharing with audiences or collaborators, capacity building, promotion of international profile, providing platforms to underrepresented groups or artists or practices. 

What are assessors looking for in Assessment Criteria 3?

Assessment Criteria 3: Diversity, Inclusion and Environmental Sustainability – 30% 

At the British Council, we work towards mainstreaming of our Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) principles and practices across all our work and are committed to reducing our environmental footprint. This includes how we engage with stakeholders, participants and collaborators. We will be assessing how projects address and consider Diversity, Inclusion and Environmental sustainability within their projects.  

Assessors will want to see:  

  • evidence of diversity and inclusion in project team and/or project delivery and/or in subject and/or in targeted audiences. This could be how the project might increase the reach to include underrepresented artists and/or creatives, organisations, communities, networks, or delivering work for underrepresented or audiences. It might be how the project creates platforms for women, disabled groups, LGBTQAI+ in delivery and/or audiences. We understand that diversity and inclusion will be different in different country contexts. You can include a short description in your application of what diversity and/or inclusion means in the context of your project and the countries you are working with. 
  • consideration around access for disabled collaborators, participants and/or audiences as required 
  • consideration around how the project will be delivered with inclusion in mind, such as transport, online access, or sign language interpreters and within marketing materials as required, and venues. We acknowledge that it is not always possible to have provision of accessible venues but you can describe what access means in your country context and what a good standard of access might mean in your country
  • if your project addresses specific themes, any considerations such as specialists, consultants or advisory roles, which could support the delivery, approach to addressing themes, working with specific groups in both a UK and or country / territory context
  • how you are considering environmental sustainability within your project. 

Assessors will also check that the proposal budget includes, where needed, costs for access and any additional support for working with different groups or, specialists where needed.  

Assessors will also consider whether there is evidence of: 

  • recognition of potential risks in relation to diversity and inclusion
  • planning around environmental sustainability within delivery of the project and how the project will reduce potential environmental carbon footprint in delivery.

How do I apply?

All applications must be submitted via the online application form by 30 April 2024, 23.59 (GMT).

An application should be submitted by one organisation working collaboratively with all the partners. An application for one collaboration project can be submitted only once by one partner. 

You will need to create a free Submittable account or sign in with Google or Facebook credentials to submit your application form. This form has collaboration enabled so you will be able to invite your project partner to collaborate on the form – the link is visible on the top right-hand corner named 'Invite Collaborators'. 

You can save a draft of your work if you would like to finish the form at a later date. You can keep your draft and edit it up until the submission date. 

After submitting your application, it is not possible to re-access it to edit it. This Submittable platform works best on Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Internet Explorer is not supported. Please make sure you are using a supported browser. 

Where possible, we recommend submitting your application ahead of the deadline to mitigate any technical issues with submission at the last minute.  

We will follow up with you about your submission by email. We recommend that you safelist notification emails from Submittable and regularly check the email you used to sign up for your Submittable Account.  

We have a Submittable Application Walkthrough Video available to assist you in the application process. We hope this helps you. 

I am having a technical issue on Submittable with my application form who can I contact?

If you are having any issues with the Submittable platform, first check the Submitter Resource Centre and you can also contact Submittable's Customer Support team with any technical questions.

Can I save my application in draft, or amend my application once I have submitted it?

You can keep your draft and edit it up until the submission date. You can also work collaboratively on the application as a team and each team member can access the application. After submitting your application, it is not possible to re-access it to edit it.  

We recommend that you initially refer to the Application Form Questions to preview the questions before using the online portal and  keep a separate copy of your application in case you encounter any technical issues. 

Who will assess applications?

Applications will be assessed by a team here at the British Council, across our global network, together with a pool of external arts specialist assessors. All applications will be treated confidentially. All assessors will sign a non-disclosure agreement. We are not able to review your application before you submit. We also aim to adhere to transparency and an equal opportunity for all applicants. 

When will applicants be notified?

We aim to notify and contract with successful applicants before the end of August 2024, with project delivery commencing in September 2024 at the latest.

Can I get feedback if my application was unsuccessful?

Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we are unable to provide feedback to all applicants. However, we aim to provide feedback to any shortlisted candidates that did not go on to receive a grant. 

We will also host a post-open call webinar to discuss the common pitfalls we’ve seen in applications. This will be open to all unsuccessful applicants. 

What are the responsibilities and obligations of a successful applicant?

All partners of successful projects will sign grant agreements stipulating their responsibilities. The main areas include but not limited to: 

  • delivering the collaborations in accordance with the application submitted
  • timely reporting on progress of collaborations in the form of interim and final reports that include financial and narrative parts
  • informing the British Council at the earliest point regarding any changes to the project such as the main audience for the work, or main focus of the content of the project
  • informing the British Council at the earliest point if issues arise which may cause a significant delay in the timeline for delivery of the project
  • submitting audience numbers on a regular basis adhering to branding requirements
  • following the British Council’s policies according to the agreements including Safeguarding global policy, British Council Equality Diversity and Inclusion Policy etc. 

The British Council’s standard terms and conditions are set out here in the Terms and Conditions of the Grant Agreement

If your application is awarded a grant, please note that specific terms relating to what your project is delivering and where you intend to deliver the project will be shared with you at the award stage of the programme. 

If you have any concerns or queries in relation to the Grant Agreement, you should submit a clarification request to CollabGrants@BritishCouncil.org in accordance with the provisions of this call for applications by the application deadline. The British Council reserves the right not to make any changes to the Grant Agreement.

The British Council is under no obligation to consider any clarifications / amendments to the Grant Agreement requested following the application deadline. 

What support will I receive from the British Council during delivery of the collaboration?

The British Council will: 

  • run an onboarding programme for all partners of the successful projects that will include welcome calls to the International Collaboration Grants, information sessions about monitoring, reporting and evaluation, our policies, safeguarding, and working with artists at risk
  • allocate a Relationship Manager, based in the country or territory your project collaborates with, and a UK sector artform lead, for your project. They will be your point of contact for sector expertise and connection, artistic queries, and local connections, and share their local expertise, and amplify your project as much as possible through the duration of your project
  • allocate a Grant Manager who will provide support and be your point of contact about your contract, reporting, finance, insurance, evaluation, risk, and data protection
  • attend events and productions for your project whenever possible
  • share communications around contracting, payments, onboarding, reporting and evaluation
  • run a Grantee Community for successful applicants to meet each other, widen their networks and share their knowledge, experience, successes and challenges
  • support projects forced to make changes due to extenuating circumstances such as a natural disaster or conflict
  • provide marketing guidance to support grantees including our British Council logo.  

At the British Council, we won't be able to: 

  • find a partner organisation or an artist for you project or help with developing further an idea for the project
  • be involved in any detailed delivery of your project
  • assist with intervening with grantees banks when making payments made collaborating partners or participants.

Where can I access the recording of the webinar information session?

On 13 February 2024, we held an online information session about the International Collaboration Grants and the application process and heard from previous grantees with their top tips.

You can download the presentation slides or watch a recording of the session with BSL interpretation and captioning.

You can also see a recording of a feedback video, made following the 2021 ICG application process, outlining some common mistakes and issues with unsuccessful applications. 

Can newly registered organisations apply?

You can apply if your organisation is newly registered. We will consider each organisations’ ability to deliver the project as part of the assessment; this will include things like track record and experience of managing projects. We will also carry out ethical and credit checks as part of our due diligence. 

What should I do if there is FCDO travel advice not to travel to a particular country?

We are aware that a number of participating countries within this year’s round of ICG may currently have Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice not to travel to certain parts of the country. In these situations when planning your projects, please do not plan travel to these parts. We are not able to support projects which include travel to countries which contradicts the FCDO travel advice.

What if there is conflict or risk of conflict in the intended project locations?

In some cases, you may be working in collaboration with countries affected by conflict or who are at risk of being affected by conflict. At the application stage, if conflict is an active risk, please plan for activity to take place in other participating countries including the UK. If there is a risk of conflict affecting delivery during the lifespan of your project, then please include, in the application, a light touch plan of how you might pivot delivery if your project is impacted. 

Please note, should your project be impacted due to a change in FCDO travel advice or conflict, we would work with grantees on reshaping projects for delivery as much as possible and we will share some examples of risk and mitigation plans and tools with successful grantees as projects start.

Will all partners need a contract?

We intend to contract all partners, UK and international, with one contract. This contract will name all partner organisations as signatories. 

There will be some cases where, due to various factors and risks, we will take a different approach. This will be determined by the British Council Arts and Finance teams in participating countries ahead of contracting. In these situations, we will look to split the grant and contract each partner separately, paying the international and UK collaborating partner directly. In these cases, all compliances under local or foreign laws will need to be duly met by the international partner organisation confirming that they are eligible to receive the grant and have the required registration and approvals in compliance with the respective country laws. 

How will the grant be transferred?

Once the contract has been signed by all signatories, we will process the first instalment which will be paid by bank transfer. 

In cases where the grant is transferred to the UK organisation, the UK organisation will be responsible for transferring the amount agreed to their international partner(s). Applicants should consider this when planning their application and factor in bank transfer fees and costs and include these costs in the budget. 

We are anticipating two payment schedules depending on the size of the grant awarded. 

Smaller grants (£25,000 – £30,000) will have two payments:  

  • first payment of 95% on contract signing  
  • final payment of 5% on submission of completion report.   

Larger grants (£30,000 – £75,000) will have three payments:  

  • first payment of 75% on contract signing
  • second payment of 20% on receipt of interim report  
  • final payment of 5% on submission of completion report.

Can you help me find new partners and connections to apply for this fund?

The main focus of the International Collaboration Grants is to support UK arts and culture organisations collaborating with their international peers, making creative artwork and deepening existing partnerships. Due to the number of participating countries and sectors this programme covers, we are unable to facilitate new connections for this round. However, if you are looking for opportunities which are for smaller scoping or connecting grants, we frequently run other opportunities which broker new connections. These are shared on our Arts Opportunities page and via our newsletter. 

Do activities have to take place in both partners' countries / territories or can the activity just take place in the UK?

We do expect delivery to take place across all partner locations but understand there may be instances where this will not happen. In these instances, the project delivery can take place in one of the partner countries and does not have to be in all partner countries. We would expect you to explain the reasons why you have made this decision in your application form.

Do you prioritise applications from participants who have additional match funding to complement the British Council grant?

We can accept applications that request 100% of the total project budget. ICG funding does not require any match funding. We will not prioritise applications that include match funding. All submissions made will be marked fairly in accordance with the assessment criteria.

What types of organisations can apply?

For the UK, we will accept applications from formalised groups, collectives and institutions that are legally structured and are small or large with a registered bank account and registration number. These can be: cultural organisations, galleries, theatres, museums, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), universities, research organisations and all other art form organisations.

Organisations must be able to demonstrate that bank accounts are registered to the organisation with at least two company officials, within the last six months, to qualify. For international organisations, we will accept all the necessary registrations according to local legislation. 

We cannot accept applications from sole trader businesses, freelancers or individual artists but they can participate in project planning and delivery with organisations. 

See also