_in Motion Scoping Grant

Please note that applications for the in Motion Scoping Grant are currently on hold due to Covid-19.

"We are putting projects on hold with a view to rescheduling when it becomes possible. We are exploring how we can digitise our programmes and possibilities for connecting people online." - For further information on our arts response to Covid-19 please click here.

We are passionate about connecting young creatives from the United Kingdom and the African continent to increase dialogue, sharing of knowledge and collaboration between these two influential creative sectors.

With this in mind, we are excited to announce the In_Motion Scoping Grant, an opportunity for UK-based Creative Organisations, Curators and Programmers to travel, scope and connect with potential partners in Sub-Saharan Africa between May 2020 and March 2021. The call is open from 16 January until end of day 6 April 2020.

Scoping may take the form of:

  • meeting with potential artists and partners
  • finding out more about your chosen art forms’ ecosystem in another 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 African artists and their work in the UK.

We will award up to 9 grants of £2,500 (each) to UK-based Creative Organisations, Curators and Programmers specializing in Visual Arts, Literature, Music, Theatre, Dance, Architecture, Design, Fashion and Film to connect with peers and potential partners in Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Successful applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • be a UK based Creative/ Arts organisation, Curator or Programmer with a proven track record of working with international partners to deliver collaborative arts programmes
  • have minimum 3 years professional experience in your artistic discipline and the creative sector
  • have a basic knowledge of the artistic discipline in the region which is being visited (the British Council will provide support in sense-checking the travel programme and itinerary)
  • demonstrate a clear rationale for the research they want to undertake
  • demonstrate a commitment to our British Council values.

In addition, applicants should:

  • commit to programme a UK public forum to share/disseminate the research findings, this can either be done online or in-person (see Notes on page 6 for examples)
  • have a valid passport for travel
  • obtain a valid visa for travel (if required)
  • obtain valid travel insurance
  • be available to use the grant between May 2020 and March 2021.

How To Apply

Applications are currently on hold.

Information that will be required in the application form includes examples of key projects and/or programmes that you feel represent your work, a short statement outlining why you are applying for this research grant, travel activity plan and your CV.

Selection & Successful Applicants

  • Applications will be assessed against the criteria and project aims. They will be reviewed by a selection panel, including representatives from the our Arts team, external partners and previous research grant recipients.
  • Successful applicants will be notified by the end of April 2020.

Press and publicity

The selected grantees are expected to agree to any reasonable requests for press or media, to discuss media coverage with us and to assist in ensuring we are credited in any press coverage sought independently.
Press information will be agreed with us before release


If you are awarded the grant you will be put in touch with your art form UK Programme Manager who will help you shape the content of your trip with input from local art staff in the country/countries, you are visiting. We can provide different levels of care depending on the country/countries you will visit. This will be discussed with you once your grant is confirmed but an overview is detailed below.

  • East Africa: Email/phone advice prior to departure on partners/artists/organisations to meet. Meet and greet with country arts team once you arrive in your host country.
  • Southern Africa: Email/phone advice prior to departure on partners/artists/organisations to meet. Meet and greet with country arts team once you arrive in your host country. Connections to events and activities over the time you are in-country.
  • West Africa: Email/phone advice prior to departure on partners/artists/organisations to meet. Visa support letter (if required). Security briefing for important security tips.

Aims of the In Motion grant

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.

Previous grant recipients

MUSIC: Emily Dust, DJ Listen to Emily’s Soho Radio show which showcased the Ghanaian musicians she met on her trip to West Africa. Listen to the set here.

ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN, FASHION: Owen Wainhouse, Deputy Director of the London Festival of Architecture (LFA), reports on his travels to Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda which will contribute to his research project, focusing on East African countries. Read more here.

THEATRE & DANCE: MAYK (Bristol) built on an initial research and exchange with young artists in Kigali, Rwanda with a reciprocal visit to Mayfest, Bristol. Read more here.

LITERATURE: Sarah Odedina, travelled to Ghana and Sierra Leone to meet with writers and publishing professionals working in the field of books for young readers to foster creative and collaborative exchanges. Read more here.

FILM: Tega Okiti, independent programmer and writer, reports on her travels to West Africa on her blog https://www.tegaokiti.com/  and profiles Surreal16 a West African based filmmaking collective trying to forge a new identity for Nigerian cinema. Read more here.


Applications will be accepted till end of day 6 April 2020.

Successful applicants will be notified by the end of April 2020.

British Council’s Art Connects Us Programme

For further reading on our programme please visit our Sub-Saharan Africa Arts page. Our Sub-Saharan Africa Arts strategy is also available to download there.

Disability Arts

This grant is eligible for disability arts support. Please indicate your ability requirements in your application.

The British Council aims to promote the work of the unique generation of excellent disabled artists, disabled-led companies, inclusive arts organisations and festivals. For more information on our Disability Arts please visit - Disability Arts International.