This £2m Research and Partnership Development call for the Next Generation of Immersive Experiences supports the development of early-stage research partnerships that will explore the creation of new immersive experiences addressing three key themes: Memory, Place and Performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ summarises questions raised during the Q&A sessions at the UK-wide briefing events at webinars that took place during July and August.

The call document provides the definitive guide for applications including the deadlines.

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Industry Partners

What’s your definition of non-academic partner? Are registered charities, non-profits, etc. allowed?
Yes, not trying to be restrictive. Official call wording is non-academic partner which we think is self explanatory.
Can you have more than one non-academic partner?
There are no constraints on the number of partners, put together the team that you need to deliver the work proposed.

The maximum that can be accessed by all the non-academic partners is 20% of the grant total so this may present a limit, but we’ve not specified an upper limit to partners.

You’ll just need to justify everyone’s inclusion and explain what they bring to the panel.

What’s the motivation for non-academic partners to get involved, especially if they have more lucrative projects?
Research Councils do not generally provide funding for non-academic partners. It may look modest but this call is trying to provide some incentive for non-academic partners to get involved.

This call is very much about building a partnership to address the call’s aims.

Can Independent Research Organisations (IRO) lead these applications?
IROs, which include some museums, can be the lead in these applications.

There’s a list of eligible IROs on the AHRC website ( If you are not an eligible IRO then you can still be involved via the non-academic partner route for this call.

International Partners

Are non-academic partners or companies outside the UK allowed?
Non-academic organisations from outside the UK are eligible to be a partner.

If applications feature a non-academic partner from outside the UK then they need to be very clear throughout the application as to what distinctive input the partner(s) from outside the UK will be making and to be very clear on how spending this portion of the budget outside of the UK will benefit the field of Immersive Experiences within the UK.

Applicants will need to show within their application that relevant expertise is not available within the UK and also demonstrate that they have considered issues surrounding access to research data and IP.

Principal Investigaors collaborating with overseas organisations in any capacity are required to have assurances in place before the start of the project regarding access to research data, outputs, resource material, etc. as well as have an understanding of the expectations of the overseas organisation regarding ownership of material.

Applications should also ensure that the majority of funds to be spent across the lifetime of the grant and the majority of the work carried out should be by UK based researchers and organisations.

Can you have international members of the team?
International Co-Investigators are supported in this call; please see the call document for details.

Non-academic partners based outside the UK are also permitted (see question above)

Attitude to Risk

Is a project seen as more risky if a project attempts to bridge two of the themes at one?
The call is looking for bold propositions to build interdisciplinary partnerships. A project needs to address at least one theme but can address more.

The assessing panel will be looking at the cohesiveness and quality of the bid; you should demonstrate that you understand the risks in the project outlined and the steps you will be taking to mitigate those risks.

Assessment Panel

How will the expert panel be split between AHRC and EPSRC?
The panel will be made up of academics and non-academics suggested by both Councils to cover as wide a spread of relevant expertise as possible.

We are aware that the make up of the panel is critical and are working hard to ensure that the panel is suitable.

We have a good idea of in the remit of what is likely to come so will recruit practitioners and experts in these fields. If there’s gaps when the apps come in, we will look to invite further members.

Will the pitch to peer meeting happen in London?
We are currently finalising the location for the meeting but it’s likely that this will be in London.
What are the metrics for assessments?
These are discussed in the call document.
What are the assessment panel logistics and timings?
The call document covers our thinking to date.

The current plan is for a two day meeting and teams will have 10 minutes to pitch, followed by 10 minutes of Q and A.

Final details will be sent to all applicants who will be pitching.

Themes: Memory, Place & Performance

Can applicants choose one theme, or more than one?
Applicants should address at least one theme, but beyond this can address as many as they wish.

In the application it should be clear which one(s) you’re addressing and how the proposal will address the theme(s) chosen.

Will funding be split equally between the three themes?
We would hope to be able to fund a range of applications to cover all three themes. The proposals will however be ultimately judged on research excellence.

Partnerships, Disciplines and Applications

Can the academic partners be at the same institution?
Are there limits on the number of applications from a single institution?
Not from the Research Council’s perspective.
Can an academic partner be attached to more than one project?
Yes but applicants must ensure that they are not asking for more than their full contracted time across all applications (this includes other RCUK applications and awards currently live).

Academics must also ensure that they are not applying for work already funded elsewhere.

If the proposal builds from existing work then the application should be clear how what is being requested represents something beyond that which has already been funded.

Can an applicant be both academic and non-academic?
If an individual is eligible to fulfil both roles on a project (i.e. they fulfil all the relevant eligibility criteria for both academic and non-academic partner) then they should make it clear through the application what role they will be taking in the proposed partnership.
Does the thrust of the research have to come from the academic partner? Or can it be led by the industry partner?
The application comes from the partnership and we would expect it to benefit all members of the partnership. The application should present a proposition and describe how it will build the partnership, and explain what the benefits are for the partners.
Do you expect any bid to include both arts/humanities and also social science researchers?
Applications should ensure that they address the call and the research areas of the two funding councils.

We do not require researchers to be based in a particular school or department. The panel will be looking at the areas of research proposed and the expertise of the partnership as a whole.

Will this use a standard grants application process?
Yes, will use the JE-s form.
Do partnerships have to be new or could it be someone you’ve worked together with beforehand?
If it’s a partnership that already exists that has strengths e.g evidence and outcomes then it would be a sense of identifying some significant challenge or research questions ahead that aren’t just a continuation of past work.
If a museum is part of the same legal entity as the academic partner, does that count as an industry partner? Can the museum part bid on its own?
If a museum is part of the same legal entity as the academic partner then this would not count as a non-academic partner and thus if they were the only proposed non-academic partner then the application would not be eligible.

Please contact the AHRC if you are unsure about the eligibility of a proposed partner in good time before submission.

Are you interested in letters of support from people that they will engage in 18 months time if the project gets more money?
If you’re a project partner but not drawing money then you’ll need to provide a letter describing your contribution and confirming your commitment (including the amount of support provided – either cash or in-kind.

If a partner is interested but not part of the project then they can be mentioned in the application but we don’t want a letter of support from them.

The call document is clear about when a letter is required. Extra letters run the risk of being removed before the panel see the applications.

Project Funding

How open are you to equipment being included in the proposals?
Applications should bid for what they require and justify what they’ve requested. Given the small amounts of funding available, we would not expect the majority of the requested monies to go towards equipment.
Is the call equally funded by AHRC and EPSRC?
What’s the split between project costs and academic costs?
The applicants should decide on the appropriate split. All restrictions on funding are laid out in the call document.
Can you apply if you have an AHRC grant already?
Yes, providing you are not asking to have more than 100% of your contracted hours funded across the application and any currently active award (or grants that would be active at the same time as the application to the Immersive Research bid).
Is the £75k fully economically costed?
Yes. This also means that if successful the Research Councils would contribute 80% of the requested amount.

Scaling and Commercial Viability

Does it have to produce a commercial output?
This is not a primary concern, but this research is designed to support a partnership which can go on to bid for longer-term funding.

Commercial outputs might be part of that bid for longer term funding but is not a requirement of this current call.

Intellectual Property

What are the arrangements for IP?
We are not mandating any particular form of IP management.

Applicants must have considered the IP implications of the work they are proposing and be clear within the application that they have suitable arrangements in place for all partners.

Dates, Timelines & Outputs

What are the dates for the application and the showcase?
All the dates are in the call document. Applications must be in by 4pm on the closing date.
Visit the main Immersive Experiences page for resources and links for the Research and Partnership Development call for the Next Generation of Immersive Experiences.

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