Transformers 2016-18

Our scheme for mid-career professionals is expanding
Between March 2017 and March 2018, the Museums Association will deliver a major expansion in the highly successful Transformers: Radical Change in Museums professional development programme for mid-career professionals.

We are keen to continue to build a diverse cohort. Previous Transformers have self-defined ‘mid-career’ broadly, and their roles have ranged from project officers to more senior leaders. As some general guidance, you will have at least three years of working in museums, and most importantly have a desire to generate change and a commitment to professional and sector development.

If you are earlier in your career please consider our Moving on Up conference.

There are three programme strands:

•    Strand 1 – Transformers: Innovate
•    Strand 2 – Transformers: Influence
•    Strand 3 – Transformers: Diversify

Together, they will support around 170 mid-career museum professionals to develop innovative ways of working, to influence more effectively and to create change for themselves, their colleagues and their organisations. 

Innovate and Influence are open to applications across the UK, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. Diversify is only to applicants from England, Wales and Scotland. Applicants must work in or with an accredited museum.

Transformers responds to the context in which professionals and their institutions operate: the social and economic challenges and the opportunities presented by innovative practice.

Applications to all three strands are now open and will close at the end of January and February 2017.

Before submitting an application to any of the programmes, please ensure you have read the guidance notes to check that the programme is suitable for you. Freelancers are eligible to apply for Strands 2 and 3.

Transformers: Innovate

Transformers: Innovate is for people who have a new or risky idea for change that they would like to test out. This strand has approximately 10 days of contact time and a focus on innovation and ideas pitching.

Transformers: Innovate is open to applicants from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland who work in an accredited museum. This strand is not open to freelancers but please consider applying for one of the other strands.

The Innovate cohort will receive full funding and extended support to develop, test and implement a radical change project over 12 months. This will include:

  • two residentials built around the Transformers Toolkit of Leading Self and Impacting Others
  • a Myers Briggs Type Index (MBTI) Assessment to support self-awareness and critical reflection
  • a chance to pitch for micro funding of £2,500 for professional development and/or project implementation
  • a project coach for the duration of the programme.

Application deadline: midday 27 January 2017

In order to apply for Transformers: Innovate you will need to have a Vimeo link to a short video presentation and the name and contact details of a senior member of staff or board member who will provide a supporting statement for you. Please ensure you have these in place before you complete the application form.

Download the application guidelines

Apply for Transformers: Innovate online

If you are providing a supporting statement for a prospective participant of the Innovate programme, please submit your statement online here:

Submit a supporting statement

Transformers: Influence
Transformers: Influence is for change agents who believe in the social power of museums. Three energising days, developed in partnership with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, will bring together people from across the UK to share knowledge, make new connections and be inspired to make change happen.

Transformers: Influence is open to applicants from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland and is open to freelancers.

The Influence cohort will attend two intensive learning days with content drawn from the Transformers Toolkit of Leading Self and Impacting Others and the successful Our Museum programme resources. The programme will culminate in a Festival of Change – a large collective gathering where experiences and outcomes can be shared through pop-up stands, inspiring keynotes from participants, their community partners and other stakeholders, workshops and connecting conversations. 

Transformers: Influence will provide support for around 130 mid-career practitioners.

Application deadline: midday 28 February 2017

Transformers: Influence has a fee of £100 per participant. Successful applicants will be sent an invoice for the fee. This fee includes your Museums Association membership for one year (existing members will have their current membership extended by 12 months), and attendance at the programme events, which includes participation in the one day Festival of Change event at the Museums Association Annual Conference. 

Download the application guidelines

Apply for Transformers: Influence online

Transformers: Diversify

Transformers: Diversify will provide fully funded support for 24 mid-career practitioners and requires between 7.5 and 9.5 days of contact time.

Transformers: Diversify is for people who believe that museums cannot achieve their objectives unless they are founded on equality, diversity and inclusion – and who want to stimulate this through their own practice.

Transformers: Diversify is open to applicants from England, Wales and Scotland and freelancers.

Transformers: Diversify includes a residential event, which draws upon the core Transformers Toolkit of Leading Self and Impacting Others with an enhanced emphasis on the issues and challenges of supporting diversity and inclusion in practice, including issues of multiple identities and intersectionality and the use of digital tools for creativity, inclusion and development.  

By pooling ideas and working in small teams, participants will develop and deliver ideas, initiatives and/or experiences on the theme of “What if…?”  The resource will encourage innovative thinking to explore, experiment with and challenge convention in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion in museums. The cohort will work collectively to determine priority areas and the most innovative responses to create lasting change.

There will be the chance to pitch for micro-funding to realise your ideas for change – this might be a change-making project or personal development which contributes to new ways of working, or a mixture of both.

Application deadline: midday 28 February 2017

In order to apply for Transformers: Diversify you will need to have a Vimeo link to a short video presentation. Please ensure you have this in place before you complete the application form.

Download the application guidelines

Apply for Transformers: Diversify online

What’s next?

Once you have submitted your application form you may be contacted by the MA with any queries, or if we feel that one of the other strands would be better suited to you.

For Transformers: Innovate you will hear by 13 February 2017, for Transformers: Influence and Transformers: Diversify you will hear by 27 March 2017.

If you need any of this information in an alternative format or you have any queries, contact Katy Swift, Transformers Project Coordinator,

Funded by: