Mindsets + Missions for Museums and Science Centres of the Future - Museums Association

Mindsets + Missions for Museums and Science Centres of the Future

45 places awarded to museums, science and discovery centres, and changemaker individuals across the UK on new learning and grants programme for 2023

Mindsets + Missions is a new learning and grants programme, funded by UK Research and Innovation, which supports museums and science centres to engage underrepresented groups with knowledge, research and innovation.

For the first phase between March and April 2023, the programme will be led by The Liminal Space and bring together a cohort of organisations, creative practitioners, researchers, and experts by lived and learned experience to stimulate collaboration and peer learning. Cohort members bring expertise across cultural, heritage, creative and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) learning and engagement.

Together they will explore the missions that drive this work and the mindsets that go towards achieving their shared aims. Development funding and stipends will support the involvement of each of the participating organisations and individuals.  

Alongside 15 Changemakers, the 30 selected organisations are: 

  1. Aberdeen Science Centre 
  2. Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales 
  3. Armagh Observatory 
  4. Birmingham Museums Trust  
  5. Centre for Alternative Technology 
  6. Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service 
  7. Discovering42 
  8. Durham University 
  9. Dynamic Earth 
  10. Exeter Science Centre 
  11. Fitzwilliam Museum 
  12. Kielder Observatory 
  13. Kirkcudbright Dark Space Planetarium
  14. Live Borders 
  15. Manchester Museum 
  16. Museums Worcestershire 
  17. National Museums NI
  18. National Space Centre 
  19. National Windrush Museum 
  20. Queer Britain 
  21. REME Museum 
  22. Science and Industry Museum 
  23. Scottish Seabird Centre 
  24. Tall Ship Glenlee Trust 
  25. The Mixed Museum 
  26. Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
  27. We The Curious 
  28. Wonderseekers – Winchester Science Centre 
  29. Xplore! Science Discovery Centre 
  30. York Museums Trust 

Using the concept of “future citizens”, the cohort will consider strategies to enable people who bring diverse and plural perspectives to engage with, influence and participate in the development of the knowledge, research and innovation that our future societies will be built on.

“Museums and science centres play an important role in inspiring the next generation of researchers and innovators, whether it’s future vaccine researchers or future historians. But we know that opportunities to engage with research and innovation through museums and science centres aren’t open to all. We are excited to be working with this cohort of individuals and organisations to explore how we can better connect underrepresented groups with research and innovation.” 

Tom Saunders, head of public engagement, UKRI

Mindsets + Missions presents an opportunity to combine experimentation with an element of ambition. The programme will support work that is boundary pushing within its context and created in a way that promotes learning from the experience across sectors. The learning programme will help practitioners and policymakers to better understand how museums and science centres can engage underrepresented communities with research and innovation.

Phase 2 of the programme, launching later in the year, will push this learning further. Participating organisations will be able to apply for grants to support projects which embody the collaborative, knowledge sharing, and innovative approaches to working with diverse audiences explored by the cohort.

The programme builds on a rich foundation of research and experience: the Mindsets for Museums of the Future report; Science and Discovery Centre Futures: Missions and Opportunities report; the Bold Futures programme; Inspiring Science Fund; Museums Change Lives; Digital Innovation and Engagement grants across Museums and Science Centres; Explore Your Universe; and more.

Mindsets + Missions is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). It is a key part of UKRI’s mission to break down the barriers between research, innovation and society. UKRI is providing a total of £750,000 for this programme, which is being delivered by a partnership of the Museums Association, The Liminal Space and the Association for Science and Discovery Centres

Mindsets + Missions, UKRI, ASDC, the Liminal Space, Museums Association