AHRC Curiosity Award

AHRC Curiosity Award

How to apply through Bristol

If you are interested in applying for a Curiosity Award, to be held in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Bristol, please get in touch with the relevant School Research Director. They will be able to advise you on the internal Grants Review Process (to note, this requires a near final draft be submitted a minimum of 4 weeks before the external deadline) and on any School support available. Please also contact the Research Development Associates who support our Faculty and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law: rda-sslarts@bristol.ac.uk

Aim of the award

These are flexible awards to fund fundamental research that leads to new research agendas, networking activity and idea generation, which enables the development of further research opportunities and new research agendas.

Applications are welcomed from teams, networks and solo researchers.

Projects can be single discipline, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary. The majority of the disciplinary focus of the project must fall within our subject remit; see section 7 of the AHRC Research Funding Guide for our remit coverage. Practice-based and practice-led research is supported by this funding opportunity.

Partnerships and collaboration are supported. Where partnerships are already established, you should outline how this funding supports novelty in your collaboration. Applications should articulate how collaborative activity will be conducted, considering good practice in creating equitable partnerships. Further guidance is available in the UKRI Good research resource hub.

The funding opportunity is intentionally flexible. An indicative list of examples of the activities we will fund are provided as follows. You are encouraged to request and justify costs for activities that best meet the aims of your project. This may include:

  • idea generation
  • seed corn funding
  • high risk and high potential concepts
  • novel research
  • networking activity
  • partnership building
  • knowledge exchange
  • public engagement
  • international collaboration
  • scoping and piloting, for example, early-stage proof of concept for ideas or change of direction
  • pivots in research focus at any career stage
  • mentoring for members of the research team

Note: this is not a prescriptive or exhaustive list.


  • Employment - project lead and co-leads must
    • be employed and supported by an eligible organisation for at least the duration of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) support;
    • it is not a requirement that a contract be in place at the point of application submission.
    • It is also not a requirement to have a permanent employment contract to apply for funding.
  • Project co-leads are permitted and encouraged for interdisciplinary applications or where a co-lead would provide specific technical expertise that is essential to the project. This can include international co-leads as per the following guidance
  • No specific qualification requirements, but you must have the appropriate skills to lead the project
  • For full details of eligibility requirements, please see the funding call page

Level of grant and tenure

Awards are available for projects up to £100,000 full economic cost (FEC) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) will fund 80% of this. Funding is available for projects up to five years in duration.


As AHRC transition from using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system, to the Funding Service (TFS) they will launch consecutive rounds with defined opening and closing dates – please check the AHRC Curiosity Award funding page for more details: https://www.ukri.org/opportunity/ahrc-responsive-mode-curiosity-award/

Please note, when applying through Faculty of Arts, you will need to go through the Grants Review Process which requires a near final application to be submitted a minimum of 4 weeks in advance.

School Research Directors

School Directors of Research:

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