Research Fund Guidance

Purpose, criteria and application guidance for the archives and recordsassociation research, development and advocacy fund

1.         Purpose

The Archives and Records Association maintains reserves invested for the purpose of commissioning and supporting research, development and advocacy projects involving the creation, use, administration and conservation of archives and records and the means of developing the education of archivists, records managers and conservators, and articulating and advocating the unique identity, role and contribution of records and archives, as defined by its charitable objects. These designated funds constitute the Archives and Records Association Research, Development and Advocacy Fund. The Association’s Honorary Officers make grants from this Fund, on behalf of the Archives and Records Association Board.

The Fund is intended to support research and other projects that seek to:

  • improve and widen education, training and continuing professional development in the archives domain
  • develop and disseminate guidance on standards for archive-related procedures and policy
  • investigate and develop technical methodology for administering, preserving and making archives accessible
  • gather and disseminate information on archives and archive-related operations
  • advocates to stakeholders, policy makers and the public the importance of the preservation and provision of appropriate access to records and archives

See appendix I for examples of eligible projects.

2.         Timetable for Grant Applications

The following timetable for grant applications will be observed:

  1. i.the Association’s four elected Honorary Officers will consider applications; there are no deadline dates for applications
  2. ii.there is no commitment to consider an application at any specific meeting, although applications will be considered as soon after receipt as business allows
  3. iii.the amount of money available for grants varies annually dependent on the performance of the invested reserves

3.         Eligibility Criteria

Applications for grants will be considered eligible which:

  1. i.fall within the stated purpose of the Fund as described in 1. above.
  2. ii.are received from public and charitable organisations, alone or in collaboration


  1. iii.are received from Association Groups, Regions or Committees

In addition, the following terms apply:

  1. iv.applications will not be considered which come directly from individuals, but should be supported and presented by bodies (as in 3.ii. and iii. above)
  2. v.Archives and Records Association Board members (Trustees) must not have direct financial involvement in the use or receipt of any Research, Development and Advocacy Fund grants
  3. vi.applications will not be considered which come from trading companies and other solely commercial organisations without support from a charitable or public partner or established section of the Archives and Records Association
  4. vii.applications to pay salaries and expenses for existing staff will not be considered

4.         Extent and Administration of Grants

Grants will be awarded under the following terms:

  1. may be provided for up to 100% of a project’s costs for projects costing £3000 or less and up to 75% for all other projects
  2. ii.contributions in kind will be acceptable in the calculation of project costs
  3. the discretion of the Board of the Archives and Records Association, the Fund will support no fewer than two projects per annum
  4. iv.subject to circumstances, grants will normally be made by paying 50% of the award at the start of the project and 50% on completion and receipt of a satisfactory report
  5. v.the Archives and Records Association must be acknowledged visibly in all reference to and promotion of a project supported by its Research, Development and Advocacy Fund and in the publication of work completed with the Fund's support

5.         Grant Applications

Grant applications must be sent to the Secretary of the Research, Development and Advocacy Fund, in writing. The application must include the following:

  1. i.a summary of the project, including the amount of grant required from the Association
  2. ii.a detailed description of the project and its context
  3. iii.a description of the benefits of the project
  4. operational plan
  5. v.a budget plan, including other sources of income where appropriate

6.         Declaration of Interest

The Honorary Officers report directly to the Board of the Archives and Records Association for the purpose of the Fund. The Honorary Officers will observe the following stipulation:

  1. they will declare any involvement in or association with an application to the Fund and will step down from the sitting at which that bid is considered, declaring in sufficient time for the Board to nominate a substitute if necessary.

Individual Officers must not be lobbied to support projects. Applications should be sent directly to the Research Fund Secretary, Archives and Records Association, Prioryfield House, 20 Canon Street, Taunton TA1 1SW or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Appendix I

Examples of projects that would meet the Fund criteria might include:

  • desk, field or laboratory research into the nature of archive collections and materials, their documentation and analysis, leading to a publishable document of interest to the profession and/or the public
  • gathering of statistics and data analysis of workforce, workplaces and practices, leading to a publishable information source for the domain
  • consultation with professionals and/or the public to establish new ways of providing functions or services
  • research, preparation and production of source material for a specialist event at which professionals and/or public can learn about aspects of archives, records or conservation
  • work to develop new training or professional development initiatives or resources
  • the development and publication of standards      

Publication can be in both hard copy and electronic forms. The wider use of web-based publishing will be encouraged.