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Eligibility


Skills Bursaries are open to archivists and heritage professionals working with archival collections in England or Wales. We cannot fund organisations based in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or whose collections are held outside of the United Kingdom.

The programme is open to any individual working with a recognised archive collection. This principally includes employees, but may also include trustees or volunteers.

The programme is open to all public sector bodies, not-for-profit organisations including registered charities, and for-profit organisations including business archives.

We use the definition of an archive collection as given within the Archive Service Accreditation Scheme:

“Materials created or received by a person, family or organisation, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs and preserved because of the enduring value contained in them or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator, especially those materials maintained using the principles of provenance, original order and collective control; permanent records.”

 

Society of American Archivists

The purpose of the funding scheme is to support the development of the skills needed for future development of the archives sector, with a focus on resilience, digital transformation, environmental sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion. Therefore, we will not fund:

  • Core archival practice, e.g. the Master’s degree in Archives and Records Management or Level 7 Archives and Records Manager Apprenticeship
  • Other core business, management or IT skills, offered as part of organisational development programmes.

We welcome group and network applications – the award limit of £1000 is per person, and we will consider applications for group training and learning, provided this limit is not exceeded. For example, a group of five archivists could bid for a grant of £5000, to organise a shared training session.

We would not usually expect to fund any individual more than once in a financial year.

Timetable


The Skills Bursaries programme is a rolling fund, that is open at all times. To apply for funding, please complete an online application form.  

As the fund is designed to enable access to training that may be arranged at short notice, your grant will be reviewed by the Grants and Funding Office at The National Archives for eligibility, and then immediately shared with the panel. The panel will endeavour to make an assessment of each application within ten working days.

Finance and budgeting


Skills bursaries provide funding of up to £1000 per person, for archivists and heritage professionals in England and Wales to access skills development, mentoring, continuing professional development and training. All costs proposed in the application should be directly related to the above.

The purpose of the funding scheme is to support the development of the skills needed for future development of the archives sector, with a focus on resilience, digital transformation, environmental sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion. Therefore, we will not fund:

  • Core archival practice, e.g. the Master’s degree in Archives and Records Management or Level 7 Archives and Records Manager Apprenticeship
  • Other core business or IT skills, offered as part of organisational development programmes.

Each bursary is designed to enable access to skills, in whatever way is most suitable: eligible costs include the costs of training or conference attendance, along with any necessary travel or subsistence costs; or the cost of external trainers or consultants.

The programme cannot fund:

  • Overheads, full cost recovery or management fees
  • Salary of the applicant/bursary recipient
  • Costs incurred prior to the date of any award offer from The National Archives.

Match Funding

The programme can supply up to 100% of training costs, however we strongly encourage applicants to contribute from their own resources, where possible. This could be in the form of a cash contribution, confirmed funding from external sources or an in-kind contribution.

Please note that grants will only be paid to organisations, typically your employer – bursaries will not be paid to individuals directly.

Assessment process


Skills Bursaries have a one-stage application process, completed through an online form.

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Need
  • Impact on the archive
  • Knowledge sharing

For further guidance on our assessment criteria and guidance please see: Skills Bursaries – Assessment Guidance

Each application will be scored numerically against the criteria above, according to the following scale:

Score  Rating 
1  Poor 
2  Low 
3  Good 
4  Excellent 
5  Outstanding 

 

Applications are assessed by a panel of experts, from The National Archives. The panel members are:

Debbie Fearnley – Organisational Development Manager, The National Archives
Simon McKeon – Head of Collections and Audience Insight, The National Archives
James Heyworth-Taylor – Projects and Event Officer, The National Archives
Jack Stewart – FOI Centre Service Advisor, The National Archives
Jane Shillaker – Programme Officer (Accreditation), The National Archives