The Athenaeum Awards are open to all RCS staff members to fund small projects up to £3,000. The awards are intended to either help seed or fully fund projects, collaborations, or research led by RCS staff. There are two main types of Athenaeum Awards: the Research Award and the Knowledge Exchange Award, please read the guidelines carefully to decide which category your proposed project falls into.

The Athenaeum Awards are designed to fulfil two primary needs:

  • To make small amounts of funding available to staff to develop and broaden their research, art practice and entrepreneurial capacity;
  • To enhance the range of projects that will contribute to and benefit the Conservatoire’s Research and Knowledge Exchange profile.

You may also submit an Athenaeum Award to fund attendance at a Conference. Conference Applications are eligible if presenting a paper, chairing/participating in a panel, or leading a discussion or a workshop at the conference. If none of the above apply, you are not normally eligible for Athenaeum Award funding to attend this conference.  If applying for a Conference, please use the Conference Application form which can be found in the guidelines.

Athenaeum Award Oliver Searle dance collaboration with the Eunju Shin Dance Company South Korea

Photograph of Eunju Shin Dance Company in South Korea during a collaboration with Athenaeum Award Winner, Dr Oliver Searle .

If submitting a Research proposal, the outputs and objectives of the project must meet high standards of research significance, originality and academic rigour.

If submitting a Knowledge Exchange proposal, your outputs and objectives must reflect the Conservatoire’s Knowledge Exchange principles in that they involve external partners and/or are socially-meaningful and/or have commercial potential. In particular, this requires that project outcomes be of direct use and interest to those beyond Higher Education in a clearly defined way.

The funds may cover the following areas:

  • Achievable projects, already under development, that need a small amount of funding for completion, e.g. performance or recording of a newly written work, publication etc.
  • Kick starting new projects with new collaborative partners, including; individuals, micro companies, SMEs, arts and community organisations.
  • Write up time; allowing part-time or part-time hourly paid staff member the equivalent of up to 70 hours teaching time to finish up an ongoing piece of research for journal submission (full time staff members may not apply for time related costs).
  • Funding for participation, travel and subsistence costs towards conferences or performances.
  • Any other endeavour or project, including residencies, that have potential for a research or knowledge exchange output and outcome.

The Research & Knowledge Exchange hopes to encourage a greater agency from the staff base with an easy access funding route. It is also intended to capture projects early on and seed them, helping them grow into larger projects in the future. The awards offer the chance for added prestige to external funding applications, and successful recipients will be able to state that they have received an Athenaeum Award on future documentation.

Example Applications 

The Research & Knowledge Exchange have provided example applications for your reference. Please note that these applications are demonstrative but following the suggestions provided does not guarantee a successful application. Awards are limited by annual budgets and every round is highly competitive.

Click here to view an Example Application for a Knowledge Exchange project.

Click here to view an Example Application for a Research project.

Click here to view an Example Budget.


Athenaeum Awards are reviewed and chosen by the members of the Research & Knowledge Exchange Committee (RKEC). RKEC meets three times over the course of each academic year. The deadline for each round of awards is usually two weeks before the Committee Meeting.

Deadlines for the 2022-2023 Academic Year are as follows:

  • Monday 10 October 2022 at 17:00
  • Monday 23 January 2023 at 17:00
  • Monday 1 May 2023 at 17:00

Please ensure you have read all of the Guidelines and included ALL of the information before submitting an application.  Application forms can be found on the Guidelines.

Completed applications should be be uploaded here.

If you need any advice on your Award Application, the Research Team can provide mentoring and guidance. Please contact Ben Redman, Research Development Officer ( if you would like to be set up with a one-to-one session with a member of the team. Alternatively, you can attend a drop-in clinic which typically occur one or two weeks prior to the award deadline – details are circulated to staff in advance.