The Arts Council supports the development of knowledge and expertise associated with specialist collections and their contribution to public engagement, education and enjoyment via the Subject Specialist Network programme.

There are approximately 40 recognised networks presently which revolve around a subject specialism and are drawn from established professional membership bodies, or less defined networks of museums.

The strength of Subject Specialist Networks lies in their place to act as a democratic forum for the sharing of expertise, research, mentoring and developing best practice, as well as the ability to be self-perpetuating. Every Subject specialist network is expected to maintain an accessible platform for exchange.

Many other types of networks and groups exist, and these tend to focus on generic topics such as learning and education, or broad museum activities, eg registrars, conservation, security. These are outside of the Subject Specialist Network remit, but often enjoy mutually supportive relationships with Subject Specialist Networks.

Apply the the Museum resilience fund, 2015-18

We are inviting applications from Subject specialist networks as part of the Museum resilience fund 2015-18. Applications for the first round of the Museum resilience fund must be made by 5pm on 6 November 2014.

Find out more information on how to apply.

About the Museum resilience fund

The Museum resilience fund addresses the priorities set out in our mission Great art and culture for everyone, in particular priorities linked to Goals 3 (resilience and sustainability) and 4 (diversity), and aims to support a step change for the museums sector by enabling museums to become more sustainable and resilient businesses.

The programme will complement our investment in Major partner museums, the Museums development fund and other national programmes. It will focus on any gaps (geographical or otherwise) or development opportunities across the sector, recognising that excellence and the potential for excellence can be found in museums of all sizes.