To be eligible for funding, you must meet the following criteria:

1. All Arts Council recognised Subject specialist networks are eligible to apply for the fund - see Appendix A of the Guidance document. These networks have been identified as supporting major collection areas. We will accept applications from network organisations or, in the case of networks which do not have a formally constituted organisation, on behalf of a network by an Accredited museum. National Museums are eligible to apply in this capacity.

2. We will consider applications from networks, or proposed networks, not included in the list at Appendix A, provided the following criteria have been met:

  • the network is themed around a particular collection type not covered by another network.
  • there is clear and robust evidence of the need for the network
  • there is satisfactory evidence of support from members or proposed members and their host institutions
  • an outline programme of activity for the year 2012/13, with evidence of ability to sustain the network beyond this funding year has been provided and
  • the application has been made as per the above guidelines, i.e.: through a formally constituted organisation or by an Accredited museum on the network's behalf.
  • In order to apply the Subject specialist network must be viable in the medium to long term. The network should have a solid membership base that reflects the spread of the appropriate specialist collections nationally. It should be able to demonstrate that its membership is not static and that new members are replacing those that leave.

4. National portfolio organisations or Renaissance Major partner museums applying to the Subject specialist network fund must demonstrate within the application how the proposed activity is additional to their National portfolio or Renaissance major grant funded activity. Grants will not be awarded for activity already included as part of already agreed National portfolio or Renaissance major partner grants. We will also cross-reference applications made by networks to ensure there is no other duplication with activity already funded by the Arts Council, for example through Grants for the Arts.

5. You must be able to make a contribution towards delivering our overall strategy for the sector as detailed in the five goals of Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone. It is expected that you will demonstrate a track record of delivery against at least one and preferably two of the five goals.

6. Applicants must be properly constituted as an organisation. We will fund organisations based in England but activity may span UK-wide work.

7. You must apply for an amount of funding between £1,000 and £10,000 for activity to take place prior to 31 March 2013.

8. Each network may only submit one application. We will not accept multiple bids for funding. However your application may include more than one proposed activity. If a museum is making an application on behalf of a network they may submit one application per network.

9. You may also wish to include activity run in partnership with another Subject specialist network as part of your bid. In this case you should have agreed the piece of work with the other network and be able to provide evidence. The activity should be included as part of one application only so you should decide how best to structure your bid accordingly, so that each network does not apply for the same activity.