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Take part in Being Human 2024!

The call for applications for this year’s national festival of the humanities, taking place 7–16 November, is now live. Funding grants are available!

Calling all humanities researchers! Apply to hold a public engagement event as part of this year’s Being Human Festival. 

Being Human is the UK’s national festival of the humanities. Each year we invite humanities researchers and staff from universities and research organisations around the UK and beyond to take part the festival by organising a public engagement event or activity. This year’s festival will take place 7–16 November, with the theme ‘Landmarks’, honouring the festival’s 10th anniversary. 

Innovating public engagement 

At the festival we encourage researchers to move away from lectures and seminar-style events and instead look to champion innovative, participatory and creative activities that foster two-way connections between researchers and non-specialist audiences and communities. Researchers are also encouraged to move off campus and bring activities to venues and locations in their local communities. 

Over the last 10 years we have supported an array of ambitious and creative events including a car show, museum lates, comedy nights, immersive theatre productions, a circus show, life-sized board games, escape rooms, live music, a research cabaret, pottery workshops, street parades, beach walks, bus tours and much more! 

We’re keen to support public engagement projects which integrate aspects of co-production and encourage researchers to establish mutually beneficial partnerships and collaborations with community and cultural partners – including organisations like charities, local businesses, schools, freelance creatives, and arts organisations. 

Why take part? 

Organising a public engagement activity can be challenging, but festival organisers typically find the process rewarding. There are lots of benefits to taking part. In the past, many organisers have found that organising an event for the festival has acted as a catalyst to get a project up and running which wouldn’t otherwise have happened. Previous organisers have also found that participating in the festival has helped to kickstart work with new community and cultural partners and has helped them to develop and nurture existing relationships. The festival is a great way to raise visibility of your research, both nationally and within your own institution.  

We believe that just being a part of the whole festival process provides a framework for developing key skills around planning, marketing and promotion and delivering engagement events. All festival organisers will receive public engagement advice and support from the festival team. 

How to apply 

You can organise an activity to take place as part of the festival, with or without funding from us. The festival is looking to support high quality, innovative and ambitious public engagement events, and all activities need to involve a professional humanities researcher in both their planning and delivery. 

There are two types of funding grants on offer to enable activities to take place as part of the festival. Applicants based at UK Higher Education Institutions and AHRC-recognised Independent Research Organisations are eligible to apply for this funding. 

  • Institutional grants: £4,000-£8,000 to coordinate and deliver a Festival Hub  

  • Festival Event grants: £4,000 to run a single event or multiple events as part of the festival 

The deadline for Institutional grants and Festival Event grants is Friday 12 April. The deadline to apply to organise an event without funding from the festival, via the Festival Event pathway, is Friday 7 June. 

Please visit the 'Get Involved' page to find out more about the different application pathways, eligibility and priorities for funding. 

If you are based outside of the UK and are interested in getting involved in the festival, please email us at You can find out more about our international work on our website

Header image credit: 'Dinosaur Bones Poetry & Zines' led by Canterbury Christ Church University. Photo: Pete Bateson.


Take part in Being Human Festival 2024

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