Event information



Are you a group of creative practitioners who value community and socially engaged practice? Do you enjoy interacting with a diverse range of people? And engaging them with big issues in fun and creative ways that are meaningful to them?

About the project

Building on a range of previous work from across the University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) consortium, we are looking to commission an interactive Pop-Up Museum to engage with a range of audiences in community settings across Cambridge city, and Cambridgeshire. We are committed to finding ways to take the Museums and their collections out into the community in exciting and inventive ways.

We'd like the Our Planet Pop-Up Museum to be interactive, giving visitors to the pop-up the opportunity to handle objects and take part in activities. The Pop-Up Museum will travel to various community settings across the city and region (to be agreed), during August-October 2024, promoting the UCM and encouraging participants to make a visit to the Museums and Garden (where appropriate). The organisation will be expected to deliver for the equivalent of 10 full days with a minimum of 50 hours face-to-face delivery.

The Pop-Up Museum needs to be able to engage a diverse range of audiences, including adults, children and young people, and intergenerational groups. It is expected that the interaction with audiences and the Pop-up Museum will be coincidental (rather than planned/pre-booked) and last between 5-30 minutes.

The Pop-Up Museum should:
  • Involve replica objects inspired by the UCM collections.
  • Be eye-catching with an element of spectacle.
  • Involve a way to collect audiences’ thoughts/feelings on the theme beyond the collections.
  • Be created with sustainability in mind, including plans for responsible disposal.
  • Be created to be transported, put-up, and packed away in a variety of community settings including outside summer festivals and inside small libraries.
  • Be inclusive and ensure it is accessible to our audiences.
  • Be hopeful, but thought-provoking in response to the theme.
About the theme

The theme, Our Planet, is defined by the UCM Collections in Action programme as ‘Exploring environmental change, biodiversity loss and unsustainable living’ and reflects the range of responses our collections can elicit to this increasingly crucial, divisive, era-defining issue. We are interested in conveying the following ideas:

  • Exploration and curiosity about the natural environment can create a sense of awe and wonder, and nurture appreciation for our planet.
  • Many of our ecosystems have resilience and can adapt to and recover from threats to their existence with our help. 
  • Small changes can make a difference. You can make those changes in your local community and see their impact on your doorstep.

We are looking for a response inspired by at least two of the following UCM collections: Cambridge University Botanic Garden, the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, and the Museum of Zoology.

We will be running a workshop for shortlisted applicants to meet staff from these collections, where they will introduce research, objects/specimens and ideas related to these themes to explore in developing your final proposal.


We expect that the fee will be up to £7,700. The successful applicant will receive a fee of approx. £3,200 for 10 days (70 hours) delivering the Pop-Up Museum, a budget of up to £2,500 for preparation, administration, meetings, travel and evaluation time, and a budget of up to £2,000 for production costs (including replenishment).

Application process

We will be inviting short expressions of interest until 9am on 19th April. Following this process, we will shortlist up to three successful applications to progress to the next stage.

Each application will receive a fee of £1,000 for this stage where they will be required to attend a two-hour workshop with UCM staff to further discuss themes and objects, develop a small project plan (including a provisional budget) before presenting their final idea to a panel.

  • Expression of interest deadline: Friday 19th April, by 9am
  • Shortlisted applicants notified by: Tuesday 23rd April
  • Workshop for shortlisted applicants: Tuesday 30th April
  • Final presentation of developed idea: Tuesday 18th June
  • Delivery timeframe: August-October 2024

We are open to submissions from creatives working in collaboration with other artists/ agencies/ groups with relevant experience and have some discretionary flexibility around the fee in response to submissions of this kind.

At UCM, we pledge to champion equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism and accessibility and welcome applications from all backgrounds.

How to apply

Please read the full Open Call Brief (PDF Document).

To express your interest, please complete our online expression of interest form.

You will be asked to provide us with:

  • A one-page A4 CV or resume for your creative organisation.
  • A 300-word proposal outlining how you might respond to the theme and University of Cambridge collections.
  • A 300-word statement about your experiences of creative community-focused installations and how you have captured audience’s thoughts/feelings.
  • Three examples of your arts practice and engagement work. Via annotated photographs or links.

For any informal queries regarding the process or themes, please contact Clemency Cooper via email: cafc2@cam.ac.uk