How to… co-commission research

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How to… co-commission research

Two women in a park drawing on a map on a table
© What Makes Gipton? A project by artist Andy Abbott commissioned by the East Leeds Project. Photo: Jules Lister

By Kerry Harker


Have you ever wanted to do research but didn’t have either the resources or expertise to do it alone? If the answer is yes, this guide might be what you’re looking for.

It is aimed at those working in the cultural sector, who don't necessarily have experience of research projects. It provides practical information and reflective questions, based on real-life experiences, that will help you develop a research project with partners.

Drawing on a collaborative research partnership, between visual arts organisation the East Leeds Project and architectural practice Bauman Lyons, this guide shares some of our learning and recommendations before signposting you to some additional resources.

Even if your plans are big a small-scale collaborative project is a good way to test the waters and get a feel for how the partners work together, before seeking funding and committing to a larger and more complex project.

Before beginning your own research project, think carefully about which partners to approach. Collaborative research works best when the partners are a good fit and have shared vision and values. If you set out on the right foot, co-commissioning research will be the beginning of a rewarding new collaborative journey.

Published: 2020
Resource type: Guide/tools