Current research and news

Information about all of RCMG's current research projects and events can be found below. Past RCMG research projects can be found in the Research Archive.



The New Museum School Advanced Programme 2021-2023

The School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester is delighted to be working in partnership with Culture& on the New Museum School Advanced Programme, a new initiative to foster inclusive transformation in the museums, arts and heritage sector. The partnership brings together Culture&’s track record in nurturing diverse talent through sector collaborations with Leicester’s experience of supporting creative and critical thinking amongst museums, arts and heritage practitioners and a long-standing commitment to positive action.

Find out more about the partnership in the new 2021-2023 programme: The New Museum School Advanced Programme 2021-2023 (PDF, 4.03MB). The new deadline for organisations interested in joining this initiative is Friday 29 January 2021.

12 young people posing for a picture under an arch of a white building. They are holding bright blue tote bags with Culture& logo on them.

The National Trust

RCMG has worked closely with the National Trust on a suite of socially engaged projects since 2016.

The Queer Heritage and Collections Network

RCMG is delighted to be one of the founding members of the Queer Heritage and Collections Network alongside the National Trust, English Heritage, Historic England and Historic Royal Palaces.  The Network, supported by a grant from The Art Fund will provide peer support for people in the UK working with LGBTQ+ collections and histories.

Find out more about the project and its outcomes: Download (PDF, 383KB)


In September 2019, Taiwan’s National Human Rights Museum launched The Federation of International Human Rights Museums AsiaPacific (FIHRM-AP), dedicating itself to becoming not only a bridge that brings together museums, cultural institutions, and organizations who are interested in human rights but also a platform through which these organisations can work together to support the advancement of rights in the Asia-Pacific region. The Project is led by University of Leicester Museum Studies alumna, assistant professor of Fu Jen Catholic University Museum Studies, Dr Lin, Wen-Ling and supported by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) at the University of Leicester, UK as its international partner.

As a first step towards building a hub through which human rights advocates can collaborate, FIHRM-AP has started the ‘Asia-Pacific Human Rights Cultural Institutions Resource Directory Research Project’, inviting museums and institutions with an ambition to advance human rights to collaborate and grow as a community. 


Designing for Creative Lives – September 2020

Suzanne MacLeod’s newly released volume Museums and Design for Creative Lives (Routledge 2020) draws on and feeds into an array of RCMG projects. The book questions what we sacrifice when we allow economic imperatives to shape public museums, whilst also considering the implications of these new museum realities. It also asks: how might we instead design for creative lives?

Drawing together 28 case studies of museum design spanning 70 years, the book explores the spatial and social forms that comprise these successful examples, as well as the design methodologies through which they were produced. Re-activating a well-trodden history of progressive museum design and raising awareness of the involvement of the built forms in how we feel, think and act, MacLeod provides strategies and methods to actively counter the economisation of museums and a call to museum makers to work beyond the economic and advance this deeply human history of museum making.

Museums and Design for Creative Lives will be of great interest to academics and students in museum studies, gallery studies, heritage studies, arts management, communication and architecture and design departments, as well as those interested in understanding more about design as a resource in museums. The book provides a valuable resource for museum leaders and practitioners.

The Activist Museum Award – September 2020

RCMG has now announced the second round of the Activist Museum Award. This award is for an individual or group working in/with museums to support the research and development of an activist project that reflects the ideas presented by Robert R. Janes and Richard Sandell in their recent book, Museum Activism (Routledge, 2019). The Activist Museum Award is the vision of Robert R. Janes in recognition of the pioneering work of Richard Sandell in the field of museums and social justice. It is intended to encourage, inspire and support similarly activist museum work throughout the UK museum community and the world.

Find out how to apply.

Foodbank Support Initiative - August 2020

Building on HumanKind – a collaboration between the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries and Calke Abbey – the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries was planning a large scale food collection during June 2020, inviting staff and students to give help to the Leicester South Foodbank who support the 1 in 5 of the UK population who live in poverty.

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of the University campus it is no longer possible to collect food donations as planned.  At the same time, South Leicester Foodbank is experiencing a 300% increase in demand.

To support the foodbank at this critical time, RCMG is inviting students and staff to consider ways to support their local foodbank.