Proposing a new research collaboration with the British Library

Two men and a woman (staff members of the Eccles Centre) discussing a book

We welcome proposals for collaboration and have significant experience of working with external research partners to attract joint funding from research councils and trusts. All proposals are reviewed internally to manage our capacity to deliver the highest-quality collaborative research, and to ensure that this leads to mutually beneficial outcomes.


The British Library has significant experience of working with external research partners to attract joint funding from research councils and trusts. We welcome proposals that promise to produce the highest-quality research and lead to mutually beneficial outcomes.

Our collections and areas of expertise are extremely wide-ranging and we collaborate on research across a diverse range of subjects and disciplines, from the humanities to data science and beyond.

Some examples of past and current collaborative research projects are available on our project pages.

Many of our staff have research profiles on our Experts pages.

To understand our structure and identify possible collaborators, you may also find it helpful to visit the Research Expertise page. 

Make a proposal

If you wish to collaborate with us, please complete our online form. Your proposal will be reviewed by the Research Development team and other relevant Library staff. 

Many collaborations will entail contributions and commitments from different teams within the Library, so it is important that we ensure that there is appropriate resource to proceed. For example, as well as curatorial expertise, a project might include experts in areas such as Learning, Digital Scholarship or Collections Metadata.

It is important that you contact us as at the earliest possible stage in the development of a new proposal, to allow sufficient time to consider your proposal, to help shape the development of the funding application, and to obtain internal approval. Typically, the following minimum timescales apply prior to submission* when approaching the Library about involvement in a funding bid:

  • Project Partner – five weeks
  • Co-Investigator – three months
  • Co-supervision of collaborative doctoral awards (CDAs) – one month 

Please note that these timescales are indicative only and more time may be needed depending on the complexity of the involvement from the Library.

* Including any internal deadline within your own institution or doctoral training consortium.

Special notice: on 26 January 2023AHRC announced that some its schemes are temporarily or permanently closing. As of Monday 13 February 2023, the  British LIbrary cannot consider any new aproposals to collaborate on AHRC bids with March 2023 submission. 

Research expertise

Our research, professional and methodological expertise covers all disciplines and spans traditional and digital scholarship in all its forms.

Projects and partnerships

We actively lead on and support research.