Being Human Festival returns 9–18 November 2023 with the theme Rhyme or Reason.
Being Human is the UK’s national festival of the humanities, a celebration of humanities research through public engagement. Led by the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, the UK’s national centre for the pursuit, support and promotion of research in the humanities. The festival works in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy to support humanities public engagement across the UK.
About the festival
Each November, Being Human Festival presents hundreds of free events across the UK and beyond. Festival events aim to celebrate and demonstrate the ways in which the humanities inspire and enrich our everyday lives, help us to understand ourselves, our relationships with others, and the challenges we face in a changing world
The festival aims to:
- demonstrate the value and relevance of humanities research to society in the UK and globally;
- encourage, support and create opportunities for researchers to engage with non-specialist audiences;
- embed and join together public engagement activities in the humanities across the higher education sector.
Every year, humanities researchers and other staff from universities and research organisations are invited to apply to take part in the festival by organising a public engagement event, activity or project.
If you’re interested in taking part, please read through the Being Human 2023 – Application Guidelines
The Open Call – organise an activity that does not require funding from us. Submit your Open Call application online by 5pm, Friday 23 June 2023.
A Being Human Café is a simple, off-the-shelf activity that does not require funding from us. Submit your Being Human Café application online by 5pm, Friday 25 August 2023.
Applying to Being Human 2023
Find out more about applying to the festival by watching the recording of ‘Applying to Being Human 2023’ webinar that took place on Wednesday 29 March. Before putting together your application, please ensure you refer to the relevant further information document, case studies, planning toolkits and FAQs.
This funding is subject to the same internal processes as external research funding. Before applying, interested PIs (Principle Investigators) should submit a completed e-ITB form (Intention to Bid) by 4 weeks before each deadline.
New online application process
All applications must now be submitted via the online system Survey Monkey Apply. Please follow the step-by-step instructions on how to set up your account and submit an application. Application form templates have been provided to assist with preparing answers for submitting online.
If you have any questions about applying to the festival that are not answered in the FAQs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like advice on developing ideas or submitting your application, please contact Adam Morris (Engagement Officer) email@example.com
This free online masterclass will explore how best to promote your public engagement activity so that it reaches your intended audience and has the maximum impact. It will also cover ideas for generating local and national media around your research and event.
Led by the Being Human Festival team, Dr Michael Eades will share tips on promotion, communication and reaching intended audiences, while Professor Sarah Churchwell will discuss ways to make academic research converge with the media agenda. Organisers from last year’s festival will also give flash talks that provide helpful insights and tips from their Being Human events, which included hosting popular activities for families and local communities.
Throughout there will be opportunities to get involved in the conversation and ask questions. Attendees will also be emailed a masterclass pack full of helpful information and toolkits on the topic.
Although this event is aimed at those taking part in this year’s Being Human festival, it may also be of interest to those generally thinking about public engagement in the humanities.
- Professor Sarah Churchwell is the director of the Being Human festival. A prominent advocate for literature and the humanities, Sarah appears regularly in the media and writes for both academic and non-academic audiences.
- Dr Michael Eades is manager and curator of the Being Human festival. He has also run numerous public engagement initiatives such as ‘Bloomsbury Festival in a Box’ which engaged socially isolated people with dementia.
- Dr Misha Ewen is a Hallsworth Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. She ran a popular family history workshop for the 2019 festival entitled ‘Discovering Caribbean Family Memories’, which featured in the Manchester Evening News.
- Dr Elaine Canning is Head of Cultural Engagement and Development at Swansea University and has led several successful Being Human festival hub programmes, including their 2019 family-friendly programme of activities that included museum takeovers, plays and a big book treasure hunt.
Joining the event:
This event is free, but booking is required. It will be held online with details about how to join the virtual meet-up being circulated via email to registered attendees. The masterclass will begin at 11:00am, but you will be able to join the event’s online waiting room from 10:30am.
The deadline for applications for the Being Human Festival 2020 has been extended due to the the ongoing health crisis.
Applicants are being encouraged to think through contingency versions of their events.
Being Human is the UK’s only national festival of the humanities. A celebration of humanities research through public engagement, it is led by the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, the UK’s national centre for the pursuit, support and promotion of research in the humanities, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.
Application deadline extended
The intention is still for the festival to go ahead as planned on 12-22 November. As everyone is having to adapt rapidly to entirely new circumstances, the organisers are extending the deadline for funding grants and will continue to monitor the situation.
- ‘Small Award’ and ‘Hub Award’ deadline Friday 29 May 5pm
- ‘Open Call’ deadline (unchanged) Friday 12 June 5pm
Find out more about how to apply here;
Although the hope is that by November people will be enjoying the chance to come together at live events again, we all recognise how fluid and unpredictable this crisis is. With that in mind, festival applicants are being encouraged to consider contingency planning.
How might events and activities work in a social distancing context should any restrictions remain in place? Could a performance be live-streamed, or a pub quiz take place via Zoom? Or perhaps consider a tea and talk in a space that enables physical distancing?
Thinking through a ‘plan b’ version of your event will ensure that successful applications can go forward in November even if social distancing measures of some form continue.
More details about how to apply can be found here
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like advice on developing ideas or submitting your application, please contact Adam Morris (BU Engagement Officer) email@example.com
Being Human festival 2019
A reminder that the Being Human festival is now inviting applications for 2019.
The sixth annual Being Human festival will run 14-23 November 2019. Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy, Being Human Is the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, and is one of the largest national platforms for public engagement with humanities research.
This year the festival theme is ‘Discoveries & Secrets’. This could involve anything from art historians uncovering painted-over masterpieces, archaeologists excavating ancient burial sites, historians making discoveries in archives, literary scholars discovering lost texts. More broadly it could include uncovering secret histories, or making new discoveries about seemingly familiar people, places, communities – the possibilities are endless. As ever the overarching aim of the festival is to take research in the humanities and share it in creative, fun and engaging ways with non-specialist audiences.
There are three main pathways to getting involved:
- ‘Small Awards‘: apply to Being Human for funding of up to £1,500 to enable activities.
- ‘Hub Awards‘: apply for a larger grant of £2,000- £4,000 to coordinate multiple activities as a Festival Hub. (Only a small number of these awards are made every year)
- ‘Open Call‘: organise an activity that does not require funding.
Further details, and answers to some Frequently Asked Questions are available on the Being Human website. The hashtag on Twitter is #BeingHuman19
The deadline for applications for funding is 5pm Monday 8 April.
If you would like some advice on developing ideas, feel free to contact Adam Morris (Engagement Officer).
BU Humanisation Conference 21st June 2016
Venue: Room EB708, Executive Business Centre, 89 Holdenhurst Road, BH8 8EB
Please find the Programme for the Humanisation conference on the 21st June 2016 attached.
Please feel free to pass the information on to others internal and external to the university (academic and practice) who you feel may be interested
The conference is being run at no cost and so you need to make your own arrangements for lunch. Let Dr. Caroline Ellis-Hill ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) know by the 15th June if you wish to attend .
If you only want to attend for part of the day, please state which part of the day you’d like to attend.
||Dr Caroline Ellis-Hill
||Humanisation of the BU Generic Student Assessment Criteria.
||Dr Sean Beer
||Perceptions of the authenticity of food: a study of residents in Dorset (UK)
||Prof Ann Hemingway
||Innovative routes to Wellbeing: Equine Assisted interventions
||Sharing human concerns: utilising an embodied interpretative approach to convey findings from a descriptive phenomenological study
||Dr Carole Pound
||Humanising care: translating theory into practice in stroke care
||Rutherford and Dr. Emer Forde
||The Rutherford Introspective Photography: Promoting self-reflection and wellbeing of GP trainees through photography.
||Free time Please see information about local venues for lunch
||Dr Vanessa Heaslip
||How phenomenology enables insight into the Human lives of Gypsy Roma Travellers’
||Experiencing the Humanisation Framework together
||Dr Jan Mosja
||Chaplaincy at the bedside. Learning from Buddhist chaplains and their contributions to the humanisation of health care.
||Humanising and the Care Act well-being principle
||Dr Mary Grant and Dr Catherine Lamont Robinson
||HeART of Stroke: feasibility study of an Art & Health intervention following a stroke
||Thanks, Tea and Close
The UK’s first national festival of the humanities has been announced! Taking place between the 15th and 23rd November 2014, the ‘Being Human’ event aims to engage the public with the best humanities research in the UK. Funding is available to facilitate participation, with money available to host an event including room and equipment hire, consumables and travel. Events which could be supported include workshops, exhibitions and installations, performances, film screenings, virtual or hands-on activities, hackathons and debates; this list is not exhaustive so be inventive! More information is available at http://www.sas.ac.uk/support-research/being-human-festival and the deadline for funding applications is 14 March 2014.