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Young people research project

A five-week, paid project exploring social justice in museums

Manchester Museum would like to invite five young people, aged 18 – 25, who are interested in museums and in social justice, to engage in a five-week, paid research and development project. The research and development opportunity aims to explore how the museum can best work with young people on a longer term project, which will aim to support young people’s development and engagement within arts and cultural institutions.

The project is specifically aimed at young people who can experience additional barriers to accessing arts and cultural institutions, including young people of colour, young people with migrant backgrounds, disabled young people and working-class young people.


What will the five weeks include?

Led by the Social Justice Manager at Manchester Museum, the sessions will include games and discussion based activities, exploring the museum and its collections, some peer-peer research, and a guest speaker session from an industry expert. All sessions will also include a half an hour chilled space where participants eat dinner together.

What do we mean by Arts and Culture?

Arts and Culture can include: crafts, dance, design, digital arts and media, film, literature (including creative writing and poetry), music, opera, photography, theatre, the visual arts, and cross-arts practices. As a museum, we work with artists and use various forms of art as a tool in our work with visitors and communities.


What do we mean by social justice?

Simply, social justice means equal rights, resources, access and opportunities for all. Our Social Justice Group use the following definition, which was created mixing staff inputs and external definitions:

Social Justice is an ongoing process that takes commitment, care, empathy and humility; a process which seeks to recognise, with transparency, past and current injustices, and actively works to redress these through:

  • equitable redistribution of resources, opportunities and responsibilities;
  • centering the experiences and needs of marginalised people;
  • acknowledging and dismantling the roots of oppression and injustice;
  • building solidarity and capacity for collaborative action, to build a fair society for all.


What happens after the five weeks?

Manchester Museum aims to work with young people on a longer term project to support access and participation within museums and the arts and cultural sector. This five-week research and development period will help us identify ways young people want to work with us, to help us shape our funding bid for longer term work, and the content of this young people’s programme.

Following the R&D project, all participants on the project will be invited to curator led sessions in 2024, supporting a deeper exploration and understanding of Manchester Museum collections of interest and behind the scenes on the Museum’s workings.

Should we get through to the 2nd round of the funding phase, there will be another paid opportunity for the group to help us write the funding bid and accompany us to the interview with the funders.


When will the sessions take place?

At Manchester Museum, Wednesday evenings, 6-8.45pm on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 8 November
  • Wednesday 15 November
  • Wednesday 22 November
  • Wednesday 28 November
  • Wednesday 6 December


Will you be paid?

You will be paid £40 per session. This payment will be made at the end of the five weeks. If you are unable to earn money in the UK, this payment can be made through vouchers of your choice.


How to apply

To apply, you can download the application form here. There are three questions we would like you to answer, either written on the application form or via audio file. The questions are:

  • Tell us about your interest / relationship with museums
    (e.g. do you visit often? things you do/don’t like about them, a memorable experience – you might not have engaged much with museums before, that’s valid too, you can tell us more about why here)


  • What does Social Justice mean to you?
    (is there a social injustice that you are passionate about fighting against? Have you been involved with and/or impacted by social injustice movements that you can tell us a little about? – please share what you are comfortable with sharing, we encourage you not to share experiences that might cause you upset or distress to remember and share with us)


  • What would you like to get out of engaging with a project like this?
    (this could include things you’d personally like to take away from the project and/or the impact you’d like to make for others)


Application deadline: midnight on Wednesday 25 October 2023.

Apply now