The Islamic Art and Material Culture SSN grants limited funding to professional groups, in order to develop their access and expertise on the material culture of the Islamic world. This funding is identified as two packages: Specialist Support Scheme (including the newly announced Calligraphy Support Scheme) and Study days Bursary Scheme.

Please click here if you would like to be notified when the next funding opportunity is announced.

Specialist Support Scheme

Over the past few years the SSN has supported museums to gain a greater understanding of their Islamic art and material culture collections via the Specialist Support Scheme. In addition to developing knowledge, the support scheme worked with each organisation to develop ideas about how to engage different audiences with their collection.

The Specialist Support Scheme was designed to support each museum in ways that are most beneficial to the individual organisation. Suggestions and ideas for engaging audiences with each IAMC collection are based on detailed discussions with both learning and curatorial staff at each museum.  A selection of learning and engagement reports can be found below:

Current Specialist Support Scheme funding opportunities 2019


Following a successful funding bid to ACE the Islamic SSN is now able to launch a new programme of activities dedicated to Islamic calligraphy.

This scheme focuses on calligraphy in Arabic script on a range of object types. Through an open application system, we will select one participating institution in England who will receive support from experts in collections and engagement. The support scheme aims to identify, and where possible translate, Arabic (or Persian / Urdu) inscriptions on up to 50 objects per institution. Further support will create a plan and help to deliver engagement around these objects. Outputs will include a collections report, engagement plan and support from an artist specialising in calligraphy in Arabic to deliver outreach events in a format that is repeatable and sustainable in the long-term.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 20th September 2019. The result will be communicated by the end of September 2019

Full guidelines are available here.

Past beneficiaries

The SSN has supported the following organisations:


Berwick Upon Tweed Museum and Art Gallery

Cartwright Hall, Bradford Museums

Emery Walker’s House Trust

Holburne Museum



Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery

Durham University, Oriental Museum

Hull and East Riding Museum

Museums Sheffield

Year 2 Overview Report



Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery

Oakhouse / Sandwell Museums

Powell Cotton Museum

Wolverhampton Museum

Year 1 Overview Report 

Study Day Bursaries

Bursaries for future study days will be announced soon. Email us to receive the latest updates.

Current Bursary opportunities 2019

Courtauld Touring exhibition

Thanks to support from the Art Fund, The Courtauld and the SSN for Islamic Art and Material Culture, a generous package to cover aspects of the upcoming Courtauld Toruing Exhibition is included in this offer at no cost to the host venue. To read more please click here.


Past bursaries

The SSN has supported the following organisations and individuals through bursaries:


Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery

Ipswich Museums

Manchester Museum Partnership

Museum of The History of Science, Oxford

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology