Leeds Creative Labs x Bradford Producing Hub

A funded opportunity for artists and creative professionals to collaborate with researchers from the University of Leeds


Two women in a lab with the orange X Leeds Creative Labs logo behind them

Bradford Producing Hub has partnered with Leeds Creative Labs to bring together creatives from Bradford with researchers from the University of Leeds to explore new ways of creative thinking.

Leeds Creative Labs is a funded opportunity for artists and creative professionals to collaborate with researchers from the University of Leeds. The programme is an initiative developed and led by the Cultural Institute at the University of Leeds since 2012. 

The project has previously paired hip-hop dancers with economists, ballet choreographers with biochemical engineers, and visual artists with astrophysicists. 

This latest edition of Creative Labs, in partnership with Bradford Producing Hub, will support up to 6 artists to collaborate with 6 academics to explore themes around health and mental wellbeing. 


Who is it for?

Artists and creatives from the Bradford district

When is it?

April - June 2024

Where is it?

Leeds and Bradford

Apply by

Monday 12 February 2024
at 11:59 PM

Book your place at our online info session

Online Info Session

Join us on Wednesday 10 January 2024 at 12:00 PM to find out more and ask any questions you may have.
How it works

Following a round of applications by artists and academics, a process of matchmaking is made by an expert panel. This is based not only on the applicants’ professional and creative interests but also on their shared sense of curiosity and ambition to explore ideas without limits.

Once pairings are made, Leeds Creative Labs will host a collaborative introductory workshop at the University of Leeds. 

Pairings will have 6 weeks to work together for the equivalent of 3 working days, with times and dates arranged by each pair to suit their own circumstances.

Pairings will then be invited to speak at a sharing event held in Bradford to share their experiences at the end of the programme.

Why you should apply

Previous participants of Leeds Creative Labs have shown that sharing ideas and experiences between creatives and academics opens new ways of thinking. It can inform and add new dimensions to creative processes as well as help academic researchers understand the potential value of their work and how, through partnership, it can have an impact on sectors outside of academia.

While there is no expectation of final output, the Leeds Creative Labs programme has incubated an astonishing diversity of concepts and outputs – from the development of new teaching practices, innovative research methodologies, and large research grant capture to the creation of new artistic works and digital products and platforms. 

Is this programme for me?

This opportunity is open to artists working in any art form as well as makers and creative professionals working in the arts and culture sector. We’re particularly interested in hearing from artists who have lived or worked in Bradford or have a demonstratable connection to the district.

The theme for this round of Creative Labs is health, with a focus on mental health and wellbeing. We’re keen to hear about previous projects linked to this theme that you’ve worked on, or reasons you feel the arts are an important expression within the realm of mental health and wellbeing.

Applications from previously unsuccessful applicants are welcome. Previous participants can also re-apply, but preference will be given to new and previously unsuccessful applicants.

Project Timeline
  • Monday 12 February, 11:59 PM

    Application deadline

  • Friday 22 March

    Partners selected and collaborations announced

  • Monday 15 April

    Labs launch

  • Tuesday 16 April – Friday 7 June

    Collaboration period

  • Wednesday 12 June

    Sharing event in Bradford

What happens after the project?

When the Creative Labs have ended, we will hold an in-person or virtual meeting with each of the partnerships. We will also look for opportunities to present your collaborative research to public audiences. If you believe that your collaboration could lead to a larger project, we will assist you in developing your ideas and advise you on where you might seek further funding.

What funding is available?

Artists selected to participate in this edition of the Creative Health Labs programme will receive a bursary of £1250 in return for making the commitments to the programme detailed below. 

University of Leeds practice-based academics selected for the programme will be expected to commit to the project within their university hours and will not receive a bursary.

Each partnership will receive a materials and expenses budget of £200.

Additionally, Bradford Producing Hub can help towards any access funds artists may require, such as travel, caring, or interpretation costs. We can discuss what these might be following your offer of a place on the programme. 

What does participation involve?

Artists selected to participate in this edition of the Leeds Creative Labs programme must make the following commitments to the programme:

  • You permit any work created as part of the Leeds Creative Lab programme to be accessible in the public domain.
  • You must be able to participate in the launch event on Monday 15 April 2024 and a sharing event on Wednesday 12 June 2024
  • You must commit to a minimum of three days between 16 April and 7 June to work with an academic partner at mutually convenient times.
  • You will participate in the evaluation of the programme which includes completion of an evaluation questionnaire at the end of the programme and permission for photography and filming during key events.
How to apply

To apply, please complete our application form. You can also apply by submitting an audio or video recording.

To help you prepare your application before completing the form, you can find the main application questions below:

  • What is your connection to Bradford?
  • Can you describe your creative practice?
    (I.e. What media do you use? Are there any underlying themes within your work? What is your inspiration? How long have you been a practising artist?)
  • Have you worked on any previous creative projects that relate to the theme of health or mental wellbeing?
  • In what ways do you think participating in the arts can support mental health and wellbeing?
  • What attracted you to this project and why would you like to collaborate with an academic?
  • Please give one or two examples of a previous collaborative project you have worked on and tell us what equal collaboration means to you
  • Please provide any links to your work that you would like to share (i.e. website, online portfolio, Instagram or any other social media accounts)
  • Do you have any access requirements that we need to be aware of so that we can accommodate your place on this project?

The deadline to apply is Monday 12 February 2024 at 11:59 PM

To find out more about the programme, join us for our online information session on Wednesday 10 January 2024 – book now.

If you have any questions or need to complete your application another way, please email hello@bdproducinghub.co.uk.

If you are an academic from University of Leeds and wish to apply, head to the Leeds Creative Labs page

This programme is a partnership between Leeds Creative Labs and Bradford Producing Hub. 

About Bradford Producing Hub

Founded in 2019, Bradford Producing Hub (BPH) is an arts development organisation that tests radical new approaches to producing work, supporting talent, developing a local arts workforce, and partnering with communities across Bradford to reimagine the city as a thriving creative hub.

BPH supports artists, producers, and small companies through funding, grants, mentoring, training, development, and networking opportunities to establish Bradford as a city that nurtures homegrown talent. 

In 2023, Bradford Producing Hub was appointed as the Cultural Capacity Partner of Bradford 2025, UK City of Culture. 

About Leeds Creative Labs

This ground-breaking programme pairs creative professionals with researchers from the University. Leeds Creative Labs provides funding, inspiration, opportunities and above all, the co-creative space to share ideas and experiences without deadlines and targets.

The match is made by an expert panel, based not only on the participants’ professional interests, but also on their shared sense of curiosity and ambition to explore ideas without limits.

Participants are not expected to respond to a specific brief. Instead, both academic and creative partners enter into the experience on an equal footing, and have the rare opportunity of supported but open-ended space in which to explore and create ideas together without an agenda. With no expectation of an output, the process allows partners to establish the focus of their engagement with each other from the outset.

Read more about Leeds Creative Labs

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