Call for Application- Artists Commission inspired by the Hunt for the Vaccine

31 March,2022

Open call: India-UK artists’ commission inspired by the Hunt for the Vaccine 

The Science Museum Group been working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has changed our lives forever. A new innovative and collaborative project - Hunt for the Vaccine - tells the story of the global effort to find new ways to develop vaccines at pandemic speed.

In India, the Science Museum Group has been working on the project with the National Council for Science Museums (India).

It has now collaborated with the British Council for an artist’s commission inspired by the project.

This will be part of the British Council’s India-UK Together 2022 programme, which marks the 75th anniversary of India’s independence with a major arts and cultural and education programme to strengthen bilateral cultural relations.

Funded by global health charity Wellcome, the exhibition in India will include events with higher education bodies, digital learning resources and the public arts commission, and is aimed to reach over two million people across India, China and the UK.

Artists’ commission

The artists’ commission will form part of the exhibition design and will tour with the exhibition between 2022 and 2025 – with the tour starting from November 2022 in Delhi.

Grant amount: GBP 55,000 

Applications open till: Midnight, Tuesday 19 April (GMT)

Please send your application by email to

Briefing Session : on 05 April 2022, we will hold an online briefing session to answer all queries for interested applicants. Please join us at 3:30 p.m. IST. Kindly download Microsoft Teams app on your device prior to the briefing call.

 Click here to join the meeting

Who can apply

Artists residing and practicing in India or UK, having citizenship of either country will be eligible as applicants.

We encourage applications from individual artists from all backgrounds, gender, disability and ethnicity to apply.

We are inviting collaborative proposals to be submitted jointly by a team comprising of one Indian and one UK contemporary artist who will work together on the project and will co-develop an artwork which will be an artistic response to the themes explored in the proposed exhibition.

The final artwork needs to fit well with the entire exhibition theme and the gallery spaces to be chosen for the same.

How to apply

Please refer to the detailed application guideline in the downloads section below. Applicants will need to send in their applications and provide information on

  1.  General information about each applicant
  2. Details of proposal
  3. Budget 
  4. Timeline planning

The award

-   The Science Museum Group, UK will provide a grant of GBP 55,000 for the ideation, curation and delivery of the commissioned artwork.

-   The award will be given to the UK-based artist of the selected proposal and is to be detailed in the budget section of the proposal.

-   The UK artist will be responsible for disbursement of the award to the second applicant (who will be from India).

-   The UK artist will have the opportunity to come to India and be with the tour for a period. The visit to India will be included in the budget to be presented and will be part of the total grant. 

About the artwork

The artwork will need to be in the form of a physical creation: sculpture, painting, photography, mixed media, and other forms with the use of materials as ceramics, glass, metal, wood and so forth.

The IP for the artwork will be retained by the artists commissioned.

In the spirit of environmental sustainability, we would prefer the making of the artwork to take place in India. The finished artwork will be handed over to SMG/NCSM.

Proposed themes

The overall spirt of the proposed artwork may be conceptualised around the global effort; especially by India and UK towards the making of the vaccine and science responding to this time of unprecedented change by considering the following themes: 

-   Scientific collaboration across the world working towards a common goal

-   Coping and responding to the changing world

-   Respect for science and experts

-   Societal concern and children’s future

The artwork must be suitable for public exhibition for a range of audiences and ages.

Selection criteria

-   Innovative, contemporary and cutting-edge creative response: 40%

-   Experience of artists in international collaborations: 15%

-   Suitability of the final production for touring with the exhibition: 30%

-   Deliverability on time and on budget: 15