Are you a University of Cambridge researcher looking for a creative adventure to boost your research, engage with new audiences or to get a fresh perspective on your work? Or a freelance filmmaker, illustrator or animator interested in working with and getting inspired by research? Search no more as the University of Cambridge Public Engagement with Research Team have a series of creative projects open for applications with two new categories this year!

Time to be inspired!

For detailed overview of and to watch short films and GIFs from previous years:

Cambridge Shorts 2020
Cambridge Shorts 2016
Cambridge VERY Short 2020
Cambridge Partnerships 2020

Next stage

Creative Encounters welcomes applications from University of Cambridge early career (PhD, postdocs) and established researchers. Applications can be submitted by individuals or groups and can be made to one or more of the projects.

The deadline for applications is 5pm, 2 July 2021.
All applicants will be notified by 15 July 2021 about the success of their application.

Scope of the projects

Creative Encounters provides opportunities and funding to enable researchers to work with creative professionals and students through a variety of media including film, photography, theater and poetry to produce creative responses to their research.

If you have any questions regarding a potential application, please contact:
Dr Selen Etingu-Breslaw (


Cambridge Shorts

The popular short film project is back. Cambridge SHORTS is the continuation of a project to support researchers in making professional quality short films with filmmakers. Short films will be presented online and during the Cambridge Festivals to spark discussions and increase the visibility of your work.

Watch the short films from previous years here:

Cambridge Shorts 2020
Cambridge Shorts 2016

Cambridge Snapshots

Photography can be a powerful tool to communicate with your audiences with no language, cultural, gender and age barriers. Whether you are a novice or have experience with photography, transforming your ideas into a timeless visual tool is just a click away. Based around four online workshops, SNAPSHOTS will introduce the participants to the technical and conceptual fundamentals of photography, and engage in practical and experimental exercises to develop and refine each individual's final creative output for the project.

Led by a professional photographer, the workshops will stimulate and guide each participant towards their exhibition piece. Final works will be showcased in an exhibition during Cambridge Festival 2022.


Cambridge Words

Have you ever wanted to discover how poetry can bring a new perspective to your research? How your words can engage new audiences with the subject you are passionate about?

WORDS is your opportunity to explore the wide worlds of poetry together with a poetry and public engagement professional. Selected applicants will work with a professional poet to explore different formats and to bring out the poetry that lies within your research for performance and for publication.


Cambridge Partnerships

Creative PARTNERSHIPS enables collaborations between researchers and media students from a local further educational college. You will be paired with students to produce a creative piece of work based on your research. The creative outputs may be films, video games, animations, or podcasts amongst others.

Watch the short film created as part of Cambridge Partnerships 2020 here.


Cambridge Behind the Curtains

Have you ever imagined how your research might look and sound like as a play or a performance? BEHIND THE CURTAINS is your opportunity to explore the world of theater in a collaborative partnership with Babolin Young Company (BYC). Led by devised theater practitioner and BYC’s Artistic Director Sam Plumb, researchers will work with local young performers aged 12 to 18 years to produce a micro-play in response to their work.



Application forms and further guidance

Guidance for researchers and creatives can be found here.

For researchers

Application form for researchers (PDF)
Application form for researchers (Online)

For creatives

Project Brief for Creatives (Cambridge Shorts)
Application form for Creatives (PDF)
Application form for Creatives (Online)

For Partnerships students

Application form for students (PDF)
Application form for students (Online)

If you have any questions please contact Selen Etingu-Breslaw, Public Engagement and Impact Manager: