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 new categories introduced each year.

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.

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


Cambridge Creative SHORTS

Cambridge SHORTS supports researchers and filmmakers to work together to make professional quality short films and animations that reach out to new audiences and tell the story of research. Short films and animations are presented online and during the Cambridge Festivals to spark discussions and increase the visibility of individual research.

Explore further and watch the range of short films and animations

Cambridge Creative 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.

Through a series of workshops, SNAPSHOTS introduce researchers to the technical and conceptual fundamentals of photography, and engage in practical and experimental exercises to develop and refine each researchers final creative output based on their projects.

Led by a professional photographer, the workshops stimulate and guide each participant towards an exhibition piece. Final works from 2021 were showcased in an exhibition during Cambridge Festival 2022.
Cambridge Creative 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 give researchers the opportunity to explore the wide worlds of poetry together with a poetry and public engagement professional.

Selected researchers work with a professional poet to explore different formats and to bring out the poetry that lies within their research for performance and publication. 

Explore and read more on the inspiring piece of poems launched in 2022

Cambridge Creative Partnerships
In previous years as part of this category researchers have collaborated with media students from a local further educational college.  This year our researchers will form partnerships with visual, performing arts and media students from Cambridge Higher Education institutes. 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, performance pieces, zine, digital media or podcasts amongst others.

Find out more and read about the research behind the short animation produced through the collaborative partnership during 2021

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 provides an opportunity for engagement by translating and communicating research through an exploration of the worlds of theatre playwriting together in a collaborative partnership with Cambridge theatre companies.

In 2020 selected participants worked with Menagerie Theatre Company to turn their research into a written play. Two participants got an exclusive opportunity to see their plays performed before an audience during 'The Hotbed Theatre Festival 2020'. In 2021 the researchers collaborated with Babolin Theatre (BT), led by devised theatre practitioner and BT’s Artistic Director Sam Plumb, with local young performers aged 12 to 18 years to produce a micro-play in response to their work.  

Watch the micro-plays and discover more about this project


Next stage
Applications are now closed. 

Application forms and further guidance for 2022
Guidance for researchers and creatives

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 regarding a potential application please contact:
Selen Etingu-Breslaw,