Sciart supported experimental projects that involved artists and scientists working collaboratively to explore a scientific subject matter using the arts. Sciart projects aimed to stimulate fresh thinking and debate in both disciplines, and to reach and engage with diverse audiences on the social, ethical and cultural issues that surround contemporary biomedical science.
Originally set up by the Wellcome Trust in 1996, the Sciart programme was run by a consortium of funders between 1999 and 2002 involving: the Arts Council; the British Council; the CalousteGulbenkian Foundation; the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA); and the Wellcome Trust. From 2002, the programme was run independently by the Wellcome Trust, at which point it broadened its remit from the visual arts to all art forms.
Sciart awards were given at two levels:
Research and Development
Research and Development Awards (up to £15 000) supported the development of collaborative project ideas or the delivery of small-scale productions.
Production Awards (up to £120 000) were made to projects that aim to make a significant impact on the public's engagement with biomedical science.
Over a decade, Sciart supported 124 projects to a value of £3 million. Artists funded included fashion designer and artist Helen Storey, choreographer Wayne MacGregor, performance artist Bobby Baker, filmmaker Josh Appignanesi, poet Gwyneth Lewis, and visual artists Tim Head, Jackie Donachie and Simon Pope.
Find out about our current arts funding programme, the Arts Awards.