Eligibility and Requirements


Non-profit museums of any size and discipline are eligible to participate. To apply, museums must:

  • Have been open to the public for at least two years.
  • The primary institution in each country must be a museum or cultural center/institution that functions in the capacity of a museum. In essence, this means that both institutions must have collections or exhibitions, or they must use/interpret objects and/or a site (e.g. a historical site) for the public presentation of regularly scheduled programs and exhibits.
  • Have the institutional and financial capacity to complete the activities and create the outputs described in their proposal.
  • Have at least one partner. U.S. museums must partner with a non-U.S. museum and vice versa, and receive endorsement from the U.S. Embassy in the international museum's country (non-U.S. Museums only). Museums Connect facilitates the request for U.S. Embassy endorsement. 

Previous recipients of a Museums Connect or Museums & Community Collaborations Abroad award may reapply if:

  • Two cycles have elapsed since the previous award (e.g., 2012 awardees are next eligible to apply for the 2015 cycle).
  • The proposed project is new and innovative rather than a continuation of the previous project.
  • The proposal features a new museum partner. Museums may not reapply with previous partners.
  •  The project reaches new audiences and communities.


  • Museums Connect does not fund construction projects, projects focused on staff/institutional development or capacity building, staff to staff exchange, traditional exhibit design, object exchanges or artist residencies. 
  • Awards require a 50% cost share match by the US and international museums combined. There is no requirement regarding which institution bears responsibility for meeting cost share requirements -- it is a matter of agreement between the museum partners. This cost share can be made up of any combination of direct expenses (salaries/benefits, materials, supplies, in-kind facilities rental, for example) and indirect expenses if the US museum has a federally negotiated indirect cost rate. Funds received from non-federal sources are also eligible to count toward cost share. Please contact Museums Connect if you desire additional guidance in this area. 
  • Both project coordinators must be able to communicate in English. 

  • US and non-US awardees must comply with federal grant reporting requirements. 
  • A minimum of 30% of the budget should be projected for travel between participating countries. There is no cap on travel expenses, however, an overly high proportion of travel costs relative to the overall budget will lead the Selection Committee to question whether a robust year round project is planned.
  • No more than 15% of your Museums Connect budget can be used to cover salaries and benefits. In other words, if you are applying for $100,000, you may not request more than $15,000 for salaries and benefits combined. Remaining salary can count toward cost share. 

Full eligibility guidelines and requirements can be found in the Museums Connect proposal packet.