New DARE prize announced by Opera North and Leeds

The DARE partnership between the University and Opera North has announced a new £15,000 prize aimed at challenging artists and scientists to work together on new approaches to the creative process.

Transmission, conceived by the late Becs Andrews.  Credit: Chris Nash.  See below for further information on Transmission


The DARE Prize will be awarded to an innovative, ambitious, early-career artist who is motivated by the opportunity to work in partnership with leading scientific researchers at the University of Leeds.

The successful candidate will be matched with a researcher who shares their vision and can bring knowledge, expertise and networks to support the creation of something new. The winner will be announced in spring 2017 to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the DARE partnership, and the fruits of the year-long partnership will be revealed in March 2018. 

There are no restrictions on the form of the outcome: depending on the interests of the collaborators and the direction that the work takes, it could be a dance performance, a poem, an interactive website or a cycle of new songs, but the project must be achievable within twelve months. It is expected that £5,000 of the Award will be invested in the creation of new work.

Dominic Gray, Projects Director, Opera North, comments:

“The challenges facing individuals and society in the 21st century can appear uniquely complex and chaotic. Understanding ourselves and the world we live in calls for new visions and new collaborations. The notion of creativity crosses the false barriers between science and artistic endeavour, and with the DARE Prize we hope to generate new work and new working methods that can bring the sectors closer together.”

Professor Frank Finlay, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, says:

“One of the key aims of our newly-launched Cultural Institute is to nurture a wide range of innovative collaborations between artists and academics from all disciplines.

“This new prize provides an excellent opportunity for an emerging, talented artist keen to work at the intersection of the arts and sciences. It is an extremely fitting way to help mark ten years of the DARE partnership.”

Individual, independent artists working in all disciplines are invited to apply by submitting a CV and a 500-word proposition that summarises the area of scientific interest - from astrophysics to climate change, microbiology to nutrition; an ambition to create something new and the germ of an idea of what this might be; and a genuine wish to engage with academic researchers, expertise and resources at the University of Leeds. Access to musicians, studio space and resources from Opera North may also be available.

Applications should be sent in the form of a pdf or Word document to Lesley Patrick, Partnerships Director at DARE, before the deadline of 5 December 2016.

Shortlist interviews will take place in the week commencing 9 January 2017, and the recipient will be announced in the week commencing 7 February.

For more information on the DARE Prize and the partnership, please visit the DARE website

Image: Transmission, a contemporary dance piece and interactive installation about infectious diseases and infectious ideas, conceived by the late Becs Andrews during her time as DARE Cultural Fellow in Opera-Related Arts (Scenography), working with Opera North and the University of Leeds. Credit: Chris Nash

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