The V&A Research Institute (VARI)

The V&A Research Institute (VARI) is a five-year programme of projects and partnerships supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It takes the V&A's pioneering research culture into a new phase that allows the Museum to experiment with new ways of studying, displaying and accessibly storing its collections. VARI will give better access to the V&A's objects and join its experts with academic scholars, practicing designers and makers and members of the general public.

Launched in 2016, VARI will create an innovative arena for developing collaborative research that is both collections-based and object focused. By making the collections we house and the expertise we host more visible, VARI will produce not just new knowledge but also new methods.

Integrating research with teaching and learning, VARI will inform the Museum's major projects at its original location in London's South Kensington neighbourhood and at new locations around the country and across the globe.

VARI supports:

  • collaborative research projects and research-driven teaching
  • conferences and workshops
  • public engagement events
  • fellowships - internal and external, short- and long-term, early career and emeritus
  • Andrew W. Mellon visiting professors
  • research residencies for artists, designers and makers
  • platforms for print and digital communication

VARI people

Core staff and governance of VARI, including our Advisory Board and Steering Committee.

VARI opportunities

VARI projects

VARI is home to a portfolio of collections-based and museum-focused research projects composed of highly interdisciplinary teams. Researchers in a wide range of fields from within and beyond the V&A work together to produce not just new knowledge, but also new methods.

VARI blog

VARI's team of experts, academic scholars, practicing artists and volunteers, from within the V&A and its many partners beyond, share the latest developments in VARI's experimental projects.

VARI pilot year 2014 – 15

VARI grows out of a Mellon-funded pilot project in 2014 – 15, during which we began to explore models and identify needs for museum-based, object-led inquiry.