Marsh Awards

Marsh Awards for the Conservation and Restoration of Objects and Collections

The Marsh Charitable Trust believes that people are at the heart of the charity sector because they voluntarily or professionally go above and beyond to make a difference. The Marsh Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of these people who are committed to social, cultural and environmental causes. 

The conservation of objects and collections protects the things people value.

It enables the care and safeguarding of our tangible cultural heritage, from cherished family heirlooms to national treasures.

The practice of conservation encompasses artworks, books and archives, textiles, architecture and archaeology, as well as industrial, natural and social history collections whether they are held by museums, heritage organisations, private collectors or public bodies. 

Conservation professionals value and understand the physical artefacts that embody our collective history and culture; skilfully safeguarding it against decay and neglect to ensure that everyone’s stories survive for the inspiration of present and future generations.

Zwagerman-NTS-conservator collection.jpg


However, much of this work is hidden from public view because it takes place in private workshops or conservation studios in museums, galleries and archives.

The impact of the important work carried out by conservation professionals is largely invisible unless attention is drawn to specific outcomes through interpretation and engagement. This means that the benefits that conservation brings to society are not recognised and are therefore not valued. 

The Marsh Awards for the Conservation and Restoration of Objects and Collections are intended to promote wider recognition of the value that conservation brings to society.

We also hope that they will serve to ensure that the work of conservation professionals is better recognised and more fully respected. 

Marsh Heritage Conservation in Action Award 

Purpose: This Award recognises the achievements of conservators and heritage scientists working to enhance public engagement with historic objects and collections. Engagement may be delivered through the real-time interpretation of the conservation work being carried out either in-situ or online, or through educational programmes linked to the conservation project. 

Eligibility: The Award is open to individual conservators and heritage scientists or teams of conservation professionals.

Criteria: Applicants will need to demonstrate that they were able to:

  • Successfully reach and engage with the audience that the project was intended to attract, which might be people who already participate, or it might be new audiences, or a particular group of people
  • Increase the visibility of conservation and the conservation professions
  • Support Icon’s Values of Conservation campaign
  • Create a lasting impact or legacy
Marsh Award for Early Career Conservators

Purpose: This Award recognises emerging conservation professionals and their early career contribution to the practice of conservation. 

Eligibility: The Award is open to conservators and heritage scientists who have completed their academic qualification within the last 5 years or those with less than 5 years of workplace experience if they are following vocational training routes. The nomination can be based on a piece of solo work or could focus on the individual’s contribution to a larger conservation project or research activity, or their wider contribution to the workplace. The activity must have taken place within the last 12 months.

Criteria: Nominated candidates will have demonstrated achievement in one of the following areas:

  • Innovation / finding creative solutions to conservation problems
  • Advocating for cultural heritage or promoting the value of conserving / restoring heritage
  • Demonstrating an impact on the wider professional practice i.e. sharing / contributing to the skills and knowledge base of the wider profession

Nomination process: Candidates should be nominated by someone who is familiar with their work – a client, colleague, manager or professional contact. You can also nominate yourself.

Marsh Award for Research in Conservation

Purpose: This Award recognises conservators and heritage scientists who have made an outstanding contribution to research in the field of conservation. 

Eligibility: The Award is open to individual conservators or heritage scientists, or teams of conservation professionals carrying out research in support of conservation projects. 

Criteria: We are interested in receiving applications covering the full bread of research within the field of conservation. The following list of research areas is therefore only offered as a suggestion:

  • Understanding of cultural heritage materials and their degradation
  • Effectiveness of existing conservation treatments or investigations into new treatments
  • New, innovative or improved approaches to conservation and collections care theory, practice, communication, management and training
  • New insights that illuminate previously unknown information about an object or a collection of related objects

However, applicants will need to:

  • Show that their research has achieved high quality outcomes that are relevant and appropriate for the type/scope/scale of the project
  • Demonstrate that the outputs of their research are openly accessible and are being promoted to colleagues i.e. that dissemination goes beyond providing open access via university repositories
  • Provide evidence that the research has made a significant positive impact within the conservation field


The person or people being nominated do not have to be Icon members, but the project should be based in the UK or Ireland. You can nominate yourself.

Each of the Awards will be judged by a panel comprising a member of Icon staff, an Icon trustee, a representative of the Marsh Charitable Trust, an Icon member, and an independent professional with relevant specialist knowledge. 

Awards will be made at the inaugural Members’ Meeting which will be held in London in March 2023. Each Award carries a prize of £500.


Make a nomination

Applications are now open. Please complete the Application form below and submit it via the Submission Portal below only. Deadline extended: nominations should be made by 9 February 2023. 


Marsh Awards for the Conservation and Restoration of Objects and Collections - Nomination Form.docx