Academic institutions, research bodies and think tanks will be invited to submit joint bids for the chance to run a £2.2m centre researching charitable giving.
The centre, which has received funding for three years, is expected to open next summer. It will be based within the offices of the successful bidding consortium rather than in one building. Each consortium must include at least one university.
Charlie McConnell, chief executive at Carnegie UK Trust, one of four co-funders for the project (Third Sector, 4 October), said the centre would address the weakness in voluntary sector research and its findings would help grant-makers adopt a more targeted approach to giving.
"We are looking for organisations with proven track records in researching philanthropy," he said.
The Office for the Third Sector is giving £750,000, Carnegie £250,000 and the Scottish Executive £75,000 over three years. The Economic and Social Research Council agreed to match-fund these contributions.
Megan Pacey, director of policy and campaigns at the Institute of Fundraising, said it was essential that the research centre was driven by the needs of fundraisers.
The Charities Aid Foundation and think tank nfpSynergy both said they would look at the proposals in greater detail before deciding whether to bid.