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Interjectional Exercises, Rowland Hill. Commissioned for Manifest Arts Festival.Image: John Lynch

Jerwood Bursaries


The first round of the Jerwood Bursaries in 2020 has now closed for applications. Assessment is underway and the decisions will be communicated to applicants by Friday 1 May 2020.

Update for 17 March 2020: rounds of funding and opportunities we had planned to offer in 2020, including the second round of the Jerwood Bursaries, are now under review pending further government advice around Covid-19, the performance of our investments and sector developments. We will issue further updates in due course.

What do you need to progress your practice and/or career?

Jerwood Bursaries provide funding of up to £1,250 to expand and invigorate your artistic practice, enabling you to experiment with new ideas and undertake self-defined professional development activity. We want you to have the opportunity to begin research on fresh ideas and pursue new skills and approaches independently, on your own terms. This might include exploring new materials or collaborations, specialist mentoring, or participation in professional training, conferences and workshops.

You are likely to have done some existing research into your idea, but it should not have had significant investment of time or money. A Jerwood Bursary should be used to shift your thinking and move your career forward. We want you to suggest activities that will help you to learn and take control of the development of your artistic practice and upcoming projects.

We recognise that opportunities for artists to get early ideas off the ground, without the pressure to produce new works or find match funding, are few and far between. We also know that contained and properly supported opportunities to try new things can be vital to a sustainable artistic practice.

We particularly welcome applications for:

  • mentoring, coaching, critical feedback
  • professional and/or specialised training
  • taking part in conferences or workshops
  • networking and/or membership of artistic networks
  • learning specific skills and knowledge
  • undertaking first-stage research

You can apply for any amount between £250 and £1,250. For this fund, we expect to be the sole funder of the activity. We do not expect any other confirmed financial support and a Jerwood Bursary should not be used as match funding. However, you can show small in-kind contributions, for example, where you have been offered a space, or a mentor (who has a salary from another source) has agreed to give their time for free.

We expect all applicants to include a fee for themselves and fees can be up to 100% of the budget. In line with our commitments to fair pay, and to access and inclusion, applicants should not use their personal funds or donate their time for free towards the activity. The fund is deliberately small in scale, and we want you to carefully consider what you can achieve with the amount of funding we are offering. Realistically, we would not expect activity taking place within this fund to last more than ten days. The fund can cover the costs of travel within the UK, but not outside of the UK.

If required, extra financial support can be requested for access costs and/or to cover caring responsibilities. Please read our Jerwood Bursaries FAQ for further information.

Due to the high level of competition for the Jerwood Bursaries, we will not fund anyone who has been working as an artist, curator or producer for less than a year and who has not had at least one piece of work professionally produced, presented, published or exhibited.

If you applied to the Jerwood Bursaries in 2019, you are encouraged to review this updated guidance before applying as we have made some changes in response to feedback.

What does a strong application look like?

We do not expect to see a fixed outcome of the funding, but a strong application will tell us what you are currently doing, how the funded activity might shift your approach and prepare you for the future. It is a small-scale, targeted fund and the application form has tight word counts. A strong application will be clear and focused.

For examples of what previous recipients have applied for, you can read about the Jerwood Bursaries awarded in 2019 here.


As well as the guidance on this page, we have created a Jerwood Bursaries FAQ and General FAQ. These cover the most common questions arising and are updated regularly, so please read them.

Once you have read these, if you have a specific question please send it by email to We will acknowledge your email within three working days and aim to answer your question within five working days.

Please note that the advice we give on making an application is on the eligibility and suitability of the activity for the Jerwood Bursaries only, and will have no bearing on its assessment. You do not need to have spoken to a Jerwood Arts member of staff before making an application.

In December 2019, we did some research into how long applicants were spending on their Jerwood Bursaries applications. We understand that the time and labour involved in fundraising is often precarious and under-resourced for independent artists. Particularly given the small scale of this fund, we recommend you spend no longer than 7 hrs (about a day) on your application before submitting it.

Access Support

We are committed to making our funding accessible to all and supporting applicants facing barriers to apply. Please email or call us on 020 7261 0279 and tell us what you need to enable you to apply.


Eligibility criteria

We welcome applications

  • from practising artists, curators and/or producers
  • from those willing to be bold and take risks
  • from those with between one and ten year’s professional experience
  • from those with and without formal education or qualifications
  • from those who have between one to ten years’ professional experience
  • if you work in any discipline and/or across disciplines

 You cannot apply if you

  • are an organisation, or on behalf of an organisation
  • have no professional experience within the last year, and/or less than a year’s professional experience overall
  • are in, or want funding for, formal education courses, including tuition fees, living costs and associated materials
  • want funding to work or travel internationally
  • want project funding to make or present work

We particularly welcome your application if your situation, background and/or identity is currently under-supported across the art sector, including but not limited to under-represented BAME backgrounds, LGBTQ+ identities, gender identities, socio-economic backgrounds, those with disabilities and those with caring responsibilities.

If you are looking for project funding or to make and present new work, we would encourage you to consider an application to the Jerwood New Work Fund, which will open for applications on 1 April 2020.


The selection and decision-making process

Based on our experience, we anticipate we will receive 500 applications for this round of the Jerwood Bursaries and will be able to make between 20-25 awards.

Eligibility check and longlist: all applications will be reviewed by Jerwood Arts staff members who will meet to decide on a longlist of eligible applications.

Artist Adviser assessment: each application on the longlist will be reviewed and scored by at least two Artist Advisers with expertise relevant to the proposed activity. They will assess: the quality of the applicants’ practices; how well the professional development activity has been chosen and planned; and the potential impact of the activity on the applicants’ practices.

Panel: the Artist Advisers and Jerwood Arts staff scoring and comments are combined and discussed at a panel meeting including Jerwood Arts staff members and at least one Artist Adviser.


What you can expect from us

If you are successful, you can expect us to:

  • meet you and connect you with other recipients of our funding through our networks and events
  • profile you on our website and social media (with your permission)
  • be available throughout the delivery of your programme for advice
  • engage with the events and activities you run wherever we can

If your application is unsuccessful, you can request written feedback on your application within two weeks of the outcome.


What we expect from you

If you are successful, we expect you to:

  • inform us of the progress of the activity and any significant changes before they happen
  • credit Jerwood Arts as a supporter of the activity if digital and print materials are produced
  • contribute to our research on support for artists, curators and/or producers
  • complete a questionnaire at the end of the activity telling us how it went against your original plan

You will also be invited to participate in the Jerwood Arts network of artists and organisations. We are committed to making fees and expenses available where appropriate.


Accessible Formats

All applicants are welcome to send us either a written or filmed/audio application if that is your preferred method of describing your activity. A recorded application should be linked from a third party website such as Google Drive, Soundcloud, Vimeo or Dropbox, and submitted using the online portal. There will be an option to provide a password if necessary. A recorded application should answer all of the questions in the written application form, and should not be overly produced.


Other Useful Pages

Jerwood Arts General FAQ

Jerwood Bursaries FAQ

Examples of Jerwood Bursaries awarded in 2019

Our Principles

We continue to evaluate and improve this fund, and we are keen to hear feedback of all kinds. Please share your comments at