Everything You Need to Know

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022 programme provides a step-change opportunity for talent from socio-economic backgrounds that are currently under-represented across the arts to develop and thrive. The programme works in partnership with 50 Host organisations to create 50 paid, year-long creative Fellowships to expand their capacity for artistic production and take part in an 18-month Organisational Change programme.

Read on below using the drop down menu to find out more about all elements of the programme.

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Host application deadline: 30 Jan 2020
Fellow recruitment: May – June 2020
Fellowships: Sept 2020 – Sept 2021

Overview of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Programme

The WJCB 2020-2022 programme will work in partnership with leading arts or cultural Host organisations to offer a 12-month Fellowship to an early-career creative professional, and provide training and organisational support to expand organisations’ approach to socio-economic diversity and inclusion to enable long-term change.

Arts or cultural organisations from across the UK, across art forms and of all types and sizes can apply to be a Host organisation, setting out the Fellowship they would offer and their ambitions for organisational change, nominating staff and a Trustee or member of their governing body to take part.

Once selected, successful Host organisations will be supported by the programme team and partners to develop an inclusive recruitment approach for their Fellow and develop their understanding of how to take an intersectional approach to socio-economic diversity in the arts. Fellowships will commence in September 2020 and last 12 months. During this transformative year, Fellows will be supported by their Host in their creative development and, as part of their cohort across the UK, undertake three two-day residential, peer learning training and development workshops and be supported by an individual mentor.

Host staff and trustees or members of their governing body will take part in an Organisational Change programme led by people make it work.

At the end of their Fellowship, Hosts and our dedicated programme team will support Fellows through their progression period, helping them determine the best next steps for their career and access further opportunities including international placements with the British Council and a £60k WJCB Fellows’ Fund.

The 2020-2022 programme has been remodelled using evidence from our evaluations and wider research into supporting change to focus equally on Hosts and Fellows, and is supported by a new set of partners and funders enabling us to support 20% more Fellowships, expand into the museum sector and guarantee a wider geographic spread of Host organisations across the UK.


Key dates and timelines Hosts will need to bear in mind when making an application.

Applying Hosts will need to keep one of the following dates free to take part in an Induction Workshop, if they are selected, on 21, 22 or 24 April 2020.  This timeline lists other key dates Hosts will need work to, and all Hosts and Fellowships must be able to work within this framework.

Key dates and timelines Hosts will need to bear in mind when making an application

Applying Hosts will need to keep one of the following dates free to take part in an Induction Workshop, if they are selected, on 21, 22 or 24 April 2020. This timeline lists other key dates Hosts will need work to, and all Hosts and Fellowships must be able to work within this framework.

Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Host organisation profile

We are looking for 50 Host organisations from across the UK ready to take part in an 18 month-long Organisational Change programme to embed socio-economic diversity and inclusion at the heart of their recruitment practices and beyond.  Hosts are asked to commit a Trustee or member of their governing body or local authority leader (depending on the structure of your organisation), a member of the Executive and the Fellow’s Line Manager to taking an active part in the programme.  Either the Executive or the Line Manager should be a senior artistic lead and have a core role in developing and delivering the artistic or cultural programme of your organisation. The ambition is that this model will enable all staff to benefit from learning through the programme.

Learning from and building on our previous three editions of the WJCB, we know that to achieve long term change we need to focus as much on supporting Host organisations to change their culture and practices as supporting early-career Fellows. Past editions have led to significant success stories on an individual level for Fellows, while the sector statistics on socio-economic diversity have remained woefully static. We are therefore looking for Hosts who are willing to go on a journey to discover what an inclusive approach can bring to their organisation. The next generation of artists, curators, producers and creatives are at the forefront of conversations about intersectionality and challenging outdated models, and the programme seeks to enable Host organisations and their leadership to expand their understanding and capacity to embrace change and reach a wider range of people with and through their work.

Over the 18 months of the Organisational Change programme, WJCB aims to support Hosts to become advocates for socio-economic diversity and inclusion in the arts and, ultimately, role models for the wider sector.  With the support of the programme, Hosts will become open to sharing, learning and working cross-sector with their peers to support long-term change.  This might include profiling their part in the programme on their website, talking about their own experiences if relevant, and/or proactively seeking platforms to talk about their journey to encourage other organisations to take their first steps.

We intend to select a wide range of Hosts in terms of geography, size, type of organisation and art form specialisms, as well as a wide range of Fellowship roles offered to create a dynamic spread across all these areas.

Fellowships will include full-time and part-time roles on a salary of £19,500 (£22,425 with +15% London weighting in line with Living Wage Foundation recommendation) pro rata. In order to achieve an equitable distribution of the funding available to the programme, we will make an offer to Hosts based on their size, location and context, of between 65% – 75% of the Fellow’s salary.


Hosts' organisational change programme

Host organisations will take part in an Organisational Change programme led by people make it work  to support them as they embark upon a period of development relating to inclusion and diversity. The training they receive will be tailored to the needs and objectives of the organisations taking part, with a strong focus on co-design and peer learning.

The Organisational Change programme will comprise four one-day workshops (including the Induction Workshop) taking place at a range of locations across the UK. Three individuals will take part in the programme: a Trustee or a member of the governing body, a member of the Executive and the Fellow’s Line Manager. Either the Executive or the Line Manager should have a core role in developing and delivering the artistic and cultural programme. They will ensure learnings are embedded across the organisation.

Once Host Organisations have been selected in March 2020, they will each have a 1-1 phone conversation with the team to find out more about what they hope to gain from the programme and what challenges they want to overcome.

The Induction Workshop in April 2020 will bring everyone together for the first time to share challenges, ideas and learning and to refine the change that the team is committed to implementing as part of this 18-month programme. There will be a strong focus on the role of the Host organisations in recruiting and welcoming their Fellow, ensuring that everyone feels supported as they begin this process. There will be a suite of practical tools and ideas for recruitment and a chance to reflect on creating an inclusive culture to best support their Fellow as they join the organisation in September 2020.

A core element for all leaders and organisations at their induction workshop will be the development of inclusive recruitment practices designed to attract individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds. In addition to this collective goal, we will also ask Hosts to select one of three strands that best describes their objectives for the programme:

  1. Audiences and participants

    To evolve the way we listen to, engage with and involve audiences and communities from lower socio-economic backgrounds in our work and change internally so that we attract, select, develop and retain employees who reflect and represent these communities in our organisation.

  2. Artistic practice and programming

    To shift our artistic programming so that we are exploring themes, forms and contexts that are more relevant to artists and practitioners from lower socio-economic backgrounds and change so that we attract, select, develop and retain artists from lower socio-economic backgrounds in our organisation.

  3. Organisational culture

    To shift our organisational culture so that we are more welcoming, inclusive and enabling place for people from lower socio-economic backgrounds and a place where they can thrive and develop their careers.

The rest of the workshops will be delivered within these cohorts of people and led by the objectives of the organisations taking part. We envisage these will include:

  • Understanding organisational culture and the ways it reinforces current beliefs and practices
  • Hearing testimony from leaders and employees who have created culture change in their organisations
  • Supporting the sharing of insights and experience within the cohort
  • Articulating changes that each organisation intends to make
  • Building strategies and actions to lead your organisation through change


Host Organisations will hear from a wide range of industry leaders and alumni from the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme. There will be a strong focus on building a peer network of support with digital tools to support shared learning throughout the 18 months facilitated by people make it work.

Fellows and fellowships profile

Selected Hosts will be supported to create a 12-month Fellowship for an outstanding early-career artist, curator, producer or creative, which will be meaningfully connected to the artistic and/or cultural leadership of their organisation.  This might be the artistic director in a theatre, a conductor or an artistic director for an orchestra, or the senior curator in a museum or gallery.

The sector is seeing the impact of cuts to higher education and almost two decades of tuition fees, with university degrees no longer the only starting point for a creative career.  Together with the increasingly precarious nature of artistic and cultural work, evidence suggests that opportunities for those without financial support and networks to get in and get on in the arts are more limited than ever. At the same time, the next generation are demanding more from leading arts and cultural institutions, and the move to recognise socio-economic background as a protected characteristic alongside gender, ethnicity and disability is being widely recognised.

As a result, the programme remains focused on creating Fellowships specifically designed for those facing socio-economic barriers who will benefit most from the powerful opportunities of the programme: a 50-strong peer network, residential cohort-based training and development, and dedicated support from the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme team and their Hosts to their creative career development during the Fellowship and beyond.

We are looking for Hosts who will accelerate the career of their Fellow and can provide the strongest opportunity for them to succeed.

A transformative Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries  Fellowship will be:

  • 12 months from September 2020 to September 2021.
  • Meaningfully connected to the artistic leadership of their Host.
  • An artistic or creative role including but not limited to a director, dancer, designer, musician, performer, writer, artist, curator, programmer, producer, interpreter, facilitator, including those within participatory arts, socially engaged and creative learning practices which are part of the organisation’s artistic programmes. Job descriptions are expected to include administrative tasks, and ‘blended’ roles will be supported.
  • An opportunity to develop the Fellow’s own artistic practice. Roles should be structured to allow Fellows the flexibility to develop their own professional and artistic skills. Roles should be developed to allow more flexibility in the final three months of the role so Fellows can prepare for their progression.
  • Supported by development and training provided as a cohort by people make it work throughout their Fellowship.
  • Supported by a dedicated mentor (outside the Host and paid for by the programme).
  • Supported by an appropriate place to work and equipment and resources to do their role.

Fellowships may also be offered by a consortium providing a job-share between a number of organisations to increase the artistic and creative stretch of the role and support freelance-style roles most appropriately. Consortia will need to appoint a lead applicant who will provide overall management of the Fellowship and receive the Organisational Change programme benefits.

Fellow's training and development

Fellows will receive a dedicated mentor, professional development training and networking opportunities over and above the support they receive from their Host organisation. The training and development will be designed with input from the Fellows, tailoring the content to meet their individual needs and goals as they progress through the programme.  The mentor will be selected by the Fellow with support from their Host, the Jerwood  Arts team and mentoring specialists Arts Emergency.

Delivered across three two-day residential workshops we envisage that the training will include skills-based training in areas such as navigating organisational structures, using networks for career progression, public speaking and CV writing as well as tools and techniques for developing resilience, engaging with self-reflection and considering the role of identity in the arts. Fellows will have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders and alumni from the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme. There will be a strong focus on building a peer network of support with digital tools to support shared learning throughout.

Hosts will cover the travel for their Fellow to attend the three residential training events.  All accommodation and food will be paid and arranged by the programme. An additional access budget is available to support Hosts and Fellows to participate fully, as required.  Fees to mentors will also be covered by the programme.


Recruiting a Fellow

Hosts are responsible for all the recruitment, marketing and interviewing for their Fellow. Successful Host organisations will be supported to create an inclusive recruitment plan to reach the right candidates for their Fellowship at an Induction Workshop on either 21, 22 or 24 April 2020. This will be based on our Toolkit for Employers, published in July 2019: Socio-Economic Diversity & Inclusion in the Arts.  Hosts will also be given guidance at this point about specific eligibility criteria for Fellows.

The WJCB programme has been developed to provide a step-change opportunity for talent from socio-economic backgrounds currently under-represented across the arts. We are currently developing Fellows’ eligibility criteria with our partners and experts in the field of socio-economic equality, based on latest research and approaches to measuring socio-economic background, to ensure that potential Fellows are at the right point for the content of the programme to have a transformative impact.

Potential Fellows will take an eligibility quiz as part of their application to a Host. The criteria for this are likely to include some of the following:

  • They are within two years of graduating from an undergraduate degree or with equivalent vocational experience. This means they will either have graduated between June 2018 and July 2020, or been working for between 3 and 5 years since leaving education.
  • They are aged 18 or over at time of Fellowship starting in Sept 2020.
  • They have only attended state-funded schools or colleges.
  • They are living and working in the UK.
  • They are outside formal education throughout the Fellowship.
  • They grew up in a household where, when they were aged 14, the primary earner held an occupation that can be classified as:
    • Unemployed / never worked
    • Routine manual and service occupations e.g. van driver, cleaner, porter, waiter/waitress, bar staff
    • Semi-routine manual and service occupations e.g. postal worker, security guard, machine worker, receptionist, sales assistant
  • They were the first generation of their family to attend university.
  • They received a full maintenance loan throughout their undergraduate degree.
  • They were eligible for free school meals at secondary school.
  • Taking an intersectional approach, we will take into account whether their 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, those with disabilities and/or caring responsibilities.

The programme will provide full support with the recruitment process, however Hosts need to be prepared to spend more time and staff capacity than usual to create the paperwork and market their Fellowship role successfully. Depending on Hosts’ existing recruitment methods, they may need a wholesale re-think of how and where they advertise for early-career roles, the language they use in the job description and person spec, and how they conduct interviews.

Jerwood Arts will lead on the initial eligibility checks of Fellow applications, and all adverts will be listed on this, Jerwood Arts’ website to support UK-wide cross-marketing. As all Fellowships will be advertised in the same period (May – Aug 2020), there will also be opportunities to do joint marketing of roles which have links, either geographically or by art form, within the Host cohort.


Funder specific requirements

With the support of our wide range of committed funders and partners, we are looking to select 50 Hosts from across the UK.  Hosts are invited to create any role which is meaningfully linked to the artistic or cultural leadership of their organisation.  A few of our funders have identified specific needs where there is under-representation in art forms and geographical areas and we will be considering their additional requests. Please see below to find out about the specific needs in your area and/or art form.

Please note that you do not NEED to fit within any of these categories to apply.

UK-wide and art form specific

Art Fund are keen to support curatorial Fellowships based in museums and galleries across the UK.

PRS Foundation are keen to support music-creator Fellowships across the UK.

In addition, Creative Scotland will be supporting an opportunity for a theatre Fellowship for a Scotland-based design practitioner (eg but not limited to lighting/sound/stage) at a Host based anywhere else in the UK.


We have committed to selecting at least 28 Hosts based outside of London, within the English cohort.  This is in line with the commitment by Arts Council England to focus 75% of opportunities outside the capital.

Northern Ireland

Funding from Garfield Weston Foundation, PRS Foundation and Art Fund will support a minimum of two Hosts and Fellowships in Northern Ireland.


Creative Scotland have identified a number of art-form specific needs which are ring-fenced for Fellows based in Scotland.  If you think your organisation and Fellowship will meet their needs, please tick the relevant box at the end of the application form.  We anticipate we will fund additional Host organisations in Scotland not covered in this list below.

  • a dance organisation
  • a Gaelic-focussed Fellowship in a performing arts organisation
  • an organisation that supports the development of sustainable creative businesses (this can be on a place or sectoral basis)
  • a visual arts organisation interested in supporting a BAME Fellow


Arts Council of Wales would like to support organisations based in Wales offering Fellowships ring-fenced for Fellows based in Wales.  Museums and galleries not funded by Arts Council of Wales will be eligible for funding via Art Fund and Garfield Weston Foundation.

A note on language

Taking action on socio-economic diversity and inclusion in the arts starts with adopting an enabling vocabulary to guide thinking and activity. Through the programme, we have looked for ways to address challenging topics on social class and give voice to individuals who experience socio-economic barriers and financial hardship in a sensitive manner, without using value-laden terms that presume ‘privilege’, ‘advantage’, and ‘affluence’ as the norm. Too often, terms are used that attribute lack or deficiency to individuals and communities of people that have the effect of reinforcing inequality and traditional hierarchies (‘less-privileged’, ‘disadvantaged’, and ‘less-affluent). Introducing a new vocabulary – and exposing problems with existing language-use – plays a part in combating implicit codes and practices that can be perceived as exclusive, derisory, and unhelpful.

We have decided to use ‘lower socio-economic’ throughout this guidance as this most accurately reflects the wider discourse the programme is currently part of, and we will evolve this language as the programme progresses, particularly when it comes to appealing to a wider range of potential Fellows. We know we will continue to learn about the power of language and we will support all those involved in the programme to work out what works in their context.

We believe language has the power to narrow the social gaps between people and foster productive and inclusive organisational cultures. Our Toolkit* provides a Glossary for reference on other common words and terms used in this area of diversity and inclusion.

Programme team, partners and funders

Programme Team

The programme team is led by Kate Danielson, Director of Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries since 2010, working closely with the Jerwood Arts staff team including Director Lilli Geissendorfer, Project Manager Sarah Gibbon and Deputy Director Jon Opie.

Both strands of Fellows’ training and Hosts’ Organisational Change programme will be delivered by people make it work, led by Clare Thurman and Richard Watts. They will design and deliver an inspiring, practical support programme to deepen all Fellows’ learning and strengthen organisations’ potential to make long term, systemic change, working with highly skilled and experienced practitioners.

A partnership with Arts Emergency will support the mentoring programme for Fellows.

Our evaluation is designed and led by Annabel Jackson Associates Ltd. Dr Dave O’Brien, Chancellor’s Fellow in Cultural Studies at the University of Edinburgh, is academic consultant to the programme and leading an academic research project into ‘what works’ in creative career progression as part of understanding the wider effectiveness of policy and programme interventions like this.

Progression Partners

Jerwood Arts WJCB Fellow’s Fund will provide £60k of funding, available to Fellows to kickstart their own projects or continue their professional development at the end of their Fellowship.

The British Council will provide up to 14 international paid placements at the end of the Fellowships, with Fellows working directly with British Council arts teams across the world for 2-4 weeks.


The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022 programme is designed and produced by Jerwood Arts. It is funded and supported by Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Art Fund, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, British Council, Jerwood Arts and PRS Foundation.

The funding partnership with Art Fund extends the reach of the programme into museums and galleries, while funding from Arts Council of Wales and Creative Scotland will ensure a significant number of Hosts and Fellowships throughout the UK.

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022 programme is designed and produced by Jerwood Arts. It is funded and supported by Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Art Fund, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, British Council, Jerwood Arts and PRS Foundation.