This page was made some time ago and may contain information which is now out of date

Jerwood Arts General FAQ

Below are some questions that we are frequently asked about how we work and our funding. If you are thinking of making an application, please read these, alongside the FAQ sheets we prepare for each of the funds we offer. If your query has not been answered by the FAQ, please send an email to [email protected].




What is Jerwood Arts? What do you do?

Jerwood Arts is the leading independent funder dedicated to supporting outstanding UK artists, curators and producers to develop and thrive. We collaborate with organisations across art forms to imagine a more sustainable sector. Our programmes provide transformative opportunities for early-career individuals through awards, fellowships and commissions, and we present exhibitions in our gallery in London and on tour nationally.

What are your values?

You can read about our values on our What We Do page.

How do you define artist/curator/producer? What art forms and artistic practices do you fund?

We work across all art forms, and actively support those whose work is interdisciplinary. Here is a list of artistic practices we are interested in.

While not exhaustive, it gives an indication of the range of artistic work we have funded in the past and are interested in for the future:

  • Applied Arts
  • Ceramics
  • Choreography
  • Circus
  • Composing
  • Collaborative
  • Criticism
  • Craft
  • Cross-artform
  • Curatorial
  • Dance
  • Directing
  • Drawing
  • Environmental Art

  • Experimental Animation
  • Fiction
  • Glass Making
  • Installation
  • Improvisation
  • Jewellery
  • Live Art
  • Light Art
  • Moving-image
  • Music
  • Multidisciplinary
  • New Media and Digital
  • Non-Fiction
  • Opera
  • Poetry

  • Painting
  • Playwriting
  • Photography
  • Performance
  • Producing
  • Puppetry
  • Sculpture
  • Set Design
  • Socially Engaged Practices
  • Sound Art
  • Spoken Word
  • Textiles
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts
  • Writing

Why do you not support feature films and short films?

We fund artists and animators to make experimental film, often for presentation in galleries or digital formats.

Feature films and short films by comparison are relatively well covered by the expertise and resources offered by organisations such as BFI, Screen Skills, BBC and Channel 4, among others, and therefore we choose to direct our limited resources towards those who are under-supported elsewhere.

I am an individual artist/curator/producer. Can I apply for funding?

Yes. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for our opportunities. You may be also be able to apply for the specific call for entries we run or that we fund organisations to run.

If the opportunity you would like to apply for is not currently open for application, please sign up for our e-newsletter, where we announce all our funding opportunities, as well as our exhibitions and events.

Why do you say artists, curators and producers have to be within the first 10 years of establishing their practice?

We think of those in the early stages of their careers as usually within the first 10 years of establishing their practice. Broadly speaking, this means the artist/curator/producer will have had some professional experience and reached a critical moment in their career, and will require a particular kind of support in order to maximise their potential and propel them into the next phase of their development.

For our funding opportunities in 2020 it means that, unless an individual has had a career change or break (see next question below), their first professional experience will have been between 2010 and 2019.

We fund across art forms and the 10-year framework also allows us to recognise that in some disciplines the ‘early’ or ‘emerging’ period is longer than in others. Jerwood Arts has a long history of making opportunities to support this moment and in concentrating on this, we focus our expertise and resource on where we think we can make the greatest impact. We do however recognise that artists at any moment in their career might experience challenges in sustaining a career, and advocate to arts organisations and other funders to consider the barriers that prevent artists from all backgrounds achieving life-long, fulfilling practices.

How do you define length of artistic practice?

For the majority of artists, we define the start of your artistic practice from when you had your first professional engagement, such as your first group show in a gallery, published work, theatre performance or dance show. There is no hard and fast rule with this definition, but we hope it indicates the experience level of those we are expecting to benefit from our support.

The length of time you have been practicing as an artist may be linear, or may be more interrupted. We are happy to consider the length of your practice as the time before and after any pause. Our application form allows you to explain your specific circumstances.

I work in collaboration with another artist. How would you assess when our artistic practice was established?

If you are applying for our funding to support a collaborative practice, we would consider your length of practice as dating from when your working partnership was established.

If you are applying to work with someone for the first time, then we recommend you apply as an individual and your application should say how the new collaboration will support your own development.

Are there any age restrictions on who can apply?

No. We do not put any age restrictions on our funding. We ask that you are within the first 10 years of establishing your practice. See questions above for how we define length of practice.

Do I have to be a registered UK charity to apply for funding?

No. Depending on the criteria for each funding opportunity, we can fund individuals, unincorporated groups and companies, and limited companies and/or registered charities. The organisations we fund have to be non-profit and have the arts as their core mission.

I work internationally, can I apply?

All activity funded by Jerwood Arts must take place in the UK. We recognise that artists work is increasingly global, and connections with individuals and organisations working in other countries can significantly enrich projects. Therefore, we welcome applications for projects that have or will have international collaborators, travel or outcomes, but the international elements have to be supported by other funds.

I have never been to college or university. Can I apply?

Yes, our funding, Awards and Fellowships are open to artists who are within 10 years of starting their practice (with the exception of the Jerwood/FVU Awards which is five), regardless of whether they had formal training.

What access support do you provide?

Access support is available for individuals to make applications for all our opportunities, including alternative formats. If you are invited to meet us or to interview, you are welcome to discuss any access support you may need.
Where we offer Awards and Fellowships to those who require support, we can cover some access costs. Please contact us if you would like to discuss how we can support you to make an application, or have any feedback on the accessibility of our work.

Can I include access costs in a funding request to Jerwood Arts?

Yes. Our opportunities will make available reasonable funding in addition to the main project budget to support access and care costs. For example, this might cover extra support for disabled artists, or the cost of childcare. We feel that the ambition of the activity and full scope of the budget should not be reduced to cover essential costs that would allow artists to participate. Your access costs may already be covered by other sources of funding, with no extra support required from Jerwood Arts. We would accept this as part of your budget to us.

What support is available if I need advice with my application?

If your question is not answered within this FAQ section or in the guidance for the specific funding opportunities, then please contact us at [email protected] and we will endeavour to answer your question by email within three working days.

However, if you request assistance in the last few days before a deadline, be aware that the volume of applications that we typically receive in this period is very high. We therefore recommend you submit your application well in advance of the deadline in case any questions arise when you complete the form.

I’m not based in London, is there a budget to support my travel if I’m invited to interview?

Yes. We very much encourage applications from artists who are not London based, and have additional budget to support reasonable travel costs if selected for interview, where the selection process involves an interview.

You say you welcome applications: ‘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, socioeconomic backgrounds, those with disabilities and/or caring responsibilities.’ What do you mean by this?

Broadly speaking, people with these backgrounds and current circumstances are those most likely to experience disadvantage in the form of reduced opportunities due to their levels of income, education, and work experience on the one hand, and discrimination and unequal access to opportunities on the other. This disadvantage may be evident in access to educational, artistic and employment opportunities, health, and quality of life. Overall, these groups tend to be under represented across the arts, to varying degrees in different art forms and disciplines.

Not only is this under representation unjust, research shows it threatens the vitality and long-term health of the arts overall. We have thought carefully about what we can do to support more equitable access to our funding (see our commitment to access and inclusion here) and believe the biggest difference we can make is in supporting people to apply to us. We are committed to providing information and advice to enable people to make the right decision to apply, and then support them in making an application. Through this support we are investing in the capacity, confidence and skills of individuals to apply not just to us, but to other sources of income, thereby supporting their long-term success.

We hope that our increased commitment to supporting people to apply will increase the breadth of applications we receive in term of diversity including socio-economic background, and geographic reach nationally. We have refined our monitoring information to help us improve how we capture this data.

The other area we can have influence on is our decision-making process. We have appointed a diverse range of Artist Advisers from across the UK to be our ears and eyes and support our assessment and decision making. The aim is for them to help us to broaden our taste and increase our national reach. The pool of Artist Advisers will be periodically refreshed, and we welcome expressions of interest in joining the group.

How do you define how an artist is making a "positive contribution to the UK arts"?

By this we mean we want to support people who are actively engaging or plan to actively engage with networks, collectives, audiences and organisations in the UK. The nature of the engagement is open to interpretation, and it could be in a collaborative, challenging or enlightening way.

I am an individual and interested in one of the Development Programme Fund opportunities. Do I apply to you?

The Development Programmes are run by organisations funded by us and you should get in touch directly with the organisation if you would like to find out more about the opportunity.

If you are interested in direct support from Jerwood Arts and meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for opportunities we advertise through calls for entries. If there is not an opportunity is not currently open for application, please sign up for our e-newsletter, where we announce all our funding opportunities, as well as our exhibitions and events.

I am a migrant to the UK, with unclear residency status, can I apply?

Our funding is for people living and working in the UK; however, we have no requirements about residency or settled status. Please contact us if you would like advice about making an application.

How often can I apply for your funding? If I am unsuccessful, when can I re-apply?

If you meet one of our opportunity’s criteria, you are welcome to apply whenever there is a call for entries open. Please make sure you read the guidance each time, because we always update the information based on what we have learnt from running previous opportunities, and from feedback from applicants and supported individuals/companies.

What is the difference between formal education and specialist/professional development?

Formal courses refer to those operated by established educational institutions such as further education colleges, universities, art colleges, acting schools and conservatoires. We will not support those who are enrolled in such institutions nor fund the course fees, living costs or other expenses associated with these. We also will not fund any academic work, such as research, writing or publishing.

If you are within the first 10 years of establishing your practice, we will fund the costs of specialist/professional development, such as masterclasses, informal courses, coaching or residencies. In the visual arts, we recognise alternative or open school programmes such as Syllabus, Open School East or School of the Damned as professional development programmes and we would fund costs associated with taking part through the Jerwood Bursaries if a good case for support is made.

I am doing a practice-based PhD. Can I apply for funding?

No, we cannot fund anyone in formal higher education. You can apply for our funding, Award or Fellowship where the activity or project will clearly start after the end of your PhD.

When can activity supported by Jerwood Arts start?

We cannot fund activity that has already happened, therefore anything we fund has to take place after confirmation of funding has been received.

What happens if I experience a technical issue with the website?

We troubleshoot the website thoroughly; nevertheless, from time to time people do report technical difficulties. If you experience a technical issue with the website, please report it to [email protected]. You may find this especially frustrating if it happens right before the deadline, therefore we strongly advise that you try to submit your application well in advance.

What is the tax eligibility of my funding from Jerwood Arts?

Jerwood Arts does not have the professional insurance to offer tax advice for individuals in receipt of its funding. Please visit HMRC’s website for information about receiving funding, awards, bursaries and grants, or consult with a qualified expert. You may also want to look at the information provided by Art Quest on the subject here.

Who are the Artist Advisers?

Artist Advisers are individuals with the skills and expertise to contribute to identifying talent, and support selection and decision-making processes with their specific art form and discipline knowledge.

They are our ears and eyes across the UK, providing a current perspective on artists, artistic groups and arts organisations and help us to deepen our impact across our work. You can find out more about them here. The pool of Artist Advisers will be periodically refreshed, and we welcome expressions of interest in joining the group.


Can I request which Artist Advisers assess my application?

No. Artist Advisers are carefully matched with each application by the Jerwood Arts team. This is based on their skills and experience, and the artistic specialism and activity referenced within the content of the application. We offer Artist Advisers anonymity in reading applications, and throughout the selection process, so that they are free to give honest opinions.


I’ve read the guidance and FAQ but still have a question. What should I do?

Please send an email with your question to [email protected]. We will endeavour to send you an answer within three working days.