Australia Council Fellowships of $80,000 support outstanding, established artists’ creative activity and professional development for a period of up to two years. 

Please read through the following grant guidelines. If you need help with your application, contact a Grants Officer now.

Closing date

The Australia Council offers one grant round each year for Fellowships. In 2017, Fellowships will close on Tuesday 6 June.

Technical support will not be available after 5pm on the closing day.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date.

Who can apply

Only individuals may apply to this category. You must be a practicing artist or arts worker and an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident.

Applications for funding to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander panel must come from Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander individuals. 

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for a grant if:

  • you received a grant, or administered a grant, from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted
  • you owe money to the Australia Council
  • you were successful in the previous round
  • you received an Australia Council Fellowship awarded by any board or committee of the Australia Council since 1996 (excludes Australia Council Fellowships for Early Career Artists 2012-16, Australia Council Fellowships for Established Artists 2012-16, and Music Project Fellowships 2007-2014)
  • you have already made three applications to categories listed under Australia Council Grant Programs this calendar year (funding proposals submitted to categories under Other Grants and Opportunities are not counted as one of your three applications).

We will not accept applications from legally constituted organisations or partnerships in this category.

What you can apply for

You can apply for a range of different activity over the Fellowship period.  Some examples of the activities we fund are:

  • the creation of new work
  • research and development
  • experimentation
  • collaborations
  • skills development
  • professional development and training
  • residencies
  • mentorships.

What you cannot apply for

You cannot apply for the following activity:

  • projects or activities that do not involve or benefit practicing artists or arts workers
  • projects or activities that do not have a clearly defined arts component
  • projects that have already taken place.

Peer assessment

Australia Council Fellowships are awarded in the areas of:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art
  • Community Arts and Cultural Development
  • Dance
  • Emerging and Experimental Arts
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts.

Your application will be assessed by a peer panel made up of area of practice experts in the area you have selected.

Assessment criteria

Peers will assess your application against the following criteria.

To assess how well your application meets our criteria, Peers consider a number of prompts.  

Please note that not all of the prompts will apply to your application, but they are examples of the things our peers may consider.  

Outstanding professional achievement

Peers will assess the depth of experience of the artist and the significance of their professional achievement. 

They may consider: 

  • the strength of your artistic career
  • the quality and diversity of activities you have previously delivered
  • the significance of your body of work
  • peer recognition
  • national or international response to work previously produced.


Peers will assess the viability of your proposal. 

They may consider: 

  • relevance and timeliness of the proposed activity
  • realistic and achievable planning and resource use 
  • the timetable of activity
  • the role of any partners involved, including confirmation of their involvement
  • where proposals involve working with diverse audiences or communities, peers will look for demonstrated cultural competencies and appropriateness.

Impact of the Fellowship proposal

Peers will assess the impact that the fellowship period will deliver to the artist and/or sector. 

They may consider: 

  • how the proposed activity strengthens your artistic practice
  • the impact the proposed activity will have on your career 
  • how the proposed activity will be documented, presented or shared with the sector
  • how the proposed activity builds or develops national or international collaborations
  • how the proposed activity contributes to diverse artistic practice.

Application form questions

The types of questions we ask in the application form include:

  • a title for your Fellowship
  • a summary of your Fellowship
  • a brief bio
  • an outline of three key achievements or career highlights
  • an outline of your Fellowship and what you want to do
  • a timetable of activity for your Fellowship
  • an outline of how the Fellowship activity will impact your career and have broader impact
  • supporting material as relevant to your project, including an artistic example, bios of additional artists, and letters of support from participants or communities.

Support material

Additional material can be submitted to help support your application. Support material may help peers gain an understanding of the quality of your work, and where relevant, the skills and role of other artists or partners involved.

There are 3 distinct types of support material you may submit with your application. None of this support material is mandatory however peer assessors do rely on support material to help them gain a better sense of your project. Whether or not you should submit each type will be dependent on the nature of your project.  If you are uncertain please call one of our grants officers for further advice.

1. Artistic support material

This is examples of your recent work.

You can submit up to three URLs (web links). These URLs can include video, audio, images, and written material.

Please note that these URLs can include a total of:

  • 10 minutes of video and/or audio recording
  • 10 images
  • 10 pages of written material (for example, excerpts of literary writing)

To find out more about support material, including advice on how to get examples of your work online click here.

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs. However, if you cannot supply artistic support material via a URL, we will accept artistic support material in the following formats:

  • Video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
  • Audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
  • Images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • Written material (Word and PDF)

2.  Artist information

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae highlights for yourself and any additional artists involved in your project. Bio and CV information should be included as a single document and not exceed two A4 pages in total for all artists (including yourself).

3.  Letters of support

Individuals, groups or organisations can write letters in support of your project. A support letter should explain to the assessment panel how the project or activity will benefit the applicant or the broader community (and if applicable, how the project or activity will benefit community participants). You can include up to five letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page.

A print friendly MS Word file can be accessed here.

Apply online now

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