Career Development Grants for Individuals and Groups
The Australia Council offers three grant rounds each year for this category.
In 2020, the grant rounds will close on:
- Tuesday 4 February for projects starting after 1 May 2020 (11:59pm AEST). This round has now closed.
- Tuesday 2 June for projects starting after 1 September 2020 (11:59pm AEST).
- Tuesday 6 October for projects starting after 1 January 2021 (11.59pm AEDT).
Technical and administrative support will not be available after 5pm on the closing date.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date.
We are reviewing the application form for this category. The new application form will be available in our Application Management System from late March 2020. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
About the program
If you are an individual artist, arts worker or group of artists, a Career Development Grant can provide support to further develop your skills or improve your capacity to build an enduring career in the arts. Career Development grants are available from $5,000 to $25,000. These grants can support a broad range of activities such as skills and professional development, mentorships, showcases, residencies and other projects directly related to your career development. Supported activities must last no longer than two years from the proposed start date.
Please read through the following grant guidelines. You can find a case study of a recently-awarded career development grant here. If you need help with your application, contact a Grants Officer now.
Who can apply
Only individuals and groups 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 Arts panel must come from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals or groups.
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 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 in this category.
What you can apply for
You can apply for a range of activities. Some examples of the activities we fund are:
- professional skills development
- showcase opportunities
- forum/workshop attendance
- arts market attendance and exploration.
What you can’t apply for
You can’t apply for the following activity:
- projects or activities that do not involve or benefit practicing artists or arts worker
- projects or activities that do not have a clearly defined arts component
- projects that have already taken place.
As part of the application process, you will be able to choose which peer panel you want to assess your application. The peer panels available are:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts
- Community Arts and Cultural Development
- Emerging and Experimental Arts
- Multi-art form
- Visual Arts
If you are unsure which peer panel to choose to assess your application, please contact a Grants Officer now.
You must address three assessment criteria in this category.
Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what peers may consider when assessing your application. You do not need to respond to every bullet point listed.
Potential of the artist/artworker
Peers will assess the potential of the artist/artsworker at the centre of your proposal.
They may consider:
- artistic merit of proposed project
- quality of work previously produced
- public or peer response to work previously produced
- demonstrated ability, skills and creative thinking.
Peers will assess the viability of your proposal.
They may consider:
- skills and artistic ability of the people involved, and their relevance to the proposed activity
- effective use of resources, with realistic and achievable planning
- level of confirmation of proposed activities and partners
- adherence to relevant cultural protocols
- evidence of considered consultation and engagement with participants, audiences and communities.
Impact on career
Peers will assess the impact that the proposed activity will have on your career.
They may consider:
- capacity to strengthen skills and abilities of artists/arts professionals
- potential to discover and develop new markets, or meet existing market demand
- relevance and timeliness of activity.
The types of questions we ask in the application form include:
- a title for your project
- a summary of your project
- a brief bio of the artist or group applying
- an outline of your project and what you want to do
- a timetable or itinerary for your project
- an outline of how this project will impact your career
- a projected budget which details the expenses, income and in-kind support of the project
- supporting material as relevant to your project, including an artistic example, bios of additional artists, and letters of support from participants or communities.
You may submit support material with your application. The peer assessors may review this support material to help them gain a better sense of your project. If you need advice on what type of support material to submit, please contact the grants team.
We do not accept application-related support material submitted via post. Application-related material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your support material online, please contact the grants team.
There are three types of support material you may submit:
1. Artistic support material
This should include relevant, recent examples of your artistic work.
2. Artist information
You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae (CV) for yourself and any additional artists or key collaborators involved in the project.
Bio and CV information for all artists and key collaborators, including yourself, should be presented as a single document no longer than two A4 pages in total.
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.
What type of support material do we accept
Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs (web links).
You can submit up to three URLs, which may 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 how to submit late confirmations after the closing date, and advice on how to get examples of your work online click here.
If you cannot supply support material via URLs, you may upload support material with your application in the following formats:
- Video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
- Audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
- Images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
- Written material (Word and PDF)
A print friendly MS Word file can be accessed here.
If you need help with your application, contact a Grants Officer now.