Key dates

Applications are now closed.

The previous closing date was:

  • Tuesday 1 September 2020 for proposals starting after 1 December 2020

The round closed at 3pm AEST on the closing date.

The new 3pm AEST closing time falls within business hours. This allows Artists Services staff to troubleshoot any issues and generally support applicants as the deadline approaches. This was not possible with our previous, midnight, closing time.

Please note: To apply you must be registered in our Application Management System a minimum of two business days prior to the closing date.

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


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

Please note: Your project must take into account the latest advice regarding COVID-19.

Please read through the following grant guidelines.

If you need advice about applying, contact an Artists Services Officer now.

Who can apply

You can only submit one application to this closing date for Fellowships.

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

Applications for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Fellowship must come from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals.

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for a grant if:

  • you have already submitted an application to this closing date for Fellowships
  • you have an overdue grant report
  • you owe money to the Australia Council
  • you are applying as a group or organisation
  • 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).

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


Australia Council Fellowships are awarded in the areas of:

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

Fellowships will be awarded by the Australia Council on the advice of key industry professionals, who are experts in the area you have selected.

Assessment criteria

Industry advisors will assess your application against the following criteria.

Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what the advisors may consider. You do not need to respond to every bullet point listed.

Outstanding professional achievement

Industry advisors 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.


Industry advisors will assess the viability of your proposal. 

They may consider: 

  • relevance and timeliness of the proposed activity
  • realistic and achievable planning and resource use, including contingency planning
  • 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

Industry advisors 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

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

You should submit support material with your application. The Industry Advisors may review this support material to help them gain a better sense of your project.

What you should provide

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, or need advice on what type of material to submit, please contact Artists Services.

There are three types of support material you may submit:

1.  Artistic support material

This should include relevant, recent examples of your artistic or cultural work.

2.  Biographies and CVs

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae (CV) for key artists, personnel or other collaborators involved in your project.

Brief bios or CV information 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 how the project or activity will benefit you, other artists or arts professionals, participants or the broader community.

If relevant to your activity, letters of support may also provide evidence of appropriate cultural protocols, permissions or outline the support of key project partners.

You can include up to five letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page.

Types of support material we accept

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs (weblinks).

You can provide up to three URLs (weblinks) that link to content that is relevant to your proposal. This may include video, audio, images, or written material.

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).

Please note: Our Industry Advisors will not access any URLs that require them to log in or sign up to a platform. Please do not provide links to Spotify or other applications that require users to log in or pay for access.

If you are linking to media files that are private or password protected like Vimeo, please provide the password in the password field on the application form.

Other accepted file formats

If you cannot supply support material via URLs, you may upload support material to 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).

Download the RTF version of these guidelines.


If you need advice about applying, contact an Artists Services Officer now.

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