The Marten Bequest Scholarships

Applications are now closed

Applications close: Tuesday 2 February 2021 3pm AEDT (or earlier if application limit is met)

Amount: $50,000

Notification: Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by the end of April 2021.

Please note: Perpetual will only accept a limited number of scholarship proposals annually. Once this limit is met, no further proposals can be submitted.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 27 January 2021: In consultation with the Trust Manager for The Marten Bequest, and given the circumstances imposed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, we have amended the guidelines for the 2021 round to permit the scholarship to be used for the following activities in addition to interstate and international travel and activities: 

  • intrastate projects (travel within an applicant’s own state or territory) 
  • projects that do not involve travel 
  • overseas or interstate online training, study and mentorships (such as enrolling in, or completing, study with an overseas or Australian institution).

About The Marten Bequest

The Marten Bequest Scholarships offer talented young artists the chance to explore, study and develop their artistic gifts through travelling either interstate and/or overseas.

The scholarships provide financial support under the categories acting, architecture, ballet, instrumental music, painting, poetry, prose, sculpture and singing to help talented Australian artists achieve their dreams. 

John Chisholm Marten (1908 - 1966) was born in Kent, England and moved to Australia at a young age, residing in Sydney for his adult life. John Marten was a theatrical artist and well known for his appreciation and support of the arts community.

John was actively involved in many different art forms. He was trained in Spanish dancing and served in the merchant navy during the war. John also co-authored The Bali Ballet Murders with Cornelius Conyn, which was published in Australia, London and also translated into Dutch and published in the Netherlands. (This novel can be found at the Mitchell Library A823/C768/IAI)

A strong advocate for the artistic capabilities of young Australians, John understood the costs involved in study and training programs and established The Marten Bequest through a charitable trust.

The scholarships are administered by the Australia Council on behalf of Perpetual as trustee.

A list of previous recipients is available here.

Who can apply

Individual artists who are:

  • Australia citizens
  • aged 21 - 35 (17 - 35 for ballet) at the closing date may submit proposals.

These are terms established by The Marten Bequest and there are no exceptions to this requirement.

All applicants should familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions of The Marten Bequest.

If you are an Australian citizen but will have difficulty providing a copy of a birth certificate, passport or citizenship certificate if requested, please contact Artists Services to discuss your situation.

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for a scholarship 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 previously awarded a grant through The Marten Bequest.

What you can apply for

The scholarships are awarded annually to candidates who show great promise in the arts and literature, with nine scholarship disciplines available:

  • Acting
  • Architecture
  • Ballet
  • Instrumental music
  • Painting
  • Poetry
  • Prose
  • Sculpture
  • Singing.

Scholarship funds can be used to assist with study programs, professional training courses and/or mentor programs in Australia and/or overseas.

Please note: Your project must consider the latest advice regarding COVID-19 in the locations where the activity will take place.

The scholarship’s value

Scholarships are each worth $50,000, payable in quarterly instalments over two years.


Your proposal will be reviewed by the Australia Council. We may seek industry advice on your proposal before making our recommendations to Perpetual, who will make the final decision.

The decision of Perpetual is final and no feedback on proposals or further correspondence on decisions will be provided.

Scholarship Proposals

Scholarship proposals are submitted through the Australia Council’s Application Management System (AMS). Click on the ‘Apply Now' button at the bottom of this page.

If you are using the system for the first time you will need to register your details to access the proposal form. Instructions on how to do this can be found on the landing page once you have clicked on the ‘Apply Now’ button.

Make sure you register well before the closing date. It can take up to two business days to process your registration.

We do not accept applications submitted via post. Any material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your application online, please contact Artists Services.

Once signed in, click on Apply for a Grant from the left panel menu. Scroll down the list of opportunities. Under ‘Co-Investment Opportunities’ select ‘The Marten Bequest’.

The type of questions we ask you to complete in your online proposal include:

  • your name and contact details
  • agreement with terms and conditions of the scholarship
  • confirmation that you are an Australian citizen
  • confirmation of your age
  • which discipline you are applying for
  • information about your practice and professional experience, your career goals
  • the proposed aim and activities of your scholarship (names of teachers/institutions, travel plans, dates, etc), and how your planned activities will assist your artistic career.
  • supporting material relevant to your proposal.

Support material

Additional material can be submitted to support your proposal.

You can submit up to two URLs (weblinks). These URLs should be direct links to material and can include video, audio, images (photos, drawings, sketches or plans), and writing.

For instrumental music, singing, ballet and acting proposals:

  • a direct link / URL to video recording of performance (preferred); for music and singing this may be a link to an audio file.

For painting and sculpture proposals:

  • a direct link / URL to 12 digital images or video recording.

For architecture proposals:

  • a direct link / URL to recent plans, drawing, diagrams, renderings and/or photos.

For poetry and prose proposals:

  • a direct link / URL to poetry (2 - 5 pieces of work) or prose (1,500 - 2,000 words).

You can include up to five letters of support or written references for you and your project, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page. The letters should explain how the proposed scholarship will benefit you. They should be combined into a single document.

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

Please note: Our assessors 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.

To find out more about support material, including advice on how to get examples of your work online, please contact Artists Services.

Terms and Conditions

The Marten Bequest terms and conditions can be viewed here.

Our co-investment strategy builds on the Council’s trusted brand, our relationships and our wealth of experience which underpins innovative approaches to arts investment.

Learn more about Co-investment

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