How We Work

Our organisation is dedicated to imaginative and responsible project funding of the arts, with a particular focus on supporting emerging talent and excellence. We work with exceptional, dedicated artists and arts producers, enabling them to develop and thrive at important stages in their practice, often in partnership with leading UK arts organisations.

We make grants to organisations and individuals alongside delivering our strategic projects, which currently include: the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships; the Performing Arts Micro Bursaries; the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries, a UK-wide bursary programme for new graduates from low-income backgrounds; and Jerwood Visual Arts, a national programme supporting visual arts practice.

Each of our funding relationships begins with a conversation and the majority of our partnerships and initiatives are proactively sought or developed. We also fund a small number of direct approaches from artists and organisations each year. In the work we support, we are seeking to provide specific, targeted and tangible artistic and/or professional development opportunities that are well planned and, crucially, well managed.

You can download the information on this page which can be read by text recognition software and read off-line.

Who can apply

We only support projects benefiting artists or arts professionals who are not currently in formal education or training and who are based in the UK. Registered charities, individuals and organisations which are not registered as charities are all eligible to apply as long as their activity is charitable and meets our aims.

Our commitment to Jerwood Visual Arts means that we are rarely able to make grants for visual arts projects outside this programme.

Our role in the project

Where we are able and it is appropriate we may be the sole funder of a project. We also provide partnership or part-funding towards projects and run co-commissioned projects with other funders. We monitor our funded projects closely and sympathetically and require visible recognition of our support.

Grant funding available

Large Grants – £10,000 and over

Through this fund we develop strategic approaches to supporting artists and arts professionals through nurturing artistic or professional development programmes founded and run by established arts organisations. We also support new collaborations, commissioning initiatives, research and development initiatives which either enable experimentation or generate new work, and occasionally we may fund investigation into sectoral and/or policy provision which affects artists. These projects tend to be developed proactively or through ongoing conversation with potential applicants, and always respond to key needs and issues within arts sectors.

Small Grants – up to £10,000

Through this fund we explore new relationships, work directly with individual practitioners, take risks and support research and/or development for future ideas. At the heart of every small grant is a targeted or particular artistic, professional or sectoral development opportunity to be explored.

Opportunities for Individuals

As an individual you can apply for both Large and Small Grants as well as for the opportunities for individuals which are often offered by the existing projects and programmes that we fund. These can include training, commissions, research and/or production opportunities for artists, writers, producers and curators. Visit Opportunities for further information.

Performing Arts Micro Bursaries

Awards of between £250 and £1,000 to support individual artists and producers in the development of their practice. This could be for research, making new work, travel, training or mentoring. Applications are currently closed. For more information visit Performing Arts Micro Bursaries.

Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships

Poets are nominated to apply for three bursaries of £15,000 and substantial mentoring support to develop and enhance their practice, as part of a six-year initiative supporting poets in the UK. The Fellowships biannually reward creatively ambitious and generous poets who are making, or who are capable of making, a significant contribution to a community of poetry. They gift freedom, encourage creativity and potential, and inspire confidence while embracing excellence in poetic practice. This new collaboration between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Arts Council England, is made possible using accrued interest from a bequest made the Arts Council together by Mr Joseph Compton in 1964, together with additional funds from Arts Council England alongside our own contribution.

Jerwood Visual Arts

Visual artists, makers and art writers can apply for opportunities offered by Jerwood Visual Arts, our national programme supporting visual arts practice. It has a dedicated website and Jerwood Visual Arts opportunities are also listed on our Opportunities page. We proactively look for the curators and organisations we work with and do not invite unsolicited applications for exhibition proposals.

Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries

This is a national talent development initiative creating work and training opportunities for 40 outstanding new graduates across the UK, specifically those from low-income backgrounds. The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2017-19 programme is designed and managed by Jerwood Charitable Foundation in partnership with the British Council. It has been made possible through the combined support of Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, CHK Charities Limited and PRS Foundation. For more information visit the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries.

Apply for funding

Step one

Read this section fully as well as our aims in the About Us section. 

We work with long lead in times due to our Trustee meeting cycles, and if your project is taking place within the next three months we are unlikely to be able to offer support. However, we welcome conversations about projects commencing outside this timeframe. 

Step two

We are able to support:

  • Individuals and organisations, including companies that are not registered charities (providing the project is charitable and meets our charitable aims).

We are not able to support:

  • Non-arts projects.
  • Building or capital costs (including purchase of equipment).
  • Projects involving those who have not yet left formal education.
  • Academic study or course fees, or any associated costs.
  • Formal or informal education or community participation work.
  • Projects which support artists who are not resident in the UK.
  • General rehearsal, touring, production or staging costs for performances or exhibitions.
  • Retrospective awards or funding for retrospective activity.
  • Grants towards the purchase of musical instruments.
  • Projects in the fields of religion or sport.
  • Animal rights or welfare appeals.
  • Social welfare.
  • General fundraising appeals.
  • Appeals to establish endowment funds for other charities.
  • Medical research.
  • Environmental or conservation projects.
  • Medical or mental health projects.

We do not invite proposals for projects which fall within these exclusions. Our Trustees may, at their discretion and where there are exceptional circumstances, opt to waive an exclusion.

If you feel your project is eligible and that it meets our aims, please contact us to discuss your application in principle. Due to the volume of enquiries we receive we are, regretfully, unable to offer preliminary meetings.

Please do not submit an application without contacting our office first on 020 7261 0279 or via

Step three

Should we agree that your project meets our objectives and that we have the resources to consider it further, we will invite you to make a first stage application. A first stage application consists of:

  • A brief two-page summary of your project and information about you.
  • A budget

Submitted applications receive confirmation of receipt. It takes up to eight weeks for us to make an initial assessment, at which point we will confirm whether or not your proposal will be taken forward to a second stage. Initial assessments are made by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation team.

During assessment we may wish to enter into conversation with you which may result in modification and/or further development of the proposed activity. Entering into any such correspondence will in no way indicate a funding commitment from us.

Step four

After consideration of your first stage application, you may be invited to supply more information in a second stage application. Please note that we will not be able to confirm whether your application will be tabled at a Trustees meeting until we have received and assessed your second stage application in full.

During assessment we may wish to enter into conversation with you which may result in modification and/or further development of the proposed activity. Entering into any such correspondence will in no way indicate a funding commitment from us.

Do not submit an application without contacting our office.

Step five

You will be notified if your proposal is being taken forward to our Trustees for a final funding decision. The Trustees meet quarterly and you will be advised as to when your application will be discussed. We will let you know the outcome immediately after the meeting.