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Art Scholarship Bursaries for Undergraduates and Postgraduates

For specialist arts institutions or registered charities to provide support to undergraduate and/or postgraduate students across the fine and performing arts, including (but not exclusively) music, drama, dance, film, fine art, etc. 

The scheme looks to support excellence and need, and will provide bursaries of £5,000 to £10,000 a year per student.

The Trust also offers support to organisations providing training opportunities across the fine and performing arts for under 18s. These activities are now considered separately; and more information about this scheme can be found here. If applicable, institutions may apply to both schemes but each application will be considered separately.

Individual scholars or students may not apply directly to the Trust.

Duration

Applicants can apply for bursaries to start in one, two or each of the three years of the award period: 2025, 2026 and 2027. 

Before beginning your application, please carefully read the information below. This can also be downloaded as a PDF Guidance for Applicants.

Eligibility

Eligible organisations will be specialist arts training institutions that can demonstrate outstanding quality teaching within their particular field and who offer degrees at either undergraduate or postgraduate taught level.

Institutions may make only one application for funding in each round of this scheme. 

The applying organisation will be responsible for the selection of bursary recipients, administration of funds and reporting to the Trust.

Ineligible applicants

University departments that teach fine and performing arts are not eligible to apply to this scheme.

Individual students may not apply directly to the Trust. 

Ineligible Courses

Please note that support for students undertaking courses in Architecture, Business/Management of the Arts and PGCE/Training of Teachers are not eligible for consideration. 

What the Trust offers

Organisations can apply for support to provide bursaries for outstanding undergraduate and/or postgraduate students in financial need. 

The Trust does not expect to support all the students on a particular course.

Each institution can apply for a maximum total award of £475,000. Please note that this is not a target amount and requests for support for lesser amounts will be considered equally with those that bid for the maximum. 

Associated costs of 5% of the amount requested will be provided to meet the costs of selecting students, administering funds, and reporting to the Trust.

The students selected should be known as Leverhulme Scholars.

Funding awarded in the 2024 round can be used to make awards starting between 1 September 2025 and 31 August 2027. 

Postgraduate support

The organisation can apply to make awards in each of 2025, 2026 and 2027 or can apply to make awards in only one or two of those years, as suits the course offering of the institution.

Undergraduate support

Funding awarded in the 2024 round must be for the entire three-year period of study for the undergraduate student.

The organisation applying can apply to make awards in each of 2025, 2026, and 2027 or can apply to make awards in just one or two of those years, as suits the course offering of the institution.

Eligible costs

Eligible costs for bursaries can include: 

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate awards of a minimum of £5,000 and in £1,000 increments, up to a maximum of £10,000 per year, per student.
  • Support should last for the duration of the student’s study.

Bursaries should be paid to the student by the organisation. These funds can then be used for maintenance, fees or other costs, at the student’s discretion.

How to apply

If you have not already done so, please read all the information on this scheme page or download it as a PDF Guidance for Applicants.

The Principal Applicant should contact the Trust grants@leverhulme.ac.uk to enable access to the Leverhulme Grants Management System.

When completing the online application form, please refer to the Application Help Notes.

The recommended browsers to use for the application system are Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.

Principal Applicant

Applications should be made by a Principal Applicant who will take responsibility for the administration of the award and for providing annual progress reports to the Trust. 

Institutional Approval

Applications will also require Institutional Approval of the content of the application, including the finances requested by the organisation. This approver may not be the Principal Applicant.

Assessment of applications

An expert panel will be convened to assess requests for funding and will consider the case that each application made for the excellence of the institution and course/ activity, for example:distinctiveness and originality of the offering

  • quality of staff
  • attainment of specialist board distinction (where relevant) over the past ten years
  • track record of past students
  • destination of past students

The panel will pay equal attention to the process for identifying genuine need among potential participants.

The Trust may fund a bid in full or provide partial funding at its discretion.

Feedback on applications

Unfortunately, due to the large number of applications for this scheme, it is not possible to provide feedback to individual applicants regarding unsuccessful applications.

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