Creative Arts

Undergraduate study

Fine Art Fellowships

Two £10,000 fellowships available in Fine Art at Loughborough University

Fine Art at Loughborough University has partnered with the Artists’ Benevolent Fund to offer two prestigious Step Change Fellowships for Loughborough University Fine Art graduates from 2019 and 2020. ABF’s Step Change Programme provides sponsorship funds to artists in England and Wales to help to launch, sustain and develop their careers. This is a one-year programme 2020-2021 hosted by Fine Art at Loughborough University.

The purpose of The Artists’ Benevolent Fund (ABF) Step Change Programme is to meet the genuine needs of artists who face difficulty in career development and embarking on a fully professional career. Successful applicants will receive £10,000 cash from the Artists’ Benevolent Fund. Plus, a range of facilities including studio space in Fine Art, an IT account, and access to academic, technical, professional and career development staff. Fellows will receive a £250 materials budget and access to trips from the Fine Art Programme at Loughborough University, plus a £300 international travel grant from ABF.

To apply, you need to complete the application form. In the application, you MUST state how you meet the criteria: what barriers do you face in becoming an artist, or in sustaining a career as an artist, what support do you need, what will the fellowship help you achieve as an artist that you are struggling to achieve without extra support? The FAQ list below will help you to develop your application.

Submit your application to Antoinette Burchill:  


  • Application deadline: 3pm on Friday 12 June 2020
  • Notifying successful candidates: June
  • Fellowships begin: 5 October 2020 (virtually or on-site, depending on current guidance) 

I want to apply, but I don’t want a career as an artist.

Only fine art graduates who want a career as an artist can apply.



I didn’t study Fine Art at Loughborough.

You do not meet the application criteria – you do not need to apply.

I graduated from Fine Art, but not in 2019 or 2020

You can apply and we will consider you. But, we will prioritise graduates from 2019 and 2020 except in exceptional circumstances.

I want to apply because I want to develop an ambitious project, but don’t have a studio space and I’m juggling two part-time jobs.

Then do apply, it sounds like you meet the criterium of ‘struggling to further your career as an artist’.

What does a successful application look like?

A successful application does three things really well and uses the maximum word count allowed. 1). It evidences how you meet the selection criteria. 2). It explains the project you want to undertake and how this will support your development as an artist. And, most importantly, 3). It describes the barriers you face and how they inhibit your development as a professional artist.

What do you mean by 'barriers' in the application form?

Barriers can be things that you are struggling to overcome: in your life, and in your life as an artist. For example, an economic barrier might be multiple low paid jobs. A cultural barrier might be your experience as a first-generation graduate, or family expectations for you not to pursue an art career. A social barrier might be about gender, or identity, or self-confidence, or self-esteem, or something else. Receiving support from this programme would help you overcome this barrier and enable you to flourish as an artist.

How do I write about my 'barriers'?

First, identify each barrier, then identify which category it belongs to (e.g.: social, cultural, economic). To protect your confidentiality, do not write about the barrier. Instead, write about the difficulties that barrier causes, or has caused you in the past, and that is still causing difficulties now. For example, the repercussions of a traumatic life experience, a physical, or a mental health condition may have caused you to lose time on your undergraduate studies, effected your ability to participate, or affected your self-confidence or self-esteem.

I have moved away from Loughborough; do I need to move back before I apply?

You might need to think about this. One of our aims is to develop a vibrant studio culture in Fine Art, and these fellowships help us do that. You’d need to commit to using the studio space regularly on this fellowship programme. 

I have been accepted onto a master's programme, but I want to apply for this opportunity.

You can apply, and if you are selected, you can discuss delaying the start of your master's with that institution.

I received mitigating circumstances for my undergraduate coursework, but I don’t want to say why.

You must protect your confidentiality and you must not state why you received mitigating circumstances. Do tell us about the impact or affect of those circumstances on your ability to develop your career as an artist. By telling us about the barriers or difficulties you face, you meet the criteria set by ABF for the Step Change programme.

I don't want to apply this year; can I apply next year?

Possibly. We hope but cannot guarantee this scheme will run in the future.