Guidelines: Creative Fellowships

Applications for our 2014–15 Creative Fellowships are now closed. 

What is a Creative Fellowship?

The State Library of Victoria’s Creative Fellowships support creative use and/or development of the Library collections for new work in all areas of enquiry. They aim to:

  • promote the State Library as a place and centre for creative activity
  • promote use of collections unique to the State Library of Victoria
  • give fellows the time and space to undertake their work
  • create a community of fellows who can promote the Library and its collections through their work and their advocacy.

What does a Creative Fellowship offer?

Fellows become part of the Library community, with access (for the period of the fellowship) to a desk in a private study which may be used outside normal opening hours of the Library. Librarians familiar with the collections that form the focus of projects are assigned to assist each fellow. Fellows also have access to the Foundation members lounge for the duration of their fellowship.

Creative Fellowships include grants and are most commonly awarded for periods of three months, with the capacity to undertake the research either fulltime or part time, depending on existing commitments.

Grants are for $12,500 for three months and apply at this level regardless of whether projects are undertaken by individuals or as a collaborative partnership.

Honorary fellowships may be awarded, which accord all the benefits of the fellowship without the grant. These fellowships are for three months fulltime or six months part time.

Creative Fellows will also have the opportunity to apply for one short residency at the Baldessin Press in St Andrews.

Can I apply?

Applications are open to Australian residents in any discipline or form of expression. New and digital media artists, visual artists, musicians and composers, writers in all disciplines and subjects, independent scholars and creators working either in collaboration or independently are eligible.

Projects that have already commenced, are supported by other funding bodies, or are covered by a publishing contract are eligible.

Academics with access to paid study leave as part of their employment conditions and projects that are supported by University-derived funding are not eligible for a funded fellowship, but may be eligible for an honorary fellowship.

Creative Fellowships will not be awarded for projects that are part of examination requirements towards a degree or similar qualification.

What are the criteria?

Projects must make significant use of and/or contribute to the development of the collections of the State Library of Victoria.

Project proposals must demonstrate creativity in such use and/or development of the collections of the State Library of Victoria and can be in any field of enquiry or form of expression.

How are projects selected?

Applications are shortlisted by Library staff according to the above criteria.

Shortlisted applications are provided to an independent selection panel, along with the complete list of all applications. Panel members are able to call into consideration applications that are not on the shortlist.

The panel may recommend a shorter fellowship than that requested, or an honorary fellowship in place of a fellowship that carries a grant.

Following the selection panel meeting, Library staff contact referees for recommended projects, and may contact applicants to attend an interview. Subject to favourable reports, the recommended projects are presented to the Community Programming Committee.

The Community Programming Committee reviews the panel's recommendation and prepares a report for the Library Board of Victoria meeting in early June. The Board awards fellowships for commencement on or after 1 July.

Following the acceptance of the offers of fellowships in June, unsuccessful applicants are advised by mail.

What are the requirements?

Successful applicants will be required to:

  • take up the fellowship in the twelve month period from 1 July 2014
  • make significant use of the resources of the State Library of Victoria
  • spend at least 75 per cent of their research time at the State Library of Victoria
  • give due acknowledgement of the Library’s support in any publication, presentation or performance of the work
  • submit a short report at the conclusion of the Fellowship.

Where it is appropriate or desirable, fellows will be invited to:

  • deposit a copy of their work in the collection of the State Library
  • give the State Library the first opportunity to publish the results of the fellowship
  • give a public presentation on the results of their creative activity or research.

What happens to my intellectual property?

All copyright in the works created by a fellow during the course of a fellowship continues to vest in the creator.

More information

If you have specific questions about the fellowship requirements or selection process, contact Gail Schmidt at or on 03 8664 7335.