Home > Fellowships 2024 FAQ

Find the answers to all your frequently asked questions below and read more about our 2024 fellowships.

Frequently asked questions

How is the Fellowship Program application process accessible to me?
We use the SmartyGrants online portal for fellowship applications. In this portal you can submit your application in audio, video or written format.
If SmartyGrants isn’t accessible for you, contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss other options. Please allow at least 5 days prior to the closing date for these requests. These could include:

  • a Word document of the application
  • an Auslan video (we can arrange Auslan interpretation if needed)
  • an audio file. 
Arts Access Victoria can provide access support with your application. This could be reviewing your draft proposal, helping you compile support material or helping you complete the form. For information about access support, contact Sarah Fiddaman:

For more information, visit the Arts Access Victoria website. 
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What if I have trouble submitting my application by the closing date?
Applications close at 5pm on Tuesday 26 March 2024. 

If you can’t submit on time due to illness or another unexpected event, contact us on [email protected] or 8664 7000 to discuss. If you contact us before the closing date, we’ll do our best to provide a few extra days.
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How will State Library Victoria support my access or inclusion needs if I’m selected?

We want to know how we can best support your participation in the Fellowship Program. There’s an optional section in the application form where you’re welcome to outline your access requirements. 

If your application is successful, we’ll meet to talk about what we can do to support your access needs.  

In the application process, you can apply for an extra $1000 to support your access needs. You can use this money for things like transport, interpreters, equipment or anything else that will support your access to the program. 

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Are there any access limitations at the Library?

While we do our best to make the Library and its collections accessible to all visitors, it is a heritage site and there are some limitations. 

The Library catalogue is not accessible via a braille computer. If you use a braille computer, we’ll support you in searching the collection and will provide material in accessible formats where possible. There may be up to a 6-week turnaround for accessible formats, and not all material can be digitised in this way. Contact us if you have specific questions on this. 

The State Library site is a heritage building with wheelchair access to most of the venues and offices. However, for some spaces wayfinding can be complex and we will work through pathways with fellows as required.  

Not all areas of Baldessin Studio are wheelchair accessible at this stage. You can find out more about accessibility at Baldessin on their website.

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Does the Library have a dedicated access officer who can support me?

No, but we’ll do our best to provide support when needed. 

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What are the eligibility criteria for the fellowships?
  • You’re able to take your residency in person between 1 July 2024 and 17 June 2025, for a period of time decided by you, based on the fellowship funding offered

  • You’re able to attend an induction in person at the Library on either Thursday 27 June or Friday 28 June 2024 

  • You’re able to attend an announcement and photocall at the Library on Tuesday 25 June 2024 

  • You’re 18 years old or over

  • You live in Australia

  • You live in regional Victoria (if you’re applying for a regional fellowship) 

You’re not eligible for a fellowship if: 

  • you’re claiming to paid study leave from your workplace to attend the residency 

  • your project is supported by university-derived funding

  • Your project is part of examination requirements toward a degree or similar qualification
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What are the selection criteria for the fellowships?

We review applications in response to 4 criteria: 

  • Creative merit: How does the artistic, creative or research concept show a well thought-through idea or innovative approach?  

  • Link to the Library or Library collection: How does the proposal engage with the nature of what a Library is, the collection itself, the Library site or a combination of these? Have you identified specific collection items or topics? 

  • Applicant experience: What experience and skills do you have to carry out the proposed project? For example: research skills, artistic skills, community knowledge or connections? 

  • Library and community benefit: How does your project benefit or engage with the needs and interests of your community or others? How will it help the community connect with the Library, or build and enrich the collection?  
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What does my application need to include?

Questions can vary based on which fellowship you apply for, but these are the key questions we’ll ask: 

  • Indigenous Australian Aboriginal cultural protocols: If your project has an Indigenous Australian Aboriginal focus or content, you’ll need to follow the cultural protocols outlined below.

  • Project details: Project title, brief overview and description that outlines the concept, and shows a well thought-through idea or innovative approach. 

  • Skills and experience: A summary of your skills and experience in relation to your proposed project. 

  • Proposed use of Library collections or site: How does your proposal engage with the collection, respond to the site or the role of Libraries more broadly? Have you identified specific collection items or Library sites? 

  • Library and community benefit: How does your project benefit or engage with your and/or other communities? What impact will it have for the identified communities and the Library? 

  • Project status and funding status: Is this an existing project? Does the project have funding?  

  • Project outcomes: Is there a public outcome you have in mind, either during or after your residency? Public outcomes are desirable. However, proposals with a public outcome involving Library spaces and staff will be considered separately and are not funded through the fellowships process. 

  • Other supporting documentation: This could include a brief CV or resume (maximum 3 pages), a letter of support (maximum 1 page), website links, or examples of work. You can add up to 5 files with no more than 5 minutes of audio or video. 
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I have a question about the Library collection for my application, who should I contact?

You can ask a librarian: 

  • in person in the Redmond Barry Reading Room, which is open for walk-up visitors from 10am–6pm daily
  • by phone 03 8664 7002 
  • or send your question using our online form
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Can I save work on my application form as I go?

Yes, you can save progress on your application form in SmartyGrants and come back to it as many times as you like. When you’re ready, you can submit your form.

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Can a team of creatives or researchers apply for a fellowship?

Yes, up to 2 applicants can apply for a joint fellowship. The application form will ask you to describe how you will work together during the residency. The Library will meet with successful joint applicants before your residency starts to agree on shared intellectual property and working processes.

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I'm having trouble applying through the SmartyGrants portal – what should I do?

Email: [email protected] with details and our team will get back to you as soon as possible.  

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What is the selection process?

Applications are assessed internally first by Library staff and subject matter experts, and shortlisted applications are reviewed by an independent external selection panel with representatives from the State Library. 

For the Baldessin Studio Residency applications are assessed by the Baldessin Studio Selection Committee; the Redmond Barry Fellowships is assessed by the Redmond Barry Fellowship Selection Committee with representatives from the State Library and University of Melbourne; the Georges Mora Fellowship is assessed by the Georges Mora Fellowship Committee with representatives from the State Library. 

Notifications will be made at the end of May or early June 2024. 

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What kind of projects are likely to be successful?
Will I receive feedback if my application is not selected?

No, we are unable to provide feedback on individual submissions. 

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Can I discuss my application with someone before submitting?

We’re hosting two information sessions about the application process and residencies. You’ll have a chance to ask questions during the session. If you can’t make it, the sessions will be recorded. 

Please read this document carefully, attend or watch the information session recordings on the program. However, if you still have questions regarding the Fellowships Program, email [email protected] or call 03 8664 7000. We will not be able to provide feedback or help with your concept or project ideas. 

If you have a research or collection question, you can ask a librarian: 

  • in person in the Redmond Barry Reading Room, which is open for walk-up visitors from 10am–6pm daily 
  • by phone 03 8664 7002 
  • or send your question using our online form

Online info session with Arts Access Victoria 

Tuesday 20 February 2024, 3–4.30pm 

View the online info session here

In-person info session  

State Library Victoria Theatrette
Wednesday 21 February 2024, 6–7.30pm 

View the in-person info session here

These sessions are Auslan-interpreted and recorded with closed captions. 

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Can I apply for more than one fellowship?

No, you can only apply for one fellowship in the 2024–25 fellowships round. Please select the category most suitable for your project idea. 

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Can I submit supporting material in a language other than English?

No, we only accept submissions and supporting material in English and Auslan (via a pre-recorded video). This can include translated work or material, if you would like to include it. 

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How can I protect my intellectual property while making an application?

By making an application, you agree that Library staff and the judging panel will read the contents. You retain the copyright and IP in your work at all times. 

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What are the Library’s cultural protocols for working with Indigenous Australian Aboriginal content?

If your application has an Indigenous Australian Aboriginal focus or content, you need to show a connection to the relevant communities.    

This could be in the form of either:   

  • a letter of support from an Indigenous Australian Aboriginal organisation 
  • a joint fellowship application with an Indigenous Australian Aboriginal applicant, if you’re not Indigenous. 

Once you have a letter of support, you’ll also need to talk to the Victorian Indigenous Research Centre team at the Library before you apply. Make an appointment between Monday 13 February and Tuesday 26 March 2024 by contacting:   

Observing and following cultural protocols is necessary to ensure the cultural integrity of a project. 

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Who are the fellowships for? Who can apply?

The fellowships are open to creatives, writers, researchers, educators, curators, artists, musicians and composers. You can practise in any form of expression or research discipline.  

Emerging, mid-career and established creatives and researchers are welcome to apply. However, you will need to show your capacity for self-directed research and a track record of successful work.  

We encourage people who are Indigenous Australian Aboriginal, culturally and linguistically diverse, LGBTQIA+, disabled, Deaf to apply. We want to support applicants with lived experience of diversity.

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Is the fellowship for both development and delivery of an outcome?

No, fellowships are support for the research or development of work only, not for presentation or outcomes. 

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If I’m awarded a fellowship, is there a guaranteed presentation outcome at the Library?

No, while we encourage and welcome outcomes, we can’t guarantee a program presentation or exhibition at the Library. Proposals with a public outcome involving Library spaces and staff will be considered separately and in relation to the Library’s strategic goals; they are not funded through the fellowships process.

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How many projects will you support?

We’re offering 15 fellowships in the 2024–25 round.

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What am I expected to deliver as a fellow?

We expect fellows to:  

  • provide one progress update, either face-to-face or online

  • be available for internal and external media interviews 

  • contribute content to the Library’s internal and external channels to promote and showcase the program 
  • acknowledge the support of the Library and use approved Library branding in any publication or promotion of the fellowship project 

  • if invited, contribute to the La Trobe Journal or other Library publications.

During the fellowship period, we might ask you to share your research or work in progress. These could include:  

  • if invited, participation in Library programming, showcasing some aspect of the work in progress 

  • blog posts and / or visual diaries 

  • programs and events for Library staff. 
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Can fellowship funds cover international projects?

The John Emmerson Fellowship is open to researchers based outside Australia. For other fellowships, you need to live in Australia.  

The Marion Orme Page Regional Creative Fellowship and the Kerri Hall Fellowship for Performing Arts are specifically for regional Victorians. 

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Where are the fellowship offices?

The fellowship offices are in the Dome Annulus, which surrounds the La Trobe Reading Room.

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Is there a wet studio?

No, there is no wet studio at the Library that would accommodate art practices such as painting, ceramics or fabric dyeing.

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Do I have to be at the Library full-time during my fellowship?

Depending on the fellowship, you can decide whether you take your fellowship full-time over a few months, or part-time over the course of 12 months. 

You’ll have access to your desk in a shared studio space from 1 July 2024 to 17 June 2025. 

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Can I undertake a fellowship remotely?

You can balance your time between working remotely or in your office at the Library. We encourage you to spend time at the Library to research the collection or the site, and be part of the Library’s fellowship community.

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When will my fellowship take place?

You’ll have access to your desk in a shared studio space from 1 July 2024 to 17 June 2025. 

You can decide when and how often to use your office space within the 12-month period from 1 July 2024 to 17 June 2025. 

The outcome of your fellowship project may happen outside the 12-month residency period. We encourage you to keep in touch and let us know about future outcomes. 

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Can I extend my fellowship?

No, all fellowships will end in June 2025 so the next round of fellows can start on 1 July 2025.

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Can I apply for a fellowship if I’ve already been awarded one in a previous year?

No, previously funded fellows are not eligible to apply again.

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Does the Library have a COVID-safe plan?
What financial resources will I be offered with my fellowship?
  • Children’s Storytelling and Literature Fellowship: $15,000  

  • Creative Fellowships: $15,000  

  • Climate Futures Artist Fellowships: $15,000  

  • John Emmerson Research Fellowship: $15,000 

  • Kerri Hall Fellowship for Performing Arts: $15,000 

  • La Trobe Society Fellowship: $15,000  

  • Marion Orme Page Regional Creative Fellowships : $15,000  

  • Georges Mora Fellowship: $10,000  

  • Russell Beedles Performing Arts Fellowship: $15,000 

  • Redmond Barry Fellowship: $15,000  

  • Tate Adams Memorial Residency at Baldessin Studio: $5000, plus studio access, accommodation and support to the value of $5000  

  • Amor Residency at Baldessin Studio: $5000, plus studio access, accommodation and support to the value of $5000 
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What can I spend fellowship funds on? What expenses will the fellowships cover?

You can spend fellowship funds according to your requirements. For example for things like transport, accommodation, living expenses or anything that will support you in your research and development of your project.

For fellowships at Baldessin Studio, you’ll receive studio access, accommodation and support to the value of $5000. This is in addition to the $5000 fellowship funding. You can’t use these funds for other expenses. 

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I have already received funding for my project from another source. Am I still able to apply?

Yes, but we give preference to projects that aren’t currently funded.  

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If I receive fellowship payments directly, do I have to pay tax?

We recommend seeking financial advice that considers your personal circumstances.  

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Do I need an auspice body?

No, an auspice body manages the activity and acquittal of funds. You don’t need one to be eligible for the Fellowship Program. 

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How do you calculate your fellowship fees?

Our fees are based on the National Association for the Visual Arts recommended rates and fees for research and development. Depending on the fellowship, fees will cover between 1–3 months of work. You can choose whether to do this work in one block or broken up across the year. 

The recommended rate varies depending on whether you’re an emerging, mid-career or established practitioner. However, the fellowship fees we offer are the same for everyone, regardless of experience. 

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Will you pay superannuation?

No, superannuation is not payable as successful fellows are not entering an employment relationship or labour hire agreement. 

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I’m an educator or teacher working at a school. Can a fellowship cover the cost of time release?

Fellowships are open to educators and teachers. We can pay the fellowship funding directly to your school to cover the cost of replacement staff. If your salary is higher than this amount, your school would need to cover the difference. 

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What support will the Library provide?

Fellows are allocated a Liaison Librarian to support their research and project.  

The Liaison Librarian’s role is to: 

  • introduce you to the services, collections and staff you can draw on during your fellowship 

  • support you to become an independent researcher and user of library services 

  • provide a regular, friendly point of contact 

  • refer you to other staff and services where appropriate. 

The Fellowship Program team can: 

  • support with further funding applications, for example providing a letter of support

  • provide intermittent guidance and conversations about your project in development 

  • coordinate access services and consultants as needed

  • help with networking opportunities and connections within the Library community 

  • invite you to join the fellowships alumni community.
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Got a question?

If you’ve read our documents and attended one of the information sessions but still have questions, contact:

National Relay Service (NRS) 

TTY users: phone 13 36 77 – then ask for  - 03 9322 3720
Speak and Listen users: phone 1300 555 727 – then ask for – 03 9322 3720
Internet relay users: connect to the NRS (internet-relay.nrscall.gov.au) - then type in – 03 9322 3720