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Home > Fellowships 2023 FAQ

Find the answers to all your frequently asked questions below and read more about our 2023 fellowships.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to provide referees in my application?

Yes. Applicants need to provide contact details of two referees. 

Who should I ask to be a referee?

Referees should be knowledgeable about your research or creative skills and ability to complete projects. 

Can I save work on my application form as I go?

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

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

Please email [email protected] with details of your issue and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Can I submit more than one application for a single fellowship?

Yes, you can submit up to two proposals for the same fellowship, as long as the criteria are met and your proposed outcomes are different.

Can I submit applications for multiple fellowships in the same round?

Yes, you can apply for up to two different fellowships as long as you meet eligibility criteria.

Can I submit a late application?

No, late applications will not be accepted. The submission deadline is Friday 16 September 2022 at 5pm.

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

Yes, collaborative projects of up to three participants will be considered.

I have already received funding for my project, am I still able to apply?

Yes, but the fellowship program preferences projects that are not currently funded.

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

The Library recommends that fellows seek financial advice that considers their personal circumstances.

When will successful applicants be notified?

All applicants will be advised of the outcome in November 2022 via email. Please keep an eye on our website or social media channels for related announcements.

How long do I have to complete the fellowship?

Fellows have a 12-month residency period. During this time, there are certain requirements that will need to be met by successful applicants, as detailed in the fellowship guidelines. State Library Victoria understands that the outcome/s of fellowships can occur outside the 12-month residency period. We encourage fellowship alumni to keep in touch and let us know about future outcomes.

See fellowship guidelines for availability requirements linked to eligibility.

When do I start my fellowship?

Fellowships can be undertaken at any time during the calendar year from January–December 2023, following the official announcement in November 2022.

Can I choose when I start my fellowship?

Successful applicants must be available for an induction session between Monday 28 November and Wednesday 30 November 2022. Fellows can decide when and how often to use their office space, as long as it occurs within the 12-month period between January–December 2023.

Can I extend my fellowship?

No. All fellowships will conclude in December 2023 as the next round of fellows will commence in January 2024.

What am I expected to deliver as a Fellow?

Fellows are required to:

  • provide two progress updates, either face-to-face or via online conferencing
  • be available for internal and external media interviews and contribute content to promote and showcase the program publicly through the Library’s channels
  • participate in an Open Studio program, showcasing some aspect of work-in-progress through the tour as well as the Library’s internal and external channels
  • grant the Library first right of publication in any format of the results of research or creative endeavour
  • freely deposit any written material developed during the fellowship
  • acknowledge the support of the Library, and use the branding of the Library in any publication or promotion of the fellowship project.

During the 12-month period of tenure, fellows may be asked to share their work in progress/research through Library channels, including:

  • contributing to the La Trobe Journal
  • participating in staff and public presentations
  • providing blogs posts and/or visual diaries
  • participating in public programs and events.
What funding do fellows receive?
  • Children’s Literature Fellowship: $15,000
  • Creative Fellowships: $15,000
  • Regional Fellowships: $15,000
  • Indigenous Victorian Aboriginal Cultural Research Fellowships: $15,000
  • Berry Family Fellowship: $15,000
  • Kerri Hall Fellowship in Performing Arts: $15,000
  • La Trobe Society Fellowship: $15,000
  • Marion Orme Page Regional Fellowships in partnership with Regional Arts Victoria: $15,000
  • Georges Mora Foundation Fellowship: $10,000
  • Redmond Barry Fellowship: $15,000
  • Tate Adams Memorial Residency at Baldessin Press & Studio: studio access, accommodation and support to the value of $5,000
  • Amor Residency at Baldessin Press & Studio: studio access, accommodation and support to the value of $5,000
What can I spend fellowship funds on? What expenses will the fellowships cover?

Fellowship funds can be spent on living expenses, travel expenses and any other reasonable expense to facilitate the completion of the fellowship.

Baldessin Press & Studio residencies receive studio access, accommodation and support to the value of $5000. These funds can not be reallocated.

In addition to funding, what else is provided to support Fellows?

Over a 12-month period, fellows are provided with:

  • space in a shared office in the historic La Trobe Reading Room annulus
  • access to liaison Librarians who will connect fellows to collections and staff with specialist expertise.
What kind of projects are likely to be successful?

Applicants are encouraged to review the work of previous State Library Victoria fellows. 

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

Any fellowship applications that have an Indigenous focus or Indigenous content of any kind must demonstrate a connection to the relevant Indigenous communities relevant to the project.

This could be in the form of either:

  • a letter of support (from a member of the Indigenous community)
  • a partnered or joint fellowship application.

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

Can I apply for a fellowship if I have already been awarded one in previous years?

No, previous funded fellows are ineligible. However, previous unfunded Honorary Fellows can apply again for a funded fellowship.

How do I apply for a State Library Victoria fellowship?

Applications for all fellowships must be submitted online via SmartyGrants.

Applications close at 5pm Friday 16 September 2022.

Do you have any tips for applying?

Come along to our information night or a drop-in session to find out more about the program and application process.

Does the Library have a COVID-safe plan?

Yes. Please see our COVID-safe plan.

If I submit my project early, will I still be able to access my office until the end of the tenure?

Yes. You can access your space during the calendar year from January–December 2023.

Where can I find out more about the fellowships on offer in 2023?

Find out more about the 2023 Fellowships Program. If you would like further information, please contact [email protected].

Can I apply for a regional fellowship if I split my time between a regional town and a metro area?

Yes, as long as your residential address is in one of the 48 Victorian regional or rural LGAs.

Is there an ideal word or page count for my application?

Each question in the application indicates a recommended word count or maximum word count to guide you.

Can I apply for a fellowship and take long service leave to complete the fellowship if awarded?

You can complete a Library fellowship while on long service leave, as long service leave is not 'paid study leave'. Your period of long service leave must not be a sabbatical period, defined as a period of paid leave granted to a university teacher or other worker for study or travel.

I have a question about the collections and my application. Who should I contact?

For collection inquiries, please fill out the Ask a Librarian online form and one of our librarians can help you.

Do applicants have to be from Victoria or can anyone interstate apply?

Australian citizens and permanent residents can apply for the majority of fellowships, including those who live interstate.

You can't apply for regional fellowships if you live interstate.

Who can be a referee, and do I need to let them know in advance that they may be contacted?

Two references are mandatory and will be accepted from colleagues, mentors and others from your professional networks. You will be required to provide their name, email address and telephone number.

You will need to let them know in advance that they will be contacted in case your application is shortlisted. If they are unavailable, you are encouraged to provide a different referee.

Will you be accepting applications submitted after the deadline?

We are unable to accept applications after the deadline. We encourage you to apply as soon as you are ready to avoid any last-minute delays or issues related to poor internet coverage or any other technical problems.

I have submitted my application but I chose the wrong category. What do I do?

Please contact us via [email protected] as soon as possible, stating your application number (provided in the Smartygrants application email) and the category you wish to apply for instead, and we will edit your application category.

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

We only accept submissions and supporting material written in English. This can include translated work/material, should you wish to include it.

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

By making an application, you agree that the contents will be read by SLV staff and the judging panel of SLV staff and external members. The copyright of your work rests with you at all times.

How will the contents of my application be used?

Application content will only be used for the purposes of assessment. See the State Library Victoria and SmartyGrants privacy policies.

What will you do with my personal information?
Can I invite members of the public into my fellowship office for things like interviews?

You are permitted to have visitors in your office for short periods of time.

However, out of respect for the other fellows, we recommend booking a meeting room or studio at the Library for longer visits, or using our other public spaces.

Is there an age limit to fellowships? Could I bring my child into the studio with me?

You need to be over 18 years of age to be a Library fellow.

Children are welcome to visit, but we don’t encourage them to stay for long periods of time out of respect for the other fellows.

Do I need to submit a fully formed body of work by the end of the fellowship?

There is no requirement to produce a final product at the end of your tenure as a Library fellow.

Fellows are required to provide a short report at the conclusion of the fellowship detailing the benefits of the experience.

Read more about what is required of the fellows in our guidelines.

Is it possible to access the State Library of NSW and National Archives via the State Collection?

No, however your liaison librarian can help you access the resources you need.

Cultural, Student and Family members receive reciprocal rights to the National Library of Australia and State Library of NSW.

Learn more about membership.

Do I need to be a Library member to receive a fellowship?

No. However, to get the most out of your research and access the full breadth of our collections we recommend you become a Library member.

Learn more about free Access membership.

Do I need to be a University of Melbourne student to apply for the Redmond Barry Fellowship?

No. The application form does ask if you are a University of Melbourne student for internal reporting purposes.

If you are a University of Melbourne student, projects that are part of an examination requirement towards a degree or similar qualification aren’t eligible for this fellowship.

Does the Library require a record of how I spend my grant money?

No, there are no restrictions on how you choose to spend the grant money as part of your fellowship (excluding residencies).

You will need to provide two progress updates during the fellowship, either face-to-face or via online conferencing.

Read more about what is required of the fellows in our guidelines.

Fellowships at Baldessin Studio do require a brief plan of how the grant money will be spent to be included in the application.

Can my fellowship project draw on multiple collections? How do I find out their names?

Yes, there is no limit to how many collections you can draw from.

You can find out all the names of collections via the Library's catalogue. Use the Search function on the Library's website to do this.

You can also explore collections by theme or format.

For more help use the Ask a librarian service.

Which fellowship would be appropriate to apply for as a fellow with a disability?

All fellow studios at the Library are fully accessible.

Much of the collection is available digitally, and we have assistive technology PCs available in the Quad and Redmond Barry Reading Room. You’ll also work with liaison librarians, who will help to connect you with the collections and expertise you need.

Learn more about access and inclusion at the Library

For accessibility information about Baldessin Studio, please email the Studio Manager at [email protected].