The Music Fellowships scheme is now in full swing as applications and paperwork start to come in at PAF HQ. Don't panic though - we're nowhere near 100 applications just yet but time is ticking on so if you haven't already started, don't wait. Fill out the Eligibility Quiz, send us your eligibility documentation, and get started on the application form! Remember, you can save your form at any time and come back to it later.
As well as those important application forms, we're also getting lots and lots of queries about the scheme and a few questions keep coming up a lot. So, here are our responses to the top 5 things you guys seem to want to know about the scheme.
1. I can't find the Eligibility Quiz!
Alright, alright. We admit it. We've definitely confused you on this one so sorry about that! To set things straight once and for all here's what you need to do to access that elusive Eligibility Quiz…
All Fellowship applications must be made online using our application system. To access the system, first up you need to go to the Music Fellowships page and click on 'Apply Now'. This will open a new page where you'll need to register on the system as a new applicant. You can also download some handy PDF instructions from that page which will tell you how to complete your application and navigate around the system.
Once you've registered for an account you will be able to access the Eligibility Quiz. Only if you complete and pass the Eligibility Quiz will you have the option to start filling out the Application Form.
2. I've started filling out the form but it keeps referring to an organisation. I'm an individual - I'm confused.
Filling out an application isn't the most riveting of pastimes, so please don't waste your time starting an application form as an individual as it won't be eligible and won't be assessed.
To be totally clear then - rather than awarding grants directly to individuals through the scheme, we're looking for applications from professional music companies, organisations, venues and festivals from across the UK to take on an individual as a Fellow within their organisation. So it should be the organisation looking to host that individual that should submit the application to us, not the individual themselves. Clear? Good.
However as an individual interested in the scheme we don't want you to feel that it's entirely out of your reach! Definitely have a think about your own development and which organisations you might benefit from working with. Approach them, let them know about the opportunity if they don't already, arrange to meet for a cup of tea and let them know you'd be interested in undertaking a Fellowship with them. Don't ask - don't get.
3. Our organisation is just not going to be able to select a Fellow before the application deadline.
We appreciate that for a variety of reasons, finding a Fellow prior to submitting an application could be tricky for some organisations. However, the nominated Fellow, that selected individual person, is ultimately what the scheme is all about so without that information it's pretty impossible for our assessors to score them accurately.
For this reason, a significant part of the application form is about that person and understanding how the organisation might be able to help their specific needs. So if an organisation does want to apply under the scheme, they will already have had to select a Fellow - we can't make exceptions to that.
When it comes to finding a Fellow, we don't insist that a formal recruitment process is carried out if that's just going to take too long or isn't suitable but we do ask that organisations ensure that the person is selected in a way that is fair and transparent.
4. We'd like to pay the Fellow for the work they carry out with us through the Fellowship.
We like that organisations are asking us this, we really do, however the Fellowship is exactly that - a Fellowship. It's not a job. The grant is there to allow that individual to be able to take up the Fellowship within an organisation as part of their professional development.
Of course we don't want anyone to be significantly out of pocket, or even unable to undertake the Fellowship because they can't afford it but the grant is not to be used as a wage. With this in mind, when it comes to the Fellowship budget we're looking for a significant portion to be set aside to support the Fellow in order to allow them to carry out the Fellowship. This should be allocated to the Fellow as per diems, travel costs, accommodation costs etc.
5. We keep failing the Eligibility Quiz. We've read the Terms & Conditions but we can't get through the next stage. There must be some mistake.
We would suggest that you read the Terms & Conditions again.
Currently, the most common question that makes an organisation ineligible is 'Has the Fellow ever undertaken paid work for the organisation before?' The answer to this question should be NO. The Fellow might have undertaken voluntary work for the organisation before, or carried out a work experience placement for example where they received expenses - in fact we anticipate that this might be quite common, that's fine - but they should not have been paid by the organisation for any work done before the Fellowship.
These are just the most common questions we've had so far, but there's plenty more information in the Music Fellowships FAQs for you to digest.
And remember, the deadline for applications is the 15th October but you must send your eligibility documentation to us by 5pm on the 21st September or your application form won't be assessed. We need both your application form and the eligibility documentation for your application to be counted.