Youth Bursary Programme

The deadline for this opportunity has now passed

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop is looking for enthusiastic young artists aged 18-24 to undertake our Youth Bursary Programme. The programme offers four Edinburgh based individuals who want to become artists the opportunity to do this through a programme of nurture, training and support to help them achieve this. 

The programme will run for 10 months from April 2022. It has been designed to help you to develop your skills, to develop your ideas and to connect with a community of fellow artists.

Deadline for applications is Sunday 16 January 2022 at 5.00pm.

As a Youth Bursary recipient you will receive: 

  • A studio with 24 hr access for 9 months from April 2022. 
  • £3000 bursary to support the development of your work and enable you to commit time to that development. ESW can work on budgeting with you and can manage this as a development and production fund if that is more appropriate. If it was paid to the individual artist it will be paid in smaller installments. 
  • Access to workshops and training in material processes.
  • Mentorship from ESW programme staff 
  • 3 studio visits from artists, curators and industry professionals for each participant 
  • Networking opportunities to grow your connectivity with your peers locally and nationally 
  • Facilitated trips to exhibitions across Scotland and one trip to a biennial. 
  • An end of project public presentation that is tailored to your work. 

Studios and Time Commitment

There will be 1 day of structured programming per week for the 36 weeks of the Bursary.

The Studio will be accessible 24hrs a day, 7 days a week for the 9 months of studio time. This means that you can plan your time around the rest of your life commitments.

How to Apply

We want to make the application process as easy as possible. What you need to do is to tell us about your passion for visual arts, why this opportunity would particularly important to your personal development and outline what experience you have.

How you do this is up to you –

You can fill out this google form

but you could also make a short film, a voice recording or write a text. It would also be good to see some images of work that you have made before.

Send this to

We will use what you share to make a shortlist and then invite you to come and meet the team and have a chat about your ambitions.

The Bursaries will be open to all artists aged 18-24. However, we want to prioritise individuals from minority, ethnic backgrounds or those who for social or economic reasons are excluded from or unlikely to be able to undertake an undergraduate degree in visual arts.

Applicants are not required to hold any formal qualifications in the visual arts but need to show a passion and drive to a make career as an artist. This is an opportunity to develop your work and career but could be a stepping-stone towards further learning. You will not be eligible to apply if you will be in full time education at the time of the Bursary.

Further support in making your application 

We will hold 2 information sessions online before the deadline, to talk through the application process and give you a chance to ask questions, but If you would like to discuss this opportunity either over the phone or by email in advance of making an application then please contact

Dan Brown on or 0131 551 4490.

We encourage you to start preparing your application early so that you can work out if you need further information and don’t feel rushed towards the deadline.


  • Online info session Thursday 16 December 
  • Online info session Friday 7 January 2022. 
  • Online intro session Monday 10 January 2022.
  • Deadline for applications is Sunday 16 January 2022 at 5.00pm.
  • Individual meetings will take place the week commencing 24 January 2022.
  • The selection will be made by 31 January 2022.
  • The Bursaries will start in April 2022 end in January 2023.

Checklist of what to include in your application:

  • Tell us about your passion for visual arts, why this opportunity would particularly important to your personal development and outline what experience you have (Short film, a voice recording or up to one page of writing).
  • Show us some images of work that you have made before, finished work and/or work in progress (PDF or links to work online). 
  • Confirmation that you are based in Edinburgh.
  • Your contact details including email and phone number.
  • Your age.
  • Any access requirements that you have and if you want to tell us about particular barriers you have experienced in the past you can also mention that. 
  • Please tell us how you heard about the opportunity or who suggested it to you as we are working with several partners and organisations to get the word out.
  • Make sure any documents or files you send us have your name in the file name.
  • You can fill out the google doc on the website or email everything to


We welcome applications from everyone. We positively encourage applications from:

  • Black, Asian and people of colour.
  • Disabled people including people with mental health issues or long-term health conditions or chronic illness or learning
  • People with alternative experience, you don’t need to have a university degree, maybe you went to another type of college or don’t have qualifications but have very good personal and on the job experience.
  • Unemployed/low waged.
  • People from lower socio-economic circumstances.


Frequently Asked Questions

I have received other support from ESW before, can I still apply for this opportunity?

Yes, unless you have received a Ceramic Sculpture Bursary or a Funded Residency.

I live elsewhere but would be willing to commute to Edinburgh for the Bursary commitments, can I apply?

No, this Bursary is designed for people based in Edinburgh so that there can be an ongoing connection and make the logistics easier.

 I have a lot of other commitments that take up my time, can I still apply for the Bursary?

We want the Bursaries to go to people who will take the opportunity seriously and make the most of the support that is offered including using the Studio Space because it is a precious resource. We realise that people have work and caring responsibilities though. There is one shared working day each week, which will be scheduled in advance and the programmed activity will take place on that day. It will be a week day (not a weekend day). We would expect you to be at ESW at other times of the week too, at times that suit your schedule.

When can I access the studio space?

You will be allocated space in a shared studio and access is 24/7 but, as with all Studio Holders, we go through a process of Building and Security Inductions in order to make sure that you are confident and competent in using the alarm system alone. Staff members will take you through this process. Staff can give access Tuesday – Saturday 9.30am – 5pm otherwise.

I wouldn’t be able to come to ESW on the scheduled one day a week shared working day, can I still apply?

No, this is an essential part of the opportunity.

I don’t have a degree, can I still apply?

Yes, you don’t need to have formal qualifications in order to apply.
I am younger than 18, can I apply?If you are younger than 18 you can’t apply for this opportunity but we are interested in running other youth activities so you are welcome to get in touch telling us what would be useful for you.

I am older than 24, can I apply?

If you are older than 24 you can only apply if you are a young person whose progress has been curtailed in the way we describe in the information in the open call. We have a broad range of ages working at ESW and you might find that you are able to come to use our facilities in other ways. You can read more about becoming a member and our activity on the website

Who can I ask if I have more questions about making the application or to get more support?

Please contact Dan Brown or 0131 551 4490. ESW is closed for the winter holiday from 18 December to 6 January so please ask questions before that otherwise Dan will reply from 7 January 2022.

Can I show you a draft of my application in advance of the deadline?

ESW staff won’t be able to look at draft applications but it is a good idea for you to ask someone that you know to look at the instructions and your application with you so you can get a second opinion. If any of the instructions are not clear, just email us or phone so we can explain, then we can add any additional useful information to this FAQ list.

I want to make an audio or video file, how can I share that with you?

A link to the video or audio online would be easiest but if you have another way to send it that’s ok too. Please plan this in advance so that it doesn’t cause last minute technical problems near the deadline.

I don’t have a computer but think I need one for the application, can you help?

You can submit the application on paper if you want to but we imagine that most people will make the application using their phone, tablet or computer. You might be able to access a computer through one of our partners (if someone suggests the opportunity to you, they may be able to help) or you can contact us for help. We can give access to a Mac to work on images or writing with, an iPad or audio recorders on site (please note holiday times above).

I am busy on the day of the deadline, will you accept late entries?

No, we will only consider applications made before the deadline – you can send your application any time before that and we welcome early applications

How will you decide who gets the Bursaries?

ESW staff will work with young artists who know the organisation to review all the applications. We will be paying attention to your work and how the Bursary will benefit you and help you develop at this stage. We will make a shortlist of people to invite to come to ESW to meet us. After the meetings we will choose the final four people.

How will I know the outcome of the selection process?

We will contact all applicants by email whether they are chosen or not to tell them the outcome.

If I am not successful, will you give me feedback on my application?

Yes, we can provide brief feedback on your application – just ask us. We realise that it takes time to prepare the application and that it can be disappointing to not be chosen.