Scholarships

Please note:

Applications are now closed. The next application round will be open 12 July - 16 August 2021.

All applications must be submitted online using our online application form. Before you apply, please read our Scholarship Application Guidance below and if you are unsure about applying or have any questions please contact us.

SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION GUIDANCE

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) offers scholarships of up to £18,000 for the training and education of talented craftspeople. We want to sustain vital skills in traditional and contemporary crafts and contribute to excellence in the British craft industry.

ABOUT THE SCHOLARSHIP

Who can apply?

Our scholarships are available to fund the education and training of any individual UK resident, aged 18 or older, who would like to improve their craft skills.

We welcome applications from all talented craftspeople, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or nationality; and particularly encourage those with protected characteristics that are under-represented in the craft sector to apply.

What do we fund?

QEST funds traditional college courses, vocational training or one to one training with a master craftsperson.

We want to support excellence in British craftsmanship so are looking for established makers, planning to stay in the UK and contribute to the craft sector.

We encourage applications from a broad range of crafts and are excited by contemporary craftsmanship and innovative applications of traditional craft techniques. To see the types of craft we have funded, and the standard of excellence we are looking for, please review our Directory.

In addition to training costs, we can cover costs directly related to your training such as transport, equipment, materials and accommodation as long as it is proportionate to the grant request.

QEST cannot fund:

  • Anything that is not related to craft
  • Retrospectively, meaning we will be unable to cover anything you have already paid for
  • Business start-up costs

Please note that our funding is based on your training plan. If your training plans change at any point please let us know as this may impact your funding.

WRITING YOUR APPLICATION

Our application process is competitive and we cannot fund every application we receive. With this in mind, here are some tips to help. When writing your application, be clear and concise.

The application form is split into 8 sections: About You; Qualifications; Career History; The Scholarship; The Future; Images and References; Equal Opportunities; Declaration.

The headings below will give you advice on how to answer key sections of the application form.

About You

This section will ask for your personal details, along with your website and social media accounts. Please only include these if they are dedicated to your craft or you feel they are relevant.

Qualifications

In this section you should include any qualifications that are relevant to your craft, as well as any relevant awards you have received.

Career History

This section asks you to list previous employment, and you should only include past work experience you consider relevant. You may also want to include volunteer work, commissions or residencies.

The Scholarship

Please briefly state the purpose of your Scholarship

This is your first opportunity to let us know what you plan to do with your scholarship funding. You should clearly explain what you would like to do with your scholarship funding and why, in a few lines (250 characters).

Please describe in more detail the activity you will be undertaking and please describe the benefits of investing in this activity

This section is for us to see if the training you have planned is suitable. Make sure to include what you plan to learn (you can also include transferable skills that may not be directly related to craft). Spend some time thinking about why you want to complete this training and make sure explain your reasoning when describing the benefits of investing in this activity.

Costs

We want to support applications that make an impact and therefore we expect the minimum funding request to be around £2,500. Your budget should be realistic and based on research, quotes or previous experience. You can include anything you might need in order to complete your scholarship. Make sure your request is reasonable and well considered.

It's important to remember:

  • QEST cannot fund retrospectively (i.e. if you make an application in July for a course in September, the interviews are held at the end of October so we would not be able to fund the course).
  • The primary purpose of your application must be training and education. While other associated costs e.g. travel, accommodation, materials etc can be covered, we expect applications to predominantly be for costs relating to training. We do not support applications that solely request materials, equipment, transport and accommodation. If in doubt, please contact the Grants Officer to discuss your application.

The Future

How will the development of your skills positively contribute towards your area of craft in the UK? (2,000 characters)

This section gives you a chance to showcase your career to date and display your knowledge of the field. Think about your achievements to date as well as gaps in the market or an area of your craft that is currently overlooked. Will you reinvigorate or sustain your craft or pass on your skills and knowledge? Explain how this training will help you to contribute to the UK craft sector.

What would you like to achieve within the next five to ten years? (2,000 characters)

Outline your long term goals; they should be well defined and realistic. You should make sure to explain why this scholarship is an essential stepping stone and how your career will develop as a result of your training.

Images and References

You will need to upload an image of yourself and 5 images of your work. Make sure the images you attach are high-quality, between 2-4MBs in size, and highlight the full range of your skillset. We will ask for a description of each image, please very briefly explain what is in the photo and the materials used to create the piece.

  • Images MUST be your own work (include close-ups/ detailed photos)
  • Please upload images as JPGs or PDFs
  • Images must be no larger than 4MB (between 2-4MBs works best)

Scholarship applications MUST include two references or letters of support, ideally from a tutor or client you have worked with (if applicable) as they can speak about your existing skills and back up your training plans.

Please note that if your application is successful QEST may use these images to promote your scholarship on our website and social media platforms.

HOW WE ASSESS YOUR APPLICATION

All applications are reviewed by a group of experienced Skills Assessors who work in specific craft sectors. The assessment is a three-stage process, culminating with a short-list for interview.

When we assess your application form, we will consider:

  • Your existing skills
  • Your commitment and understanding of your craft
  • The training itself
  • How the Scholarship will impact your career

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU APPLY?

We will be in touch approximately two months after applications close to let you know the outcome of your submission. If positive, you will be invited to an interview at the QEST office in London.

You will be notified as to whether your application has been successful within two weeks of your interview.

Your future with QEST

Successful applicants will be invited to the QEST & Royal Warrant Holders’ Association (RWHA) Annual Luncheon in early June to showcase their craft, meet fellow QEST Scholars and Apprentices, network with QEST donors and supporters and celebrate becoming a QEST Scholar.

Now part of the QEST family, you will continue to receive occasional news updates and invitations from QEST to participate in events and projects, which may include: scholar socials; opportunities to showcase, demonstrate and exhibit; business skills workshops as well as networking events with QEST supporters and Royal Warrant holding companies.

You will be featured on our website and in our magazine as an alumnus of QEST, and are encouraged to continue to share your news with QEST for possible inclusion in future magazines and on our social media platforms.

For more information, browse our Stories here.

NEXT STEPS

We are open for applications twice a year, in January and July.

Please note:

  • For applications made in January/February, successful applicants will be informed of the award in May. For applications made in July/August, successful applicants will be informed of the award in November.
  • If your application is unsuccessful and you did not reach interview, you may reapply in the next round.
  • If you reach the interview stage and are unsuccessful, we ask that you wait a year from the date of your application to reapply.

If you are still unsure about applying or have any questions, please contact us. Members of the QEST team are more than happy to answer queries and support any access needs you may have.