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Awards and Funding Opportunities

As a member of the RCS community there are various financial awards and/or funding opportunities you may be eligible for.

Our funding opportunities aim to support ground-breaking research and knowledge exchange at the Royal Conservatoire, from staff or creative practitioners seeking funds to conduct research or attend conferences.

These include the Make it Happen fund and Bruce Millar Fellowship for recent RCS graduates, and the RCS Athanaeum Awards open to all RCS Staff members. More information about each is available below.


Make It Happen Fund

Our Make It Happen Fund gives our most recent graduates access to a competitive pot of seed funding to support their career goals and ambitions.

The fund aims to create access to a source of funding that will support our graduates’ early-stage career development in a range of areas like training, networking, testing ideas, starting up companies, staging pop-up events or digital performances, and forming new collaborations.

For an idea of what projects can be supported, you can read about the 2022-2023 Awardees.

Applications for this year are now closed.

Please send any queries to Gallia Young at


To be eligible to apply to the Make It Happen Fund, you must:

  • Be a graduate of the RCS within the past three years
  • Be a former undergraduate, taught postgraduate, PhD or DPerf student
  • Reside in the United Kingdom and be able to provide the RCS with proof of home address (utility bill or council tax bill)

Individuals can only be awarded funds once through this initiative.

Please note: all awardees are responsible for their own tax.

The Bruce Millar Fellowship

The Bruce Millar Fellowship is a unique chance for new graduates of the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film (DDPF) to receive funding and support from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The Fellowship is an opportunity to launch a career or practice with an award of £10,000 for a creative project, performance, phase of research & development, or to launch a creative company.

Applications close on Monday 18 March 2024 at 17:00.

If you have any queries, please contact

How to Apply

It is recommended that you read through all of the guidelines in detail before applying and attend one of the information sessions.

You can register for an online information session here:

Meghan de Chastelain portrait.

Our 2023-2024 Bruce Millar Graduate Fellow

Take the world’s top cocktails. Blend with a dash of drama. Add a generous splash of funding. And you’ve got all the ingredients for an intoxicating new play.

A Cocktailer’s Guide to Surviving a Pandemic was concocted by Meghan de Chastelain during the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic. And it will be brought to life thanks to an annual £10,000 funding award from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Meghan, who graduated from the MFA (Directing) Classical and Contemporary Text programme in 2023, was this year’s recipient of the Bruce Millar Graduate Fellowship.

The funding boost will allow Meghan to develop A Cocktailer’s Guide to Surviving a Pandemic, which uses cocktails to ‘make hard stories easier to swallow’.

The Athenaeum Awards

The Athenaeum Awards are open to all RCS staff members to apply for funds up to £3,000. The awards can fund small projects or partly fund larger projects, collaborations, or research led by RCS staff. There are currently two types of Athenaeum Awards:

Research Award:

  • For staff to develop and broaden their research, arts practice, and networks, as well as encourage groundwork in early-stage ideas for ambitious and scalable research projects.
  • Proposal outputs and objectives of the project must meet high standards of research significance, originality and academic rigour.

Conference Presentation Award:

  • For staff presenting a paper, chairing or participating in a panel, leading a discussion or a workshop at a conference.
  • If none of the above apply, you are not normally eligible.
  • Please use the Conference Application form which can be found in the guidelines.

Applications are reviewed and chosen by the Research & Knowledge Exchange Committee (RKEC). RKEC meets three times over each academic year. The deadline for each round of awards is usually two weeks before the Committee Meeting.

Applications for this year are now closed. We will welcome applications again in 2024/25.

  • Achievable projects that are already under development and need a small amount of funding for completion (i.e., performance or recording of a newly written work, publications)
  • To kickstart new projects with new collaborative partners, including individuals, micro companies, SMEs, arts and community organisations.

  • Write-up time that allows part-time staff members the equivalent of up to 70 hours of teaching time to finish an ongoing piece of research for journal submission (full-time staff members may not apply for time-related costs).

  • Funding for participation, travel and subsistence costs towards conferences or performances.

  • Any other endeavour or project, including a residency, that has the potential for a research or knowledge exchange output and outcome.

The Research & Knowledge Exchange department has provided example applications for your reference.

Please note: these applications are demonstrative, and following the suggestions provided does not guarantee a successful application.

Awards are limited by annual budgets. Every round is highly competitive.

See an Example Application for a Research project.

See an Example Budget.

See examples of successful applications from October 2022 and February 2023.

If you need any advice on your Award Application, the Research Team can provide mentoring and guidance.

Please contact the Research Development Officer if you would like to set up a one-on-one session.

Alternatively, you can attend a drop-in Research Clinic one or two weeks before the award deadline – details are circulated to staff in advance.

Athenaeum Award applications are reviewed and chosen by the members of the Research & Knowledge Exchange Committee (RKEC). RKEC meets three times over the course of each academic year, the deadline for each round of awards is usually two weeks before the Committee Meeting.

Innovation Studio

Participants at the Innovation Studio listen to presentations.

RCS Innovation Studio is a two-year pilot project which will facilitate new opportunities for knowledge exchange (KE) at the RCS. Through a series of workshops, panels, online discussions, interdisciplinary collaborations and seed funds, Innovation Studio will support creative experimentation, skills development and collaboration. The project hopes to generate new practices and pave the way for a future Centre for Innovation at the Conservatoire.

Learn more about Innovation Studio

More About RKE at RCS