Composers’ Fund Guidance and FAQs
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE COMPOSERS’ FUND?
- Composers with a strong track record in their field who are at a point in their development where access to funding could help move forward their career.
- Composers who are already making a significant cultural contribution in the UK and have the potential for greater impact in the UK and overseas.
- Composers writing primarily for live performance.
- Composers must be based in the UK and must be members of PRS for Music* or in a position to join.
- Composers who are able to demonstrate critical acclaim and who have tangible potential to achieve significant profile**
*Please note composers who are members of another performing rights society e.g. ASCAP, SACEM are not eligible.
**If you are a songwriter or producer working in popular music genres and interested in applying for similar opportunities please look at our Hitmaker fund here. If you are an artist/band working in popular music genres interested in applying for similar opportunities please look at the PPL Momentum Music Fund here.
When assessing applications to this fund, we will be considering the impact of the proposed activity on the development of the composer’s music and profile, and the track record and quality of the applicant composer.
- Applicants should focus on demonstrating how the proposed funding will support the long term development of their career and their music.
- In every case, decision panels will consider the potential of the activity proposed in making a significant impact on the composer in question.
- Good applications will also demonstrate the composer’s determination and passion for this next step in their career.
The Composers’ Fund is aimed at established composers who can already demonstrate their impact in their field in either the UK or overseas. Jerwood Arts support for the Fund means that we are able to support a number of composers each year who are at a pivotal point within the first 10 years of their career. If you are a composer who is not at this pivotal level we would recommend you apply to our Open funding schemes.
WHEN CAN I APPLY?
Composers can apply at any deadline for the Composers’ Fund as long as they are not already a recipient of the fund if you are not currently involved in delivering an Open Fund for Music Creators or Women Make Music project. If as a composer you are currently involved in delivering a project for a funded organisation (e.g. through our Beyond Borders, The Open Fund for Organisations) you can still apply to The Composers’ Fund so long as you are only involved in one project at the time of your application.
If you have received funding from The Composers’ Fund you cannot apply directly to The Open Fund for Music Creators or Women Make Music until twelve months after the activity for which you applied has been completed.
Whilst a recipient of The Composers’ Fund, you are able to be named by an organisation as main music creator for The Open Fund or Beyond Borders, so long as the project does not link to Composers’ Fund activity.
Applications must be made by the composer and all grants awarded via this fund will be paid directly to the composer.
HOW DOES THE COMPOSERS’ FUND DIFFER FROM OTHER PRS FOUNDATION SCHEMES
Our Open Funding for Music Creators and Women Make Music schemes offer grants of up to £5,000 for one-off short term activities such as touring, recording or creation of new work and are available to composers at any stage in their career. Up to £5000 is available via these schemes. The Composers’ Fund is targeted at composers with an existing profile looking for funding to make a career step change.
Our New Music Biennial and Beyond Borders support organisations who are commissioning composers or touring existing repertoire. The Composer’s Fund is for composers only and is not open to commissioning or touring organisations. Activity supported by The Composers’ Fund is determined by the composer. While it is possible this may include commissions or tours, the potential uses of the Fund are far wider.
HOW MUCH CAN COMPOSERS APPLY FOR?
Applicants will be able to apply for up to £10,000. Proposed costs must be clearly presented and our expected average grant is significantly lower than the upper limit.
HOW MANY COMPOSERS WILL RECEIVE FUNDING?
The Composers’ Fund supports up to 15 composers per year, depending on project scope and available funds.
WHAT CAN BE FUNDED?
We will consider every application on a case-by-case basis. We are inviting composers to propose anything that would make a significant difference to their long term development. This for example might include the following areas or others:
- Promotion/performance of existing works – to get existing pieces performed again/toured in UK and internationally
- International co-commissions – assistance for composers to establish relationships with commissioning bodies overseas
- International development – travel to build relationships or spend time overseas, working with festivals or ensembles
- Performer collaboration – time to work more closely with performers
- Residencies/sabbaticals – with clearly defined artistic end result(s)
- Project or promotional support
- Childcare costs
- A combination of any of the above
- Anything a composer can make a valid case for*
*Composers’ Fund partners recognise that the Covid-19 pandemic will have a significant impact on the types of projects composer grantees can deliver. As per our Guidance and FAQ for grantees impacted by Covid-19, we will take a flexible approach when it comes to timeframes of delivery.
Please do not submit project plans which conflict with official UK Government or international travel advice.
We also expect – for the first deadline of 2020 at least – that applicants will submit project plans which may enable composers to adapt to lockdown conditions. If for example an applicant requires new equipment in order to sustain creativity and compose new work during the lockdown, our usual approach to equipment will be relaxed.
WHAT CAN’T BE FUNDED?
- Organisations seeking funding for commissions via a composer applying on their behalf
- An investment where the composer has not made clear how there will potential for a step change in their profile
WHEN ARE THE FUNDING APPLICATION DEADLINES?
We advise you only to make a start on the application when (a) you are sure that you’re eligible for this fund; (b) the project is developed enough to demonstrate likely successful delivery and impact on the composer; and (c) you have a clear rationale as to why the expenditure you want to make is crucial at this stage in your career.
Deadlines occur twice a year. The next deadline for the Composers’ Fund is listed on the deadlines page. We aim to communicate back to all applicants with a decision within twelve weeks. All of our funding decisions for the Composers’ Fund are made by an expert group panellists.
Please contact Elizabeth@prsfoundation.com for more information and any questions about the application form or process for applying.