Applying to Power Up
How do I apply?
If you are eligible for support, please follow the following steps:
Step 1 – Read guidance page in full
Step 2 – Register or sign in to the PRS Foundation Flexigrant Portal
If you have applied previously to PRS Foundation programme, please sign in
If you are new to the platform, please register first
Step 3 – Select the relevant Power Up scheme
On the PRS Foundation Flexigrant home page, within the dropdown menu under ‘Select a scheme to start an application’ (see below), select either:
i) ‘Power Up – Music Creators’ if you are applying as a music creator (an artist, songwriter, composer or producer involved in the creation of new music, or
ii) ‘Power Up – Industry Professionals’ if you are applying as an executive/industry professional/entrepreneur working behind the scenes in the music industry. und from the dropdown menu under ‘Select a scheme to start an application’
Step 4 – Complete your application
Our user-friendly application portal allows you to complete applications intuitively. We have different pages for different sections. You can save progress as you go, and you can leave and return to the application at any stage.
You will find draft applications within the ‘My applications’ section once you log back in to Flexigrant.
The amount of time the form may take depends on a number of factors, including how prepared your plan for the next 12-18 months is. As a rough guide, we recommend that the form will take most people between 2½ – 4 ½ hours to complete. We therefore advise against starting the form on the deadline day, and to take advantage of the fact Flexigrant allows you to save your work as you go. This makes it easier to tackle 1-2 sections at a time and to make as many changes as you like before submitting your application.
This is not a ‘first-come-first-served’ application process – all applications will be fairly assessed regardless of whether you submit
Once you’ve submitted an application you can follow its progress.
Step 5 – Await our decision
We will contact all applicants by email regardless of the decision.
NB: Support for applications with access requirements is outlined in our main Guidance Page.
What are you looking for in the application form?
The Power Up application form includes further instructions and explanations which alongside our Power Up Guidance Page should assist applicants whether they are seasoned or first time PRS Foundation applicants.
You should expect the following sections:
- General Details
- Your Work and Career Level
A chance for music creators to submit music examples and for both music creators and industry professionals to outline their achievements and track-record
- Participant Programme
In this section, applicants must outline the things they most want to get from taking part in the Participant Programme and what they will bring to the Participant Network
We are aware that by asking about barriers you have faced in your career relating to race, we are asking you to revisit traumatic experiences. Power Up’s aims are clear and we wish to use the Participant Programme to break down systemic barriers and tackle anti-Black racism, moving the needle for the wider sector.
We are therefore using this section as a safe space where you can outline your experiences in strictest confidence. Answers will be seen by relevant expert advisors and will not be shared with partners. We encourage you to answer these questions in the best way possible so that we can gain a better understanding of how we can help through the programme.
Relevant participants will receive support from partners PRS Members’ Fund as well as being offered Mental Health First Aid Training from Music Support, the charity that helps those in the industry affected by mental health and/or addiction. And Power Up wants to signpost all applicants to Thrive – the NHS approved mental health app with over 100 hours of content and clinically designed mental health tools, helping you manage stress, anxiety and depression. Thanks to support from the BRIT Trust, BPI, BRIT Awards and partners from the recorded music sector, Music Support are proud to provide FREE access for a limited period. Click here for further details, including your exclusive free download code: musicsupport.org/thrive-app
- Your Activity
This section is designed for applicants to outline how much grant support they require and the specific activity they will focus on with grant support to power up their careers
The budget form allows applicants to outline expenditure and income related to the activity detailed in the previous section
The final section requests information PRS Foundation gathers from all applicants to all programmes for monitoring and reporting purposes. The information given here does not affect the scoring system and the external advisor review process, and final decisions are made based on scores, criteria and on supporting exciting and diverse talent.
PRS Foundation team members and those steering the programme will be publishing further application guidance (e.g. Podcasts, Insta Q&As, Zoom Guidance Sessions) between now at the deadline which will be linked to within our Application Tips section.
Top application tips
BEFORE YOU START
Before applying to any PRS Foundation funding scheme or talent development programme, make sure you have read the Guidance Pages in full. Eligibility and further guidance for Power Up is included here.
Make sure you’ve checked all areas of eligibility and application/decision dates. See which aspects of your plan can be covered by grant support and/or other programme support and don’t limit your chances by applying for the wrong thing.
If you’ve read our guidance and know you are not eligible, do not apply – your application will not be considered for support. Check out our useful links page for other sources of support.
Ensure your online presence is up to date
Advisors may choose to follow links to your website, profiles or social media pages. Make sure submitted links are relevant and updated with recent activity (e.g. releases, latest gig listings, etc.)
Outline your track record and past achievements
As per many other competitive PRS Foundation programmes, we expect that a music creator applicant has a track record of creating and/or performing of over 18 months. Industry professional applicants will have been working in music for at least 3 years, and in most cases for over 5 years.
You can outline your career track record and past achievements within our form and this will be factored into the decision. Other programmes may be more suitable if you feel you have not yet built the track record we are looking for through Power Up.
Tell us who else is backing you
Partners are looking to support credible applicants. If you’re not yet starting to get noticed in the industry or by your peers you may not be ready to apply for Power Up. Where asked, provide evidence that you are at the right career level for support to make a difference.
(For Music Creators) Submit your best music examples
The music you submit plays an important role in our decision, alongside track record, your upcoming plans and suitability for our Participant Programme.
Please remember that we support high quality, exceptional music and submit music examples which best reflect your work as a music creator. So think about what best represents you to an advisor who loves new music but may have 30-40 applications to get through in each sitting.
We expect direct links to specific tracks or songs as opposed to a landing/profile pages where it is not clear which track an advisor should listen to. It is your responsibility to ensure that links work up to 12 weeks after our deadline – don’t take them down within the assessment period. If you’re using a password protected site or private link, ensure that you provide us with the relevant password.
WRITTEN APPLICATION TIPS
Keep it simple and make yourself clear
We do not insist on perfect English. Clear, concise and direct language is often more effective than linguistic devices and embellishments.
Please consider that your application is assessed by music experts and use language that suits the context of your project in the real world. Headings and bullet points can help to structure an application in a way that makes it easier to read.
We advise making it obvious within your written application how you meet funding criteria. And be as clear as possible about what you want to achieve and how you would do it if you received a grant and Power Up Participant Programme support. This way the person reading your application can understand your ideas and intentions properly.
Present a strong plan
Funding bodies and advisors may take risks if the music you submit, or your track-record and circumstances are truly outstanding. But in most cases a balance is struck between criteria, meaning your plans have to be solid and well presented.
Use your application to demonstrate that you know what to do next and how the Power Up Participant Programme and grant support will help you. Although grant support does not have to be paid back, think of funding as an investment and use your application to convince us that the grant support will be well spent.
Use word-limits carefully
Make sure you are directly answering the relevant question. Make sure to cover all key areas in a question. For example, if bullet points are given to show three areas you should cover in your answer, make sure you cover them all and don’t use too many words on just one point.
Don’t rush into it – take time, re-read, re-write
Prepare fully for each application you write. It helps to get started at least a few days before a deadline so you are not rushing your application. If possible, get someone else to read over your application so you can be confident it is ready for submission.
Can my representative apply on my behalf?
We expect the individual potential participant to apply rather than their representatives (e.g. if you are a Black artist wanting to join the participant network and you have a manager, you may want your manager to support your application but it is important you are heavily engaged in the application process and committed as an individual). If for accessibility of application you require additional support, we very much welcome a representative or assistant applying on your behalf but Power Up is not like schemes such as the PPL Momentum Music Fund where a representative applying is more likely to result in success.
Our advisors work on the frontline of the music industry and understand realistic costs and income projections.
Please ensure costs given are realistic to your career position and that projected income is realistic and achievable. We encourage ambitious plans since we want Power Up support ot have a significant impact, but you should stick to or near industry standard levels of expenditure.
Using the ‘details’ box
Our budget template allows you to add extra information in the ‘details’ box. Advisors prefer to see general breakdowns of expenditure areas. For example, rather than simply stating Marketing and Promotion will come to £10,000 we prefer you to use the ‘details’ box to break this down so we can see likely amounts for marketing and promotion (e.g. PR (£x,xxx); Plugging (£y,yyy); Digital Marketing (£z,zzz)).
A balanced budget
PRS Foundation and Power Up partners need to see a balanced budget (i.e. a budget submission that shows that a Power Up grant will help your activity to be effective and to break even when total income is compared to total costs).
A top tip here is to outline all related project or activity costs/expenditure before projecting likely income from non-PRS Foundation sources. The difference between those costs and expected income is the amount you need to ask PRS Foundation for to balance your budget.
For example, your total submitted expenditure may be £20,000. If before adding a request amount from PRS Foundation you are projecting project income of £10,000, you would request £10,000 in grant support from PRS Foundation so that income equals expenditure and your budget balances.
Don’t forget to estimate income relating to your project (e.g. if you ticked a box to say that PRS Foundation support would cover recording and release costs, you need to project realistic income from the relevant release, no matter how large or small)
Do applicants receive the full amount requested?
PRS Foundation try as far as possible to fund the amount you need to make your project or activity happen. In some cases, where support is agreed but a panel of advisors feel a lower amount is appropriate, PRS Foundation’s grant will be lower than your requested amount. We may even issue a conditional offer with a request to discuss your budget and grant support needs further.
Can you help me to access my account?
If you are having problems accessing your Flexigrant portal account, or have issues with your username or password, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I continue working on an online application that I have saved?
When working on an application on PRS Foundation’s Flexigrant portal, you are offered the option to save as you go. At any point you can access drafted applications via the ‘My Applications’ on our portal’s home page.
Can I contact you to make sure my application has been received?
No. We receive hundreds of applications at each deadline and it can take some time before they are all processed. You will receive an automated response stating that your application has been received after submission. You can also check the status of applications via ‘My Applications’ on the portal homepage.
How and will decisions be made?
PRS Foundation will share eligible applications with Black music expert advisors who will score applications and make recommendations. This tried and trusted system is the bedrock of PRS Foundation’s successful decision-making process and allows us to pay Black industry professionals who will help the selection process.
A shortlist of higher scoring and representative applicants will be drawn up by PRS Foundation in consultation with suitable members of our Executive Steering Committee for Power Up.
A decision panel(s) will be held featuring an independent cross-section of Black music expert advisors who will collectively discuss high scoring applicants in order to make final selections which in line with best funding practice will be authorised by Executive Steering Committee members and relevant members of PRS Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
We outline the timing of our decision making process within our Guidance page.
Successful applicants will be issued offer letters which may include conditions if relevant.
This is not a ‘first-come-first-served’ opportunity so any application submitted before our deadline will be considered in a fair and transparent manner based on the outlined criteria and information in your application.
We realise that everyone works very hard on their applications, and our feedback system is as follows:
- Every unsuccessful applicant will receive notification via an email from our funding portal
Common reasons for applications not being successful will be outlined and we will signpost suitable support.
- If it is possible to offer individual feedback, we will outline a suitable timeframe and process which will likely highlight an appropriate date for applicants to call our team on ‘Phone Feedback Days’.
Those taking feedback on board before re-applying are twice as likely to receive funding.