The Graduate Fund

Supporting Recent Graduates

Return to Funding & Support Schemes

The Graduate Fund is currently focused on supporting recent graduates at a pivotal point, as they take their first steps in the wider industry following completion of their studies at the conservatoire.

The programme provides access to vital funding and a tailored programme of support which enables our alumni to test out new business ideas, develop their artistry or participate in additional training and mentoring opportunities as they embark on their careers in the wider industry.

What the Programme Will Involve

  • Dedicated artist/business support, provided by the Enterprise and Alumni Team at Leeds Conservatoire
  • Specialist advice on applying for other funding programmes available in the sector, or on attracting in-kind support from other partners
  • A micro grant of up to £500, which can be utilised in full, or as part match funding towards the specific business and/or artist development activity as indicated below
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Aims of the Fund

  • To enable graduates of Leeds Conservatoire to further develop their artistry and/or creative businesses, beyond their studies
  • To provide direct financial backing, which can be used as leverage for gaining support (both financial and in-kind) from other external funding programmes, talent development partners and other industry organisations
  • To support alumni as they look to undertake short periods of study (e.g. online short courses, online conferences/seminars) or mentoring
  • To signpost applicants towards the range of existing talent development programmes and funding support that currently exists in the sector
Who Is This For?

The first round of The Graduate Fund was open to emerging artists and creative entrepreneurs who previously studied at Leeds Conservatoire and completed a course in the academic year 2019/20.

Applicants were asked to provide Leeds Conservatoire with a proof of home address, if requested (e.g. a recent utility bill, council tax bill etc.)

Individuals can only receive funding once throughout the lifetime of this programme.

We are unable to support those who completed a course with us and are currently participating in a programme of further study (whether at Leeds Conservatoire or another educational institution) via this programme. 

We will publish further details on eligibility for future rounds here. 

Application Windows

Applications for the first round of The Graduate Fund closed on 31 March 2021.

Eligible applicants were able to apply for activity which takes place from late-April onwards.

We hope to continue providing The Graduate Fund in 2022, and it is acknowledged in our proposed budget for the next academic year.

Support Parameters

Micro Grants - Eligible Activity

  • Prototype Development
  • Photo/Video Production
  • PR Campaigns
  • Specialised Business Advice
  • Studio Time
  • Logo/Brand Development
  • Course fees for online short courses
  • Attendance at an online conference or seminar
  • Online Mentoring – you should state who the mentor will be

NB: Any other reasonable requests not outlined above will be considered.

Micro Grants - Ineligible Activity

  • Retrospective activity – i.e. for costs that have already been incurred/project activity that has already taken place
  • Purchase of musical equipment or software
  • Activities where the core beneficiaries are not Leeds Conservatoire graduates
  • Audition fees for postgraduate studies at Leeds Conservatoire, or elsewhere
  • Any further, higher or postgraduate qualification
  • Activities which are not directly related to music, the performing arts, or the creative industries
Application Process

Applications are considered by a panel, comprised of members of the alumni community, industry experts and Leeds Conservatoire staff.

We usually expect to have made decisions within a month of the closing date. We expect to be able to make grant payments to successful applicants within 30 days of receiving applicants’ bank details.

All unsuccessful applicants are offered feedback on their application where possible, or signposted towards other opportunities that might be of relevance to them.

How To Apply

Please make sure you have read all of the supporting documentation prior to applying. Applications that don’t meet the criteria outlined will not be considered for support.

We encourage you to attend our short webinar explaining The Graduate Fund, in order to help give you the best chance of submitting a successful application.

Next Webinar Date: TBC

The application form will be live on this page during each application window. 

NB: any late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Get In Touch

If you have any questions on this funding programme, or wish to discuss your idea, prior to the point of application, please contact a member of our Alumni and Enterprise Team via alumni@lcm.ac.uk.

Leeds Conservatoire Principal Lecturer Jamie Taylor & alumnus Sam Dunn join forces on 9 Dec, as the Jazz Guitarists… https://t.co/jf2CU8DWYm
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