The Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary 2024 

  • Grants and Funding
  • Scotland/UK
  • 15/04/2024
  • Grants and Funding
  • Scotland/UK
  • 15/04/2024

Website Creative Scotland/Engage

The Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary fund was launched in 2022 to honour Stephen Palmer, a highly regarded and deeply respected Officer and Visual Arts specialist who devoted much of his career to the work of Creative Scotland and its predecessor body, The Scottish Arts Council.

Established following his death in 2021 these annual awards reflect Stephen’s deep belief in the value of travel to broaden horizons, to build new connections and to inform and inspire the development of new work.

In 2022 ten recipients undertook travel to support the development of their projects and practices, in 2023 a further eleven recipients were awarded a Travel Bursary.

Each bursary supports the creative and professional development of an individual working in the visual arts sector in Scotland.

The fund is open to freelance artists, curators, producers, writers and educators at any stage in their career. Our priority is to support work with respect for the environment and to use this bursary to encourage sustainable travel within Scotland and the rest of the UK.  We are especially interested in helping people who may have had limited opportunity to travel for work purposes before. Applicants can also apply for access costs to support their travel.

These bursaries have been developed by Creative Scotland in partnership with Engage Scotland, the lead advocacy and training network for gallery education, representing arts educators, organisations, freelancers and artists from across the country.

The application form for this fund has been designed as a light touch process with clear and simple questions.

For any further information or support with your application please contact:

Sarah Robinson Frood, Engage Scotland Coordinator,


People working in the visual arts in Scotland on a freelance/self-employed basis (e.g. artists, curators, producers, writers and educators) at any stage in their career, who have had limited opportunities travel to develop their practice.

People who are not able to travel due to a health condition, disability and/or caring responsibilities, who would benefit from being supported can undertake their research at a distance through digital and/or other facilitated means.  For those who can’t travel digital software/subscriptions, specific programmes etc are eligible.

If you are looking for support for a film/TV project please contact Screen Scotland for advice and support as we are not able to fund applications for expenses relating to film development and production.

If your art practice relates more to contemporary craft please contact Craft Scotland for advice and support.

Students in full time education aren’t eligible for this bursary.

If you hold a position (voluntary or paid) in either Creative Scotland or Engage this should be noted in your application.


  • Relevance and scope of activity proposed in terms of the applicant’s current practice and future plans/ambitions.
  • Anticipated impacts and benefits of public funding in terms of the applicant’s creative and professional development.
  • Appropriateness of the applicant’s plans for travel in respect to encouraging sustainable travel.
  • For applicants who are not able to travel we will consider the potential of the bursary to consolidate or to open up new research opportunities at a distance via online or other means.

Funding available:

We will support bursaries of up to £500.  A separate budget will be available to cover access costs.

Access costs are non-artistic costs that are directly related to removing or reducing barriers for applicants who would be unlikely to be able to undertake their planned activities without this support.

These costs can include one-off or short-term childcare costs, or where you might have a higher cost of living and/or need support due to a disability or health condition.

Childcare costs are classed as a taxable benefit, so whilst this fund can reimburse these costs, you will be responsible for reporting this to HMRC.

If you already receive Access to Work support then you may be able to request additional support for travel, equipment etc.  Please refer to the Access to Work website:

How decisions will be made:

Decisions regarding the allocation of these funds will be made by a panel including representatives from Engage Scotland, Creative Scotland and external panel members such as previous awardee’s.


Successful applicants will be asked to complete a grant acceptance from and provide a final report. They will also be invited to share their experiences with peers and this will be discussed and agreed on an individual basis.


Applications open: 26 February 2024

Deadline for applications: 15 April 2024 – 12 noon

Travel Plans should happen between May and November of 2024

Contact us

Creative Scotland/Engage

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