Visual Arts awards

Visual art awards at the BSR offer artists access to Rome and Italy as an exceptional repertory of the visual culture of the past, and encourage informed and innovative responses to that cultural heritage.

They offer artists at different stages of their careers the superb opportunity to research and focus on their work away from normal pressures, and to use the BSR as a base to explore Rome and Italy.

Awards include board and accommodation in one of our purpose-designed artist’s studios which include a mezzanine bedroom and en-suite bathroom. Award-holders are required to live at the BSR throughout the period of the award.


We are now accepting applications for 2021-2, for the following awards:


Augusta Scholarship

The Augusta Scholarship offers an exceptional opportunity for an early career artist to spend three months at the BSR. It aims to encourage artists for whom the use of paint and/or drawing is central to their practice.

Duration: 3 months (late September-late December 2021)

Research grant: £1,500/month

Specific award criteria

  • Applicants must be a graduate in Fine Art (or expect to have graduated in Fine Art before 1 October 2021; and normally within twelve years of the completion of their BA.
  • Applicants must be of British nationality, or have been working professionally or studying at postgraduate level for at least the last 3 years in the UK (i.e. since March 2018), with applications from EU nationals who meet these criteria being particularly welcome.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate an intention, upon completion of the Scholarship, to work in the UK or otherwise contribute to the wider UK artistic community.
  • Applicants must be able to show the importance of a residency in Rome for their practice.
  • Applicants must be keen to share the benefits of membership of a vibrant residential community of artists and researchers.
  • Selection for this Scholarship is by members of the BSR’s Faculty of the Fine Arts.
  • Further information upon this Scholarship is available by clicking here.

Application fee: £25. (If eligible, this also covers the Bridget Riley Fellowship 2021-2)

Application materials: please complete an application form, as well as an equal opportunities monitoring form.

Closing date for applications: Tuesday 1 June 2021


“The BSR culture was like nothing I’d experienced before, I really loved the cross disciplinary exchanges / friendships and how this feeds into a broader understanding of Rome and it’s history, studio practice and research.”

Kate Mackeson, Augusta Scholar 2018–19


The Bridget Riley Fellowship

The Bridget Riley Fellowship is an exciting opportunity for exceptional artists, at an early to mid point in their career, whose work has a significant drawing element, to spend six months in Rome.

Duration: 6 months (September 2021- March 2022)

Research and travel grant: £1,500/month; plus a grant towards a short pre-residency visit to the BSR.

Specific award criteria:

  • Applicants must be of British or Commonwealth nationality, or have been working professionally or studying at postgraduate level for at least the last three years in the UK or Commonwealth (i.e. since March 2018).
  • Selection for this Fellowship is by members of the Faculty of the Fine Arts of the BSR, together with a representative of the Bridget Riley Art Foundation.
  • Further information upon this Fellowship is available by clicking here.

Application fee: £25. (This also covers the Augusta Scholarship 2021-2, if eligible.)

Application materials: please complete an application form, as well as an equal opportunities monitoring form.

Closing date for applications: Tuesday 1 June 2021


“The fellowship gave me a new confidence in my practice as an artist – and above all, I benefited immensely from the conversations and friendships I made with fellow artists and academics from other disciplines.”

Sinta Tantra, The Bridget Riley Fellow 2016–17


Creative Wales-British School at Rome Fellowship

Supported by the Arts Council of Wales, this Fellowship is an exciting opportunity for exceptional, ambitious and imaginative creative individuals, working within the visual arts art form.

Duration: 3 months (late September-late December 2021)

Research and travel grant: £1,500/month; plus a grant towards a short pre-residency visit to the BSR and a grant towards the transport of work back to Wales at the end of the residency.

Specific award criteria:

  • Applicants must be resident in Wales.
  • Applicants must be at a significant juncture in their careers (usually early- to mid-career).
  • Further information on this Fellowship is available here.

Application materials: please complete an application form, as well as an equal opportunities monitoring form.

Closing date for applications: Friday 28 May 2021


“I would unreservedly recommend the experience of taking a fellowship at the BSR. You could not ask for a better environment for developing work and building a community.”

Samuel Hasler, Creative Wales-BSR Fellow 2018–19


It will not be possible to offer The Ampersand Fellowship or the Sainsbury Scholarship in Painting & Sculpture in 2021-2.  If other opportunities do become available, we will advertise them on this page in due course. 


Other residencies tenable at the BSR

Various other residencies are tenable at the BSR, but the competitions are administered by other organisations. Further information on these can be found be following the links below.

Abbey Fellowships and Scholarship in Painting

The BSR Wallace New Zealand Residence Award

Arts Council of Northern Ireland Rome Fellowship

Helpmann Academy Residency

Quebec Residency


General Visual Arts Selection Criteria

In making an appointment to an award the Faculty of the Fine Arts will assess all applications using the following set of criteria:

  1. the quality of the applicant’s creative output and the appropriateness of their qualifications
  2. the extent to which the applicant’s proposal reflects the purpose of the award
  3. the viability of the proposal as a project to be carried out with support from the BSR.

In addition to these three basic selection criteria, the selectors will take into consideration the potential for the award to impact on the applicant’s creative development and will attempt to ensure that the needs and interests of the successful applicant are compatible with the facilities available at the BSR and the interests of its community.

Credit will be given to those who are no longer in full- or part-time education at the time of application.

Candidates are expected to have some knowledge of Italian or be willing to learn. Those who acknowledge the importance of communicating with Italians will derive the most benefit from being at the School.

Applications from those who have held a residency at the BSR in the previous two years (since October 2019) will not normally be considered.

Photo slideshow credits: Josephine Baker in Studio (Alice Marsh); Anne-Marie Creamer (Antonio Palmieri); December Mostra 2016 Installation View (Roberto Apa)

Pay Visual Arts awards application fee

An application fee of £25 covers all the 2021-2 Visual Arts awards administered by the BSR. Use the PayPal button below to pay £25 now. N.B. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE ABBEY AWARDS. For payments for Abbey Awards, please click here.


Full name of applicant
Postcode (as on application)