RDS Irish Craft Bursary

Posted 04.05.18


The RDS, as a key part of its continued strong support for craft in Ireland, has created a new bursary valued at €10,000 which provides support for established makers of contemporary craft. The RDS Irish Craft Bursary will be open to makers who are members of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) PORTFOLIO Programme. The next selection for PORTFOLIO for the period 2019-2020 takes place in November 2018 (exact date to be announced).

The bursary may be used for a wide range of career and professional development activities such as: further education and training; research; development of new work; mentoring; purchase of equipment; studio improvements; technology; websites and residencies.

Qualified applicants will be required to submit proposals outlining how they wish to use the bursary and how it will benefit their professional practice. The applications will be assessed by an independent expert panel and will include a representative from the RDS. Selection for the bursary will be in November 2018 (date to be announced), for planned activity in 2019. 


DCCoI will hold a seminar on the bursary in Dublin in late summer 2018. This information event will be open to current and potential PORTFOLIO members (i.e any designers and makers interested in applying for the PORTFOLIO programme will be welcome to attend). The date will be announced in the coming weeks.

Application deadline

The application form will be published in July 2018 with a deadline of 1st November, 2018 to coincide with the PORTFOLIO 2019-2020 application process.

The selection of the recipient of the bursary will coincide with the next PORTFOLIO application process. Current PORTOFLIO members and new applicants for the programme are welcome to apply for the bursary.


The award of €10,000 will be paid to the bursary winner in two instalments; €9,000 in December 2018 and the balance in 2019 on completion of a report.

The bursary winner will be officially announced at the launch of the PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection 2019-2020 exhibition and publication in Dublin Castle in February 2019.

Application Process

This will be an online application form where applicants will outline what they wish to use the bursary for and how this will be of benefit to their practice. Applicants will have to submit a proposal of what they would do with the bursary, a current CV, an artist’s statement and images of their work. They may also submit actual, physical pieces if they feel it will benefit their application.

Selection Panel

The selection panel will comprise three judges for the PORTFOLIO selection process plus a representative from the RDS. As per previous panels, they will be international, independent experts in the field of contemporary craft. Previous judges have included curators of galleries and museums, gallery owners and directors, freelance curators and academics. The panel, as a group, will judge the applications. The winner of the bursary will be decided unanimously or by majority. In the case of a draw, the deciding vote will be cast by a DCCoI representative.


The bursary will be managed by DCCoI working in consultation with the RDS.


DCCoI’s Flagship PORTFOLIO programme actively works to build the reputations and potential of makers across all major disciplines of contemporary craft.  Featured makers are those producing innovative objects, either one-off pieces or limited editions, and working to high standards of design quality and technical skill. Selected by an international expert panel, PORTFOLIO exists as:

  • The Critical Selection, a biennial publication of the leading edge of Irish contemporary craft in a world-class context. This volume is published by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in order to increase awareness and understanding of top Irish makers and their work, particularly among Irish and international collectors, galleries, commissioning bodies and museums.
  • A wider, web-based programme of over 140 of Ireland’s most renowned makers across the following disciplines: Ceramics, Jewellery, Glass, Metals, Paper, Textiles, Calligraphy, Furniture, Woodwork, Basketry, Fashion and Stone. 

Selection for PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection and for new members of the wider PORTFOLIO programme takes place in November 2018 and happens every two years.

More Info

  • Contact: Ciara Garvey, DCCoI Development Manager, Collector & Tourism Programmes
  • Email: ciara@dccoi.ie

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