Crowd of fellows on a council estate in London during their induction day
The Fellowships programme induction school in London, 2014 ©

Grant Smith

The Venice Fellowships is a unique opportunity for students and volunteers to spend a month in Venice during one of the world’s most significant art and architecture biennales.

How does it work?

Approximately 50 Fellows will be supported with a grant to cover their travel, accommodation and living costs in Venice for one month, which is part-funded by participating institutions and the British Council.

Candidates are selected via a competitive application process through their institution and then interviewed by the British Council. 

What will Fellows be doing?

Fellows will have the chance to spend one month in Venice during a major international biennale. They will share their time between invigilating the British Pavilion exhibition and conducting independent research, which is guided by the focus of the biennale and the exhibition. Selected submissions will be published online, contributing to a cumulative body of research.

Fellows choose one of several core themes, which are investigated through site-specific and archival research focused either on the biennale or within Venice itself. Selected submissions will be published online, contributing to a cumulative body of research.

The stewarding role comes with a high level of responsibility, offering a breadth of experience and the chance to engage with a wide range of people.

We welcome new partners each year – find out if your institutions and organisations is already a partner.  

Before you go  

To prepare Fellows for their time in Venice, the British Council coordinates an induction school prior to their travel, which offers:

  • practical advice and support from the British Council 
  • an intensive introduction to the exhibition
  • an opportunity to meet the curators
  • a programme of discussions, tours and workshops
  • an important chance for Fellows to meet each other as a group and build relationships with peers across borders and institutions
  • Fellowships introduction pack including resources and further reading.

Why did the British Council set up Venice Fellowships?

The Fellowships programme was initiated in 2014 by the British Council to strengthen the British Pavilion contribution as a platform for ideas and research. This programme aims to educate and enrich the biennale exhibition, making it a reference point for all universities and arts institutions. The Fellowships offers a way of viewing and experiencing art and architecture that provides a new outlook on issues of public and private space, artistic process and display. 

See also