High Level Shot of Venice City

Venice, Italy. Photographer: Gerhard Bögner 

How does it work?

Approximately 70 Fellows will be supported with a grant to cover their travel, accommodation and living costs in Venice for one month, which is funded by participating institutions. Candidates are selected via a competitive application process initially through their institution and then a further selection process via video applications with the British Council.  

Successful Fellows attend training before embarking on a month in Venice with peers from across the UK. There are 7 fellowship groups in total across the Biennale period. 

We welcome new partners each year – if you are interested in becoming a partner please contact venicefellowships@britishcouncil.org 

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 submitted on their return. Research can be presented in essay format or as a creative response. 

Fellows choose 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, on the Fellowships Blog. The Fellows and partners are encouraged to share and showcase the resulting research responses. There will also be an opportunity for fellows to present their work in a post-Biennale UK exhibition. You can download the catalogue of the Architecture 2018 fellow’s exhibition; After Island below.

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

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
  • 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 enrich the biennale exhibition, making it a reference point for 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