ACE DYCP Info Session

On 22nd October 2020 I held a DYCP info session for artists on Zoom.

Here are the notes

You can download them in PDF Here

DYCP - Dais Hale (1)
Download PDF • 154KB

Google Doc of Notes is here:

Full notes below - compiled by Ben Monk and then re-edited for upload by me.

DYCP Info session 22nd October 2020

Thank u to Ben Monk for typing these notes as we went along.

Thank u to Lou Mason for the Zoom account.

  • Dais! Independent producer that works with NPOs on access support for ACE.

  • To be uploaded to Dais’ website after.

  • Structure: 20 minutes of Dais chatting. Fantastic! There will be things shared in the chat (I’ll try and link)


The main DYCP page on our website with guidance, case studies and other info:

The main written applicant guidance docs, including Easy Read:

Intro video for the reopened fund, including BSL & captioning:

Full BSL guidance (over 4 videos):

White Pube has some good stuff.

The Uncultured has a template for the application form on their website.

List of Successful Applications + their title and artform

Not sure if Project Grant or DYCP ? Here is a handy table from ACE

  1. Developing Your Creative Practice has reopened last week!

  • First deadline is 12 NOON on the 5TH NOVEMBER. Shorter than normal - usually stays open for 4-5 weeks, this is 3, just to get money to freelancers ASAP.

  • Grants are between 2k - 10k. Second round opens on the 21st December. This will be open for 4-5 weeks.

  • Then a round three & round four over the next calendar year.

  • Individuals and small groups only. No ORGANISATIONS!

  • If applying as a small group there still needs to be a lead artist on the application - led by one name.

What has changed from before?

  • Increased the budget from previous years. Budget is FOUR TIMES bigger holy moly! Expecting a larger amount of distribution but also a higher application rate.

  • Technical roles can now apply!

  • Only one year of experience required to apply (previously three years).

  • Can make it around Covid-19 impact / sustainable practice.

  • There are no restrictions on rounds - you can apply in ANY round if unsuccessful. (previously had to wait till the next round passed by)

  • If you are currently waiting on a Project Grant response you need to wait for a decision before you put in your application. But you can have a PG and a DYCP open at same time.

  1. What is it for??

  • More about exploring something new in practice - working in a particular method, or an admired director. More about the INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT PROCESS rather than a public facing R& D. Can be experimenting with new partners or collaborators or training body or mentor, building new networks for a potential, future public showing.

  • Can apply for professional development. How might I expand digital practice? Etc. Things you don’t have the skillset in. You can apply for travel money… but make sure you include planning around current health guidelines (self isolation, current covid guidelines etc). E.g. if you have to isolate for 2 weeks after, what will you do in those 2 weeks.

  • Can apply for making your practice more SUSTAINABLE - environmentally, financially, COVID

  • Can apply for NEW WAYS OF WORKING. Time & money to change your practice (making shows socially distanced etc).


  • Can’t apply for film / cinema / TV drama as the base medium - but you could for example if you were a poet working with video or a visual artist working with multimedia in cross-arts medium

  • uni / college fees, general R&D, loss of earnings.


  • 3 qs, 2 attachments, 3 check boxes, expenditure budget and project timeline. About a third of the size of a project grant. 1800 characters for Q1, 1500 for Q 2+ 3

  • 1st - Please tell us about yourself and your creative practice

  • Note your background/ achievements/ artistic interest/ shows / commissions / practise etc - HYPE YOURSELF UP!!!

  • 2nd - Tell us about the developmental opportunity you want to undertake, what you hope to get out of it, and how you will go about

  • put the LITERAL activity you want to take. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO.

“What I want to do - I want to ____ through _____ in order to achieve _____.”

Establish your overarching AIM/GOAL

E.g. ‘I want to investigate…’

‘I want to expand my practise in…’

‘I want to spend time writing…’

‘This application will allow me to explore a new shift…’

  • Plan - could be in phases or explain the whole process.

  • This will happen in this phase, the next phase, etc. These will show how they contribute to overall aim.

  • Statement - what I’m doing. Then the Effect. (But not the benefits! That’s the next question!)

  • E.g. As ideas not comprehensive list!

  • ‘I will have mentoring advice from X and X - my aim with them is X’

‘I will undergo a period of shadowing a ‘X’ type of organisations that are ‘x’. I will develop my understand of ‘X’

‘I will have X sessions with X looking at X to develop my X’

‘I will build upon links with..’

‘I will attend… making contacts with…to gain knowledge of…’

‘I will write for X months, exploring X themes to create a new style of…’

‘I will work with this director, exploring this type of practise, upskilling myself in this area’

‘I will undertake training in projection design with ‘X’, expanding my technical knowledge and overall production skill set

  • 3rd - Why is this important for your practice at this point, and how will this help create future opportunities?

  • BENEFITS. Can follow the previous Q structure.

  • Why is this going to benefit you?

  • Are you laying the foundations for a new company?

  • Putting yourself in a strong position to make new work?

  • Want to be able to offer people you work with more of X? Will this training expand your practice in order to meet the requirements of X? Future opportunities, upskilling, financial stability, sustainability.

  • Eg. (As ideas! Not a fully comprehensive list)

  • ‘This period will lay the foundations for me to create a new company with focus on…’

  • ‘This applications marks a new endeavour to write…in X style...which is poignant for this moment because….’

  • ‘I rarely have support to just…. This will give me X to create…’

  • ‘This will give me the financial stability to…’

  • ‘I will expand my practise and be able to upskill my ‘x’...developing ‘x’ creating future opportunities for…’

  • ‘I will be in a unique position from this activity to…’

  • ‘Doing this activity will have impactful change on...X people/show/work/project for the future...leading to…’


Example of your work in a link or file (your website, portfolio, photos, a review!)

A supporting document written by someone else. A review, a letter of recommendation, Anything from someone else about your work. Better from someone that knows you well and is personal!

  • Checkboxes: You will tick as many as apply from the options.

•Area of focus

•Public benefit (now or future)

•Let’s Create outcomes


Expenditure budget! NO INCOME NEEDED.

Cost everything carefully. If travelling - cost up 2 weeks of isolation. What will you do in these weeks.


Pay yourself for any time spent shadowing/ workshopping/writing - the point of this fund is to be able to pay you to be able to take time doing this work, not to scrimp and only pay others/buy things.


This is another chance to show you know how to full progress a project of development from start to finish.

Make this an excel when planning... Copy and paste! Easier.


If you identify as disabled can get a personal access cost - in the eligibility Questionnaire as a SEPARATE COST. So if your activity takes you up to 10K limit but need 2K more on personal access costs - thats ok.

If you identify as someone that needs access support - the Arts Council can pay someone to help you through that process. £300 day rate, up to £600. If you don’t know anyone that can do this, you can contact Arts Council - there’s a trial w/ NPOs to access relevant people.

Other people that offer support include Dais, Laura + Ash at The Uncultured, Rafia Hussein, Thomas Ryalls, Reece McMahon to name a few off the top of my head!



  • Are you more likely to get a bid by keeping costs low, or will it not make a difference if you’re asking for £10k vs £8k (but maybe a shorter period of development because of the lower grant)

This is tricky. It’s not about more likely - it’s whether you can justify the activity over the period of time. All applications are valid IF you can justify it. Don’t underpay yourself! Better to be realistic as shows your cost planning skillzzz.

  • Q: Thank u sm for this — this is fab. Can an application include a live/performance aspect of it?

Yes if you can show that you NEED to do it live in front of whoever in order to progress in your personal development. And that by doing it live it will lead to… whatever. Need to phrase it carefully.

  • Usually how long is the duration of the actual practice / activity?

I don’t know! It’s up to everyone else. Has been 6 months, a year, I’ve seen lots of versions. Evaluate on how it fits in with life and activity planning. How will it directly benefit you? Do this now, so you have more time later? Etc. Can you show why it needs to take place over that time in order to develop your practise.

  • Is there anywhere to include in kind support?

No. Nothing to do with income in the app. You can include it briefly in the 2nd Q on activity if you wish.

  • I'm a writer and want to apply for time to work with a new director and actors - this is something I've never had the opportunity to do before in developing a script. But not sure how to articulate that as practice development rather than it sounding like a project…

Make it about the writing and developing the writing, developing writing style and development of making - will have to be careful.

  • Can you apply for a DYCP grant if you've been successful in getting a project grant in the same year.

Yes! You just need to wait if you’re waiting to hear about a PG decision.

  • How long of a period can the application cover?

Not an upper limit - personally I would think best to do the calendar year as that’s what the current budget is assigned to Oct-Oct.

  • For supporting doc, would an agent be a suitable option?


  • How important is it to have partnerships with venues / orgs in place?

Not that important. It’s different to PGs in the sense you don’t need to have loads of partner influence. Only include if they are directly benefiting the development you want to undertake and it shows you know which orgs will benefit you.

  • how much of your plan needs to be confirmed before writing the app. e,g, if it was shadowing a director, do you already need their go ahead or can you speak in the app as if it's unconfirmed?

I would always encourage any applicant to have their app as robust as possible, so I would have a convo with a creative you wanted to work with and say ‘if in theory i get this can i do this with you’ so you can confidently attach their name to it. If you get it and their schedule has changed and you need to use a different creative that’s fine, you just acknowledge that in ur evaluation.

  • How broad can your development be? I.e. can you develop two distinct skills - i.e. puppet-making and dance?

Fine, but I would encourage you to link them under a shared aim or goal or research aim for this activity. Or have the two distinct strands and show why they link or why this develops you for whatever you want to be able to do in the future.

  • If you are successful in receiving a DYCP grant in one of these four rounds, is it possible to get another DYCP grant later in your career in a few years?

No guidance on this as this is the second year. Hasn’t been a chance to evaluate. Sorry!

  • Can I apply for a DYCP when I am named in a project grant with an organisation that is waiting on a decision?

Yes - long as the PG you’re waiting on has not come from your individual account.

  • If arts council have asked for a project grant report, does this need to be completed before applying to a DYCP?


  • Can the person who writes your letter of application also be someone who appears in your project plan as someone paid - e.g I would like to spend some time shadowing an Artistic Director I have recently worked with and he would also be a good person to write a recommendation for me

Yes, that makes sense.

  • I am struggling to find training enough far ahead for the app - can I be a bit more vague and hope the right training comes up?

You can - replicate it on the basis that you’ll apply for this training if it’s a place that regularly offers this training. If it’s a one off I would look elsewhere. Good to have an idea of expenditure.

  • What if you have multiple up-skilling things that you want to undertake? Or should you just focus the app on one of them?

If they’re under the same aim, it’s fine.

Eg - if training in accessibility and also upskilling in digital, I can show how both will increase my output as a producer working on accessible projects that are moving online.

  • Q: Do you include wages for yourself as well as expenditure on resources?

YES PLEASE DO weekly or day rate, whatever. Including shadowing etc.!

  • Q: If you are successful in receiving a DYCP grant, can you then do a project grant which overlaps timeline wise? As in, does DYCP make it less likely to get project grants for that same period of development.

Doesn’t make you more or less likely. It’s only if you’re AWAITING A DECISION.

  • Can you include equipment, eg: if I wanted to upskill on making digital work so need to buy a camera as well as pay someone to teach me to use it & myself to take the time to learn it

YES. just make it justified to the activity.

  • Q: In regards to the one years’ experience, does this mean a 2020 grad would not be eligible even if they have bene working alongside their formal education?

If you’ve been working as an artist for a year regardless of education overlap and you can demonstrate that then yes. If you can’t, you’re not eligible.

  • Q - How do you cost your own time?

Up to you - but look at ITC guidelines or relevant union. Everyone has different day rates, just please pay yourself properly don’t try to scrimp on yourself. (

  • I'm a poet and theatre maker but I've only ever written for my own voice. I'm interested in developing my practice to write for other voices. I also want to write a play about a specific thing which would require a lot of research. Could I include both of these things in a DYCP app or would this weaken the application/look like more of a project?

Comes under a unified aim. Can apply for things like ‘time to write’ - been successful in the past. Go look at the titles of previous successful applications on the ACE website and how much they got for what artform.

  • If you plan on doing a module as part of upskilling attached to a uni but it’s not a degree - does this come under training or might that be seen as uni fees even if it’s not a full degree? (And does this being abroad make any difference?)

Don’t think so as not formal education fees. Frame it as a course? Abroad doesn’t make a difference just the travel regs re. Covid.

  • If you are unsuccessful, can you modify the application for the same kind of development and reapply again? And can you re-use the letter of recommendation, or should that be specific to the app?

Can reapply with the same thing. You can just be pipped to the post by funding! Recommend reapplying if unsuccessful. Don’t think there’s feedback. Reuse the letter, just update the date!!

  • Would a percentage of cost be best if its for an expensive piece of equipment??

That is justified.

  • Q:if it's for upscaling your writing, does it have to have a specific outcome? Is it better or worse to have a specific play, with all the costs, you'd like to write in mind for DYCP?

Better to have themes - clear project plan is KEY. What you want to do and why you want to do it?

I’ve seen writers applications that are looking to explore fiction for the first time for example, but that also want to be mentored and shadow other creatives to gain knowledge in this and then already have some core principles like ‘it will be in this style’ or ‘all future works will feature trans* characters’ etc.