The Sabbatical for Artistic Research Grant is one of Arts Council Malta’s tools to enable individuals to engage in artistic research which is practice-based or practice-led and aimed towards developing and exploring new ideas, methodologies, materials, and techniques towards further artistic development. This grant fulfils the Council’s Education and Development action (Strategy2025) to invest in research and creativity by introducing a sabbatical grant for artists and practitioners. Furthermore, the grant fulfils several strategic priorities outlined by the Council in the Strategy2025 document, namely:

• Nurturing creative potential and supporting development by encouraging creatives to engage in practice-based research and investigation;
• Investing in artistic excellence by encouraging levels of creative risk, experimentation, and active engagement of artists, as well as identifying talent and encouraging its development;
• Fostering artistic collaborations and partnerships for the development of the local artistic scene;
• Expanding opportunities for career pathways in the arts;
• Investing in twenty-first-century skills.

The grant forms part of Arts Council Malta’s funding schemes which aim to invest in exploratory projects that allow creative professionals to investigate aspects related to their artistic practice, explore and test their work, engage with new methods and technologies, conduct research, collaborate with creatives and relevant professionals, and develop their ideas further. Applications submitted may form part of the initial phase of a wider project/body of work or can be self-contained.

The objective of the scheme is to support research in the cultural and creative sectors, as per the National Cultural Policy 2021. As stated in the NCP 2021, artists working professionally in the sector may find it financially challenging to engage exclusively in artistic research for a significant period of time without compromising their income and financial commitments. The Council firmly believes in the importance of artistic research and the need for artists to renew and reflect on their practice. The initiative will support freelance creative practitioners who wish to take a sabbatical period of one year by providing an income and following agreed-upon outcomes and objectives.

The aims of the grant follow those of the Vienna Declaration on Artistic Research to support the expansion of knowledge and understanding of artistic research.

Applicants may choose to focus on one or more of these areas within their projects:

- Exploratory research adopting innovative or untested approaches in the conception, creation, and development of artistic work;
- Research into digital technologies and AI and how these inform contemporary artistic practices;
- Experimenting with innovative methods of community-led artistic engagement.

The sabbatical year needs to be planned as a full-time artistic research activity on a 40-hour weekly basis. The sabbatical will include a monthly meeting with a mentor assigned by Arts Council Malta. At the end of the sabbatical period, the grant participants will have the opportunity to present their project and findings through an event aimed at sharing the insights that emerge from the artistic research.

Who can apply? 

The scheme may focus on creative and/or practice-based artistic research, led by a creative practitioner. This scheme also encourages community-based research projects. The grant is open to creative practitioners/individual artists who are full-time self-employed.


The deadline to apply is Tuesday 6 June 2023 at noon. Late applicantions cannot be accepted. 


Click here to download guidelines and download application template. 

Click here to download Access Support Top-up guidelines. 

Applicants are required to register a new profile as from January 2021. 

Apply here.