Funded Travelling Fellowships for Designers

In 2015, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust will be investing £1.2 million in British citizens, by awarding a record number of 150 Travelling Fellowships, in order to mark its 50th anniversary.

This will directly support British citizens who want to travel overseas to gain knowledge, experience and best practice to benefit others in their UK professions and communities, and society as a whole.

Travelling Fellowships will be awarded in a new Designers category, and the application process is now open.

Designers working in the applied arts in architecture, interiors, product and graphic design, are all encouraged to apply. The new Design Fellowships will be run in a prestigious partnership with the British Council’s Architecture, Design and Fashion (ADF) Department. Successful applicants will then be able to apply to ADF for a follow up grant to help with events, exhibitions, and further international collaboration to further their Churchill Fellowship.

Architect Miriam Kelly’s Fellowship took her on a tour of the rust belts of America and Germany, with the aim of bringing back inspiration for the creative reuse of redundant industrial sites in the UK, particularly in ways which contribute positively to local communities. In Germany, she saw how the Zollverein Industrial Complex (a disused coal mine and coking plant) has been redeveloped as a cultural and tourism centre, and is now a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site. As a conservation specialist, Miriam is particularly interested in the way the regeneration of redundant industrial sites can revitalise local communities. Miriam hopes her experience will provide valuable new perspectives on the challenge of regeneration for redundant industrial sites and directly benefit a number of on-going projects. She also hopes to help broaden the debate on the cultural significance of industrial heritage and its value in today’s post-industrial society.  

Amongst those travelling this year, in this category, is Oliver Cooke, an architect from London, travelling to Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA, to investigate learning from international examples of housing design, in order to inform better practice of this in the UK. 

Successful applicants must demonstrate the commitment, the character and the tenacity to travel globally in pursuit of new and better ways of tackling a wide range of current challenges facing the UK, and upon their return work to transform and improve aspects of today’s society.

A travelling sabbatical for people with the drive, determination and desire to help others, can further their leadership and role model abilities.

Employers often also see great benefits with employees returning with new knowledge, skills and ideas to share with others within the organisation.

Applications are judged purely on project merit, and these opportunities are available to UK residents over the age of 18, of any ethnicity, religion, or gender.

Successful applicants will receive an average Fellowship grant of over £6000, covering return airfare, daily living costs, insurance and travel within the countries being visited, for approximately 6 weeks overseas.

Notes to Editors

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established shortly after Sir Winston’s death in 1965, as his national memorial and living legacy. Since then it has awarded over 4820 Travelling Fellowships.

The application process for travel in 2015 is now open, and there are 11 varied categories in which people can apply.

Churchill’s beliefs and passions are still living on through our Fellows – who are remarkable yet ordinary individuals, representing a wide range of backgrounds, qualifications, interests and professions, but sharing the desire to do something for the improvement of British life and their fellow man.

The deadline for the 2015 applications is 5pm on 23rd September 2014.

In total 137 Fellowships were awarded in the UK in 2014, with grant awards totaling £876,540. The Fellows are currently travelling to 52 countries between them, across 6 continents, carrying out a wide range of projects.

To maximise the impact of our Fellowships we have developed partnerships with other organisations, focused on specific areas of concern and relevance for the UK today. Lessons learnt from overseas travel are effectively coordinated and disseminated, and incorporated into best practice in the UK for the benefit of others in similar communities and professions.

The British Councils Architecture, Design and Fashion (ADF) department creates links between designers and cultural institutions around the world, through a diverse range of projects across the three disciplines. They form part of the British Council’s Arts Group, which works across 109 countries to build trust and opportunities for the UK through the exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas worldwide. For further information about the British Council, please visit


The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust: 020 7799 1660


About Us

The WCMT is a grant making Trust established in 1965 as the living memorial to Sir Winston Churchill. We give grants to British citizens from all walks of life to travel overseas, to gain knowledge and to enlarge their experience for the benefit of their profession, community and the UK as a whole.