Welcome to the Last Year to Apply page. Here we have gathered information on Dutch funds that you can apply to for the last year. Applying for funds can be stressful, exhausting and at times might feel impersonal. To help you get started, we asked the community of peers and friends working in the cultural sector to share their knowledge and experience of applying for funds. You can find their answers under each fund. 

Please note that all answers are subjective. Keep in mind that every artistic practice is a unique individual process and everyone speaks from their own perspective.

Permanente Professionele Ontwikkeling - PPO

Working continuously on your professional development is important for your long-term employability and earning capacity within the sector. If you invest in your professional development, we will invest with you. This site makes it easy for you to submit an application for co-financing for your development plan. We refer to that as your PPD, or Permanent Professional Development. Our approach involves focusing first and foremost on your development needs, on not working with fixed training providers and on giving you the freedom to choose the type of development that suits you best. Whether this is individual, collective, classroom training or a peer to peer pathway, you choose and we facilitate.

(From the perspective of an Artist/Researcher) 

The Werktuig PPO website might confuse you because the application procedure seems very simple. Even too simple to be true. But that's what it is, no rocket science!

Currently, they have 3 types of schemes, the one I will be referring to is ToolPPO. Anyone working in the creative sector, either self-employed or on a contract, can apply for money to support their development trajectory. Think of courses (online and offline), mentoring sessions or private lessons with an expert in a particular field. Above all, you should explain how this new knowledge and skills will broaden or deepen your practice. I applied for a single online course before, but your trajectory can consist of a few things. PPO can finance 1/3 of the total costs of your development plan with a maximum of € 2,000 (including VAT). There is an assumption that your employer or client will also contribute 1/3 and you pay the remaining part amount yourself. The reality is that you will probably have to pay 2/3 yourself, but getting 1/3 is better than nothing!

The questions you will have to answer when filling in the online form will be like those below:

- What do you want to learn? Briefly describe what you want to learn. When will the development programme be successful for you?

Here I described my practice in a couple of sentences and stated:

To broaden my skill set, I want to learn (what?) that would allow me to (why?).

- What are you going to do to achieve this? Describe the activity as precisely as possible. For example, mention a specific training or educational programme and add a link to the website of the institution.

Here I described what learning these new skills entails, what steps I would need to go through and how the online course I wanted to enrol in was a perfect fit for my goals. I had a few quotes from the school's website and mentioned that I've done my research and this specific programme appeared to be unique and best suited to what I wanted to achieve. If you feel confused about writing this part but you already know what you want to learn, you could start the other way around. Use schools/courses/teachers' descriptions of their methods and programmes and deconstruct them for writing this paragraph. Pick the 'tastiest' bits of their text and then write about why learning that would be helpful for you.

- How will you know that it was successful? Will you have a diploma or other concrete result that you can show?   

In my case, all I had to say was that I will get a diploma. If there is no diploma as such in the trajectory that you are picking, you could say that it will be successful once you finish all the lessons, or write the piece at the end etc.

NB: Be mindful of this step and its timing as you will be able to receive the money only once your trajectory is successful.

You will also be asked the following:

- Starting and end date  

- Which professional do you want to engage? (website)

- What are the total costs of your plan?

- Can you specify or split the total costs of your plan? (the more specific the better)

- How will you finance the costs that we don’t cover?

After completing the form you will get a confirmation email. Usually, you get a decision or comments on your application within 2 weeks. Sometimes, PPO can reduce the amount they will be willing to give you based on your budget. In my case, I wanted to include the price of a subscription for software I would have to use during my studies. However, the funding body treated it as something that I could either keep after the course or use for something else, other than the course, so they deducted this point from my overall budget.

Since knowledge is infinite, good luck with picking what you want to do and making your application!