The Happy Lads

Research & Development Projects - How to Apply

Applications are now closed.

Applications are invited from experienced mid-career or established professional playwrights who wish to research new ideas or further develop drafts of existing full-length scripts.

Research & Development Projects are offered in two parts:


Funds of up to £1250 are available for playwrights who wish to apply to research a new idea.


Funds of up to £2000 are available for playwrights who wish to apply to further develop the draft of an existing full-length script.  We will ask for your current draft to be submitted with your application.

We are unable to accept applications for both Research and Development in the same year from the same applicant.

Am I eligible?

  • You are an experienced mid-career or established professional playwright.  You have had a number of full-length or short plays professionally produced, or have a significant body of equivalent work
  • Your main residence is in Scotland
  • You will be available on Tuesday 12 December 2017 for the Playwrights Induction Day

Playwrights' Studio is open to all playwrights and works right across Scotland.  We believe diversity is essential to a thriving cultural sector and we aim to work actively with writers from a range of different backgrounds.

As they are currently under-represented, we strive to increase applications and representation within our programmes from playwrights:

  • writing in Gaelic or Scots
  • based outside the central belt of Scotland
  • from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds
  • with disabilities

What we can support

Based on previous Projects, these are some suggested activities that we can support:

  • Costs associated with a writing residency
  • Costs associated with a period of research
  • Working with a translator
  • Working with a dramaturg
  • Collaborating with a director and actors to develop your script in a workshop environment
  • Collaborating with artists across art-forms e.g. sound designers, puppeteers, choreographers, musicians

We will, of course, consider activities that go beyond these suggestions. 

What we can't support

As a development organisation, we do not commission or produce plays, and our resources are limited.  Therefore, this is not a commissioning, bursary or production fund.  These projects cannot be used to substitute or top up commissioning fees from theatres, or to self-commission.  Nor can they contribute to production costs. We cannot, therefore, support:

  • Commission fees or bursaries to write a new play
  • Production costs
  • Plays that have already received significant development
  • Plays that have already been produced
  • Applications for research and development in the same year.

If you wish to discuss your project prior to submitting an application please call Emma McKee on 0141 332 4403 or email

How will we select which projects to support?

Your application will be assessed and considered by Playwrights' Studio staff, supported by representatives from the professional theatre sector.

A limited number of projects are available. In selecting which ones to support we will consider, how:

  • Original and ambitious your idea is
  • The project will allow you to try something you wouldn't otherwise be able to
  • It will contribute to the development of your writing
  • It will meet your creative ambitions

Playwrights writing in Gaelic may submit their full application in Gaelic.

How do I apply? 

We use the submissions management system Submittable to streamline our application process.

If you have any difficulties using Submittable, please get in touch with us on 0141 332 4403 or at

If you are unable to use Submittable, you can post your application to:

R & D Projects, Playwrights' Studio, Scotland, CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD.

If applying by post you will need to include an Equalities Monitoring Form.

You will need to provide:

  • Contact details (including name, address and mobile number)
  • A supporting statement explaining:
    - why you would like to be considered for a project
    - how the project will allow you to try something you wouldn't otherwise be able to
    - how it will contribute to the development of your writing
    - how it will meet your creative ambitions
  • A proposed budget for the project.  This does not have to be detailed but it needs to indicate how the money would be allocated (either £1,250 to research a new idea or £2,000 to develop an existing full length script)
  • A CV detailing your writing career to date
  • Whether you will be writing in English, Gaelic or Scots
  • Your existing full length script if you are applying to develop it
  • Confirmation that you are available on Tuesday 12 December 2017.

You will receive an email confirming the submission of your application.

Applications are now closed and will reopen summer 2018.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their submission no later than Thursday 30 November 2017.


(Image: Happy Lads by Rob Drummond, rehearsed reading, Up Close, 2013. Photo by Martins Melecis.)

Follow Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland on: Facebook Twitter