Download a PDF copy of the Career Development Fund Application Guidelines


The DPC recognizes the very great need among our members for access to specialist training and opportunities for professional development. The DPC Career Development Fund (previously known as the Leadership Programme) has been created with the help of DPC’s Supporters to offer an on-going programme of grants so that our members can attend training and development opportunities. Over the course of its lifetime, it has provided almost 200 grants for members.

Members can access Career Development Fund grants in one of two ways:

  1. The DPC publishes on its website periodic calls for applications to attend courses and other development opportunities that have been selected for inclusion in the programme and approved by the Workforce Development Sub-Committee.
  2. Members can submit an application for any course or development opportunity that they have identified and which they believe will help build digital preservation capacity within their organization.

In addition, the DPC seeks to reduce the risks that training providers face when developing and providing courses relevant to digital preservation.  Therefore, providers of such training are invited to discuss whether it would be appropriate for grants from the Career Development Fund.  

Funding Available

The amount of funding offered to successful applicants is at the discretion of the judging panel (see below for more details of the judging process). For DPC identified courses/opportunities, advertised as part of regular calls, funding levels will be explicitly stated.  In the majority of cases, the Career Development Fund grants will cover 100% of course fees or event registration. Travel and accommodation support may also be available for multi-day courses or development opportunities and will be offered up to the following limits:

  • Domestic travel - £150
  • Intra-Continental travel - £300
  • Inter-Continental travel - £750

Eligible Applicants

Grants are available to all DPC members, including prospective members whose request to join is completed by the application deadline. Only one application can be made per member per advertised opportunity or per specified deadline for self-identified opportunities. Applicants should take steps to make sure they are not inadvertently competing with colleagues. Grants are not available to non-members.


Personal members of the DPC are eligible to apply for these grants.


Applications are welcome from officers, staff and affiliates of the organizations listed as members of the DPC on the Coalition’s website: The main DPC contact will have final approval for who may submit an application on behalf of their organization. Consortia and funders may nominate members or grant holders, see below.


In addition, individuals associated with or funded through agencies that are members of the DPC are eligible though they must confirm their application with the main DPC contact within the agency before applying. The DPC may pass the details of applications to designated contacts within these organizations as part of their assessment.

Prospective Members

Prospective members of the DPC are eligible for grants. Organizations or individuals seeking to join the DPC must have their membership application approved on or by the relevant grant deadline to qualify.

Allied Organization

Allied organizations are eligible for grants if access to the DPC Career Development Fund is included as a benefit within the Memorandum of Understand between the two organizations.

Eligible Courses/Opportunities

Courses/development opportunities offered through the regular advertised calls are identified by DPC staff and approved by the DPC’s Workforce Development Sub-Committee. Suggestions are welcome.

Members wishing to apply for a grant to meet their own specific development needs should refer to the following guidelines for eligible courses or development opportunities:

  • Grants should not currently be or previously have been offered by the Career Development Fund. Please contact the Head of Training and Skills if you are unsure.
  • Opportunities need not focus on digital preservation topics. Topics that are adjacent to digital preservation or cover the more generic skills identified in competency frameworks like DigCurV are acceptable. Applicants need only demonstrate how the course/development opportunity will directly benefit their digital preservation activities.
  • Applications are particularly encouraged for grants that will enable junior members of staff to participate in development opportunities such as presenting papers or posters at a conference.
  • Grants are not available to support activities such as work shadowing or staff exchanges. The DPC Strategic Plan includes a commitment to explore these opportunities as a separate programme.

Judging Process and Criteria

The judging process for grants is as follows:

  • Judging panels are typically formed of the DPC’s Executive Director, Head of Training and Skills, and at least one member of the Workforce Development Sub-Committee (with no conflicts of interest in relation to the applicants). Additional members may be added to the panel if required.
  • The Head of Training and Skills collates applications and inputs basic information into a standard marksheet and circulates the applications and marksheet to the panel.
  • Judges complete the marksheet for each application and return to the Head of Training and Skills so that individual marks can be combined on one sheet.
  • Judges meet to discuss marks and select successful applicants.
  • The Head of Training and Skills notifies all applicants of the result of their application.

The judging process usually takes around two weeks to complete.

Judging of the applications considers how the development opportunity will further the applicant’s professional development as well as digital preservation work at their organization through the short answer section of the application. Consideration is also given to other information such as previous grants received from the DPC and the applicant’s length of contract. Grants for those who would otherwise be unable to attend due to limited funding opportunities offered by their employers are prioritized. Preference will also be given to early years’ professionals, i.e. those who have been in a digital preservation role for less than 5 years, but applications are also welcomed from those further on in their career.

Conditions of Grant

It is our aim that the grants will primarily deliver benefits to an identifiable DPC member organization, but that there should also be a benefit the broader DPC community. Therefore, recipients will be asked to produce outputs that will help disseminate the information or skills they have learned for the wider benefit of the DPC membership. This may include, but is not limited to, a blog post, Twitter coverage of an event, or a webinar. Outputs for individual recipients will be discussed with the Head of Training and Skills subsequent to the award and will be proportionate to the size of the grant awarded.

We recommend that any member organization which supports an application discusses appropriate outcomes and benefits for the institution prior to submission.  Moreover, because only one grant is available per member institution, we recommend that applicants ensure that they are not inadvertently competing with colleagues.

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted to Amy Currie by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) before the relevant deadline.  Applicants should complete and submit the relevant application form

Application form for Advertised Calls

Application form for Member Self-Identified Opportunities

Applications must also be accompanied by an email or letter containing the explicit approval from your line manager or other senior executive to undertake the course as well as a commitment from the organization to meet any additional costs incurred. The application form will be used by the judging panel to assess eligibility against the criteria listed above and the impact attendance will have on the applicant’s professional development and the digital preservation work of their organization. The judging panel’s decision is final. Successful applicants will normally be notified within two weeks of the application deadline.

Deadlines for advertised grants will be included with the relevant call for applications. Applications for self-identified courses or development opportunities are received on a rolling basis but must be received at least 10 weeks before the start of the proposed activity.

Short-notice applications will be considered outwith these deadlines depending on DPC staff capacity and only if the applicant can demonstrate that the lateness is for reasons out of their control. An applicant will not be eligible to apply again within 13 months of a successful application.


The Career Development Fund is sponsored by the DPC’s Supporters who recognize the benefit and seek to support a connected and trained digital preservation workforce.  We gratefully acknowledge their financial support to this programme and ask applicants to acknowledge that support in any communications that result. At the time of writing, the Career Development Fund is supported by Arkivum, Artefactual Systems Inc., AVP, Ex Libris, Libnova, Max Communications and Preservica.  A full list of supporters is online here.

Further Information

  • For questions relating to this grant programme, email the Training Officer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • For information about joining the Digital Preservation Coalition, see:

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