Training and Development Bursaries

The Radio Academy is a registered charity, dedicated to the promotion of excellence in the radio and audio industry in the UK.  As part of this work, we look to support people at any stage in their careers who want to take part in training or development opportunities, but might not have the means to pay them out of their own pocket.  This might include ticket costs, transport and/or accommodation costs, whether in part or in full.

At various points in the year, we will advertise opportunities for bursaries for our own events, or third-party events that we've partnered with, and these will all be listed on this page.  We're also open to direct approaches for funding for specific training and development opportunities that you can show would have a measurable impact and benefit on your career - just drop us a line.  We will usually ask that you provide us a write-up of the event or training that you attended, and how it has helped you.

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In March 2022, we gave six bursaries so people could attend The Podcast Show 2022.  We look forward to hearing the reports from our recipients later this year.

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In Nov 2021, we contributed five additional bursaries to the Radio Tech Con bursary scheme, and gave every recipient free Radio Academy Membership too.

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In June 2021, we gave five bursaries so people could attend Podcast Day 24, a virtual conference with speakers across three continents.

Podcast Day 24, June 2021

In June 2021, we advertised for bursaries for Podcast Day 24, the full day virtual conference taking place in Australia, Europe and North America.  We covered the ticket costs of five delegates, who let us know how the event helped them with their careers.

George Luke wrote:

A whole day devoted to sharing insights and answering questions on all things related to the art of podcasting - what’s not to like? 

My Podcast Day experience began just as the Europe sessions were beginning.  I’m normally an early riser, but the Australia sessions were a bit too early in the morning, even for me. And so I rocked up to my laptop, first coffee of the day in hand, in time to catch some sage advice from the team responsible for Spotify’s The Receipts podcast: “Love what you do. Listeners can hear a lack of passion.”

More great advice followed throughout the day. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” Jake Warren, founder of Message Heard, told us. “Have purpose,” said Lory Martinez from Studio Ochenta. Various other people whose names I can’t remember right now were just as lucid: “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” “Never imitate.” “Own your niche, and then you can build from it.” “Invest in quality.” It was good to hear people be honest about things that hadn’t worked, and not just giving us the success stories.

The one message that came through the strongest is the one thing that’s always been top priority for anyone involved in any kind of storytelling or communication: Know your audience. And, of course, LISTEN! Just as writers should be good readers, us podcast makers should make the time to listen to some of the material our peers are creating. Not that anyone who’s into making podcasts should need an excuse to listen to them.

A few weeks have now passed since Podcast Day 24 happened, but I’m still catching up on sessions I didn’t get to on the day and revisiting the ones I did. That’s how rich the programme was.

Joyanna Lovelock wrote:

I was particularly interested in the European leg and in contributions from UK, although I watched some contributions from other European countries like Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, Berlin and Netherlands.  I also watched a little of Australia and North America, but felt more comfortable with the European Day. Some useful tips did come out of the European countries from France and Germany. Particularly France, who spoke about the advantages of publishing your podcast on the web, which is something I have started to do myself already.

All the sessions were enjoyable, informative and valuable. In each of them there was always a little gem, at least, that could be found and taken away. In some ways, I had already started to do some of the ideas that were suggested and that have been proven by podcasters and producers, and this encouraged me to carry on doing what I am doing.  In other instances, it encouraged me to take a greater look at what I am currently doing and consolidate these new suggestions and ideas.

Overall, it was a great experience for newbies (like myself) and even had added benefits for seasoned podcasters. Rhianna Dhillon was a great host, ably assisted by Matt Deegan. She has a great calming and reassuring radio/audio voice and kept the Europe part of  ‘show’ rolling for the long hours. The experience was far more interesting than I imagined it would be. It’s made me think more about how I can improve on the production and presentation of my own podcast. And I am grateful for the opportunity of attending.

Pascal Maguet wrote:

Podcast Day 24 was an incredibly informative and useful experience for me. I’ve recently taken up a producer role to reboot an outlet's podcast, so being able to get meticulous insight into what the industry landscape looks like, not just in the UK but in Europe and the rest of the English-speaking world, was invaluable.

I was able to build on my knowledge of commissioning, distribution, sponsorship and so much more and that was just from watching the Europe section live! I still have the US and Australia segments of the show that I am slowly but surely making my way through watching on the catch-up feature.

Although it was amazing hearing all the stories of podcast creatives throughout the show, there was definitely one talk that really stood out to me. Hearing Dan Maudsley speak about his experiences as a podcast creator and journalist after being diagnosed with ADHD really got to me. I myself have been diagnosed with ADHD recently, and sometimes I’ve felt that the audio/radio sector can be a difficult place for a neurodivergent person to operate in and succeed, so hearing an accomplished member of that industry describe how they succeeded not just in spite of, but in several ways because of, their condition was really inspiring to hear.

I’m really grateful to the folks at Podcast Day 24 and the Radio Academy for giving me the chance to attend my first big podcasting conference. I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise and I know that the things I’ve learnt will stay with me a long time.

Kirsten O'Brien wrote:

I was thrilled to receive a bursary for the Podcast 24 event from the Radio Academy.  Having only started my own podcast a couple of months ago, I very much feel that I’m at the start of a huge learning curve. 

On the day of the event I started watching the live sessions and since then I’ve been dipping in to the content as it’s all still there on the website to watch.  I noticed there were some common themes emerging amongst podcasters but also it was reassuring for me to see that there are many different ways to approach podcasting, in particular the session Redhanded’s Guide to Getting Funded which talked about using Patreon and how you can earn money from your listeners, was eye opening to me!

Some sessions are an hour long panel format but also the 10 minute sessions with one person chatting in brief about their podcast or company are as informative.

Stand out sessions so far are Peta from NRK Norway who gave some really concise rules on starting up a podcast – have a clear concept, be genuine, create original content, do great storytelling, plan for social media and the web have great graphics. And Lory Martinez the founder of Studio Ochenta, France who simplified things further by saying what is the purpose of your podcast, why do you want to tell this story?

It’s great to watch some of our homegrown talent chatting about how their podcasts came about like Fearne Cotton and Dane Baptiste but also it’s interesting to listen to something totally new like Shima Oliaee the co producer of Dolly Parton’s America.

I have prioritised the European content as that is most relevant for me but I think I will eventually manage to get through all of the content over the next few weeks, having the access to be able to pop a bit of it on for a listen at home is really useful.

I definitely have some take home information to help me out going forwards, the key thing for me is finding out more about exactly WHO my audience is, but I was also reassured that a lot of what I’m doing seems to be on the right track and that there is no definitive route to a successful podcast.