+++ General Application Deadline for the Scholarships & Residencies Program in 2020 was March 1, 2020 / Next Deadline for Applications for 2021: March 1, 2021 +++

Please note: The English translation exclusively serves informational purposes; solely the German version is binding.


Musicboard Berlin cooperates with an independent jury to annually grant scholarships and residencies to pop musicians and bands who have made Berlin their main place of residence and the centre of their creative work. Musicboard is the only institution in Germany to grant such awards to pop musicians.

The direct funding of musicians is intended to support young talent from Berlin and to honor the innovative power of Berlin’s music creators. The awarding of scholarships and residencies abroad by Musicboard Berlin promotes the further internationalisation of Berlin's pop music scene and enables transcultural co-productions and networking.

The funding decisions are made with an eye to representing the diversity of Berlin’s music scene. Accordingly, Musicboard and the jury attach great value to inclusion and gender balance in their selection.


In its Scholarships & Residencies Program, Musicboard exclusively supports musicians and bands living and working in Berlin. The artists’ country of origin is irrelevant. Applicants should be pop musicians who work professionally and stand out through their special creative achievements.

With the term “pop music,” Musicboard refers to all genres of popular music as well as cross-genre or experimental pop music that cannot be clearly assigned to the categories of jazz or classical and new music.

Overview of the 2019 Scholarship Holders and Residents: Overview_Scholarships_Residencies_2019_EN.pdf


A Musicboard scholarship is a personalised funding package for a pop musician or band looking to develop artistically and professionally through a particular project that is limited in time.

Funding might cover, for example, artistic work on a single subject or the preparation and implementation of projects or productions not possible to realise without public support (e.g. album or video production, promotion and marketing, the songwriting process, development of artistic collaborations, concert performances, etc.).

The amount of the scholarship is not predetermined and will be granted according to the situation and project of each applicant. As a rule, previously awarded scholarships have ranged from 5,000 to 10,000 euros. Applicants must hand in a simple financial plan justifying their requested amount.

During the scholarship period it is possible to either work in Berlin or go on a self-organised stay abroad. The applicant must state her or his desired place of work in the application.


Each year the Musicboard awards several different residencies abroad in cooperation with a range of international partners. Musicboard’s residency program gives Berlin pop musicians the opportunity to live and work abroad and supports transnational co-productions. From 2020, Musicboard will also invite international musicians for residencies in Berlin.

Musicboard covers the costs associated with these stays. This includes round-trip travel costs as well as food, accommodation, working/rehearsal space, and project-related costs when applicable. The respective residency partners will support the artist with networking to the local music scene as well as facilitating access to events or organising a live show. Musicians interested in applying should demonstrate a high level of independence and personal initiative, and should be open to interdisciplinary exchange. The duration of a residency is fixed, and can vary between two weeks and three months.

Applicants may apply for more than one residency at once by ticking different options in the application. It is important that a letter of motivation IN ENGLISH be submitted for each residency that is ticked. Applications without letters of motivation will not be considered. There is no need to submit a financial plan when applying for a residency abroad.

We would like to make our residency program accessible to everyone and as inclusive as possible. If you have special needs or questions about the accessibility of our residencies, please contact us in advance for a personal consultation:




In cooperation with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Musicboard Berlin is awarding two work scholarships for the composition and realisation of an evening in the series AUS DEM HINTERHALT in 2021. More information is available here.

Musician and Band Coaching

In 2020, applicants selected by the Musicboard jury will again have the opportunity to receive individual musicians’ coaching with Jovanka von Wilsdorf in addition to their scholarships. More Information is available here.


Selection Process

The scholarships and residencies are awarded through the Musicboard Berlin GmbH upon recommendation of an independent jury of Berlin-based pop experts. In consultation with the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, a new jury has been appointed for the upcoming application deadline in the Scholarships & Residencies funding programme. From 2020, the jury will be appointed for a period of three years and will consist of:

  • – Julia Lorenz, music journalist and writer
  • – Elia Rediger, musician and curator of the series “Aus dem Hinterhalt,” Deutsche Oper Berlin
  • – Pamela Owusu-Brenyah, A&R and founder AFRO X POP
  • – Sarah Farina, DJ and producer
  • – Katja Lucker, Managing Director of Musicboard Berlin GmbH

The jury will make a recommendation based on the quality of the work and the chances for success of the project presented. The Scholarships & Residencies will be announced 4-6 weeks after the application deadline. There is no entitlement to claim a subsidy.

Application Documents

The following application documents for the Scholarships & Residencies Program must be submitted online only.

Attention: From 2020 onwards, it will no longer be necessary to submit the documents via post.

  • Completed Application Form
  • Detailed description of the artistic project and motivation for applying
    When applicable, this may be supplemented by a description of project partners and confirmation letters acknowledging upcoming collaborations. For residency applications, these letters of motivation must be written in English.
  • Detailed overview of professional artistic history
    Including proof of performances, collaborations with other artists/musicians, etc. (e.g. in the form of web links, graphic documents or screenshots).
  • Work samples: please choose 3 tracks that characterize your work best
    These must be submitted as mp3’s (no list of links and no physical recordings please) and uploaded directly into the online application.
  • Financial Plan
    This statement should indicate the required amount of scholarship funding (not necessary for residencies abroad or for the HINTERHALT Scholarship).
  • Scans of proof of Berlin residency by the registration office or personal ID
    For duos and bands, please submit documents for each member. For citizens of non-EU countries, please also submit scans of passport, residence permit, duration of stay, and type of work permit. IMPORTANT: Berlin must be clearly evident as place of residence!
  • Only for the tandem-residencies in Kolkata and Berlin or Tehran and Berlin: Completed questionnaire
    With application for one of the actiRHYTHM-residencies in Kolkata and Berlin or Tehran and Berlin the submission of the completed following questionnaire is mandatory: Questionnaire_Residencies_Kolkata_Tehran.pdf

Application Language

All application documents may be submitted in either German or English. Exception: motivation letters for residencies abroad MUST be written in English.

Application Deadline

Each year, the application deadline for online submission is March 1 at midnight (00:00 in the night leading into March 2). The application documents must be submitted online only.


Members of the jury or employees of the Senate of Berlin or of Musicboard Berlin GmbH and their dependents may not apply.

Other Information

Only fully completed documents can be processed and considered. All information will be treated confidentially and will be used exclusively for decision-making and funding purposes.


The application period for the year 2020 for the scholarships and residencies abroad has ended. The online application for 2021 is expected to be activated in January 2021.


We’re happy to answer questions via email or telephone, or in person. A personal meeting is only possible once an appointment has been scheduled. Please read the FAQ before getting in touch.