Bengal Education & Research Programme

Grants, Fellowships & Awards


From early on Bengal Foundation has been supporting artists, writers and researchers to pursue higher studies through support and facilitation.

Bengal Scholars, in most cases, are regular students at universities and colleges who utilize the grant to take additional lessons and fortify their training. In the case of music, it is believed that the artists inherently learned from a teacher over the years, and that is why it is important to foster the guru-shiswa relationship.

Bhumendra Guha Jibanananda Das Puraskar
Bhumendra Guha Jibanananda Das Puraskar is a research grant managed by Bengal Publications. It is an annual award for published research work on literature, art and the humanities.

Kali O Kalam Young Poets and Writers Award
The literary monthly Kali O Kalam instituted the award in 2008, to encourage and inspire literary practice among young poets and writers of Bangladesh. Each year new writers in the categories of Poetry, Novel, Essay, Research, Drama, Writings on Liberation War and Adolescent Literature, are chosen by a panel of jurors. The finalists are awarded a cheque and honoured for their literary genius. The Kali O Kalam Award plays an important role in encouraging young writers and energizing the literary scene in Bangladesh.


Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay has been founded on a modern interpretation of the Guru-Shishya parampara mode of learning. The Parampara series of workshops initiated in 2002, helped form an effective basis for the school. The Sangeetalay targets gifted Bangladeshi young people to learn from the masters. All pupils, who are competitively offered a place at the school, are provided with a full scholarship and individual support. The programme’s main strength is the development of the special bond between the guru and the shishya. The bond initiates complete dedication, sincerity, submission and commitment to hard work on the part of the pupil.
The ambition is that each pupil, under such eminent guidance, will refine their skillset and achieve the ability to represent Bangladesh to an international audience and become world class musicians.

Music Scholarship
The scholars of the Bengal Parampara Sangeetaly are entitled to receive a basic grant covering their tuition, and lessons with noted gurus of the region. Deserving students may, in course of time, receive grants to cover board.


Bengal Arts Programme offers modest grants and awards in different categories to facilitate research and art practice.

Bengal Foundation Art Award
Initiated in 1998 the award recognises artists for works of merit in the biennial national art exhibition organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

Bengal Foundation Support Grant
The Support Grant encourages the development of artistic projects by Bangladeshi artists which, due to their complex nature or the time needed for their completion, struggle to find appropriate funding.

Aminul Islam Young Artists Award
The award commemorates the pioneering artist Aminul Islam (1931-2011). Aminul Islam Young Artists Award is given every two years to recognise original and creative artistic endeavours in Bangladesh. The award is supported by the Aminul Islam Trust.

Subir Chowdhury Practice Grant
The grant commemorates artist, long time associate and trustee of Bengal Foundation, Subir Choudhury (1953-2014). The Practice Grant for emerging artists and curators is a biennial grant set up to encourage innovative artistic and curatorial practices in Bangladesh.

Ganesh Haloi Bengal Research Grant
The Ganesh Haloi Bengal (GHB) Research Grant has been set up to develop research and critical writing about the arts in Bangladesh and South Asia. The grant is specifically intended to support original, focused projects which concentrate on a period spanning from the beginning of the 20th to the present day. In 2017, an independent jury selected Ahmad Ibrahim to be the first recipient of the GHB Award for his project titled Concealing the Populace in Public Space -Mapping Aesthetic Shifts in the Production of Political Posters in Dhaka. In addition the jury, on the basis of the strength of their applications, nominated Fiona Cheng (Taiwan); Kehkasha Sabah (Bangladesh); Musharrat Sharmee Hossain (Bangladesh) and Salma Jamal (Bangladesh); and Sumona Banerjee (India) for Honourable Mention. The grant is supported by artist Ganesh Haloi.

Hamidur Rahman Smrity Puraskar
Hamidur Rahman Puroshkar celebrates the outstanding artistic contribution of a Bangladeshi artist or artists’ collective. It is conferred biennially by an independent jury to artists who, through the work of a life-time, have demonstrated significant accomplishment in artistic practice and/or theory. The award is supported by artist Hamidur Rahman’s (1928-88) family.

The award is nominated by a special committee of artists and members of Hamidur Rahman’s family to an outstanding Bangladeshi artist for lifetime achievement.

Bengal Foundation Art Award
Initiated in 1998 the award recognises artists for works of merit in the biennial national art exhibition organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.


Mastercraftspersons Award
The Mastercraftspersons Award was initiated in 1989 by the National Crafts Council of Bangladesh with the objective of reviving traditional crafts, recognising the value of the artisan and encouraging others to follow tradition. In 2010 National Crafts Council of Bangladesh and Bengal Foundation joined hands to organise the Mastercraftspersons Award in four categories, and an accompanying crafts fair. The award and the fair have played an important role in highlighting authentic craft traditions and connecting artisanal practices with the mainstream.

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