Grant applications

Wing Commander Guy Gibson, 1943. National Archives.

Margot Finn writes:
Margot Finn portrait

Applying successfully for grants is an essential part of developing a research profile and career in history.  External grants are of value for many reasons. These include, for example: allowing you to undertake costly research trips to archives, libraries and museums; funding research assistants who can undertake research on your behalf or translate sources for you; supporting conferences and workshops that help to develop and disseminate your research; supporting periods of research leave from teaching duties; and providing external evidence (through peer review) of the calibre of your research.

This section starts with some generic tips to help you formulate your grant applications for optimal success, and then explores potential funding opportunities for different kinds of research activity.

Generic tips

  • Start small, build up a profile, and then expand your ambitions
  • Know your grants
  • Read, address and adhere to the application criteria
  • Work to the application’s deadline
  • Proof-read your application carefully


Research trips and/or training events

Funding for research trips to archives and libraries or to undertake fieldwork or training is available from many sources.  Obtaining one or more of these small grants as a PhD student lays excellent groundwork for making more substantial grant applications as a postdoctoral researcher. READ MORE

Conference Attendance & Conference Organisation READ MORE

Public engagement and/or impact work READ MORE

Post-doctoral projects

Very few historians gain permanent academic employment immediately upon completion of the degree.  Most historians who succeed in gaining such posts experience one or more years of part-time or fixed-contract teaching, or serving as a research assistant on a senior academic’s grant, while they build a publication profile. READ MORE

Download PDF: ECH Grant applications