Conference travel

Royal Historical Society conference travel grants are a highly-valued source of support for research postgraduates and early career researchers to enable them to present papers at specialist conferences both within and outside the UK. They reflect the RHS’s acknowledgement of the importance for career and intellectual development of attending and presenting at conferences, making contact with other scholars in their specialist field and exchanging ideas – and also our awareness that not all early career researchers have equal access to institutional funding for this purpose.

Nicola Cowmeadow portrait

Nicola Cowmeadow

Nicola Cowmeadow was awarded a grant to travel to a conference in Montreal to present her paper ‘Piety, Politics and Presbyterianism: Scottish Noblewomen’s Religiosity in the Era of Union’.  She writes:

Meeting the people whose work I have read, whose research is important to my own, who are ready to comment, discuss and encourage me has been hugely rewarding. I took the opportunity to ask those I met what their advice would be for publication of my recently completed thesis and also spoke to publishers with stands at the conference venue.”

Stephen Spencer received a grant to present a paper at the ‘Sourcing Emotions in the Medieval and Early Modern World’ conference in Perth, Australia.  He writes:

It soon became evident to me that this was a conference like no other I had attended; that it had brought together a swathe of people from various fields, who were interested in the emotions of the past, and in particular how we can ‘source’ them. … Overall, the conference was a memorable experience and one that has introduced me to ideas and methodological approaches currently being formulated and applied to better understand past emotions.”

How to Apply

  • RHS conference travel awards are for postgraduate students registered for a research degree at UK institutions of higher education (full-time and part-time) and for early career scholars.
  • Grants are primarily for travel costs to assist postgraduate students and early career researchers to attend conferences at which they have been invited to present a paper.
  • Applications are considered by the Research Support Committee which meets four times a year. They take up to six weeks to process from the deadline.
  • Applications will not be considered for conferences to be held within the four weeks immediately following the deadline. You are advised to consult the schedule of deadlines and to submit your application before the deadline that is at least one month earlier than the start of your conference.
  • No application will be considered without a supporting academic reference. You are reminded to submit your application in sufficient time to allow your supervisor to provide their reference before the closing date for which you are applying.

From the 7 January 2020, the RHS is switching to a new online system for applications. If you have an incomplete application that you started before the 6 January 2020, you will be able to access your existing information, and submit your application using the old system until 14th January 2020 using this link.  From 6 January 2020, all new applications for Research Support Grants (including Conference Travel, Research Expenses and Conference Organisation) should be made using the new RHS application system, which can be accessed here.

For more information refer to the Guidelines.

Closing dates for applications and supporting references in 2021: 25 January, 29 March, 7 June and 18 October

Closing dates for applications and supporting references in 2022: 24 January, 28 March, 6 June and 17 October

All enquiries about research support applications should be addressed to the Administrative Secretary, Imogen Evans, at: