Individual travel to conference – Guidelines

Grants of between £50 and £750 are intended primarily to contribute towards travel costs to assist early career researchers in attending conferences relevant to their research, where the applicant has been asked to give a paper or presentation.


  • Eligible students will be registered for a PhD/DPhil or an MPhil in the first instance. Students must be registered at a UK institution full-time or part-time.
  • The RHS will only consider applications for conference attendance in the second, third or fourth year (or part-time equivalent) of full-time postgraduate degrees. However, applications may be submitted during the first year in respect of conferences due to take place during the second year of registration (or part-time equivalent).
  • The Society will also consider applications from individuals who are within two years (at the time of the conference) of receiving their doctorate from a UK institution, and who are not yet in full-time employment. Please note the two years does not include any periods of maternity or paternity leave which may have been taken and which must be detailed in the ‘any other information’ section of your application form. Post-doctoral applicants will still need to provide a supporting academic reference, usually from their doctoral supervisor, and must complete the ‘Any Other Information’ section of the application form, where information about their current employment status should be provided.
  • Funding is reserved for research projects that are both clearly and predominantly historical in orientation, with a specific chronological remit. Applicants do not, however, have to be formally registered for degrees in History.
  • Applications are open to researchers of all nationalities.
  • We normally expect travel to begin and end in the United Kingdom. If you will be starting or finishing your journey outside the United Kingdom, you are asked to give reasons in Section 5 of the application form.
  • Normally a maximum of two awards (from any combination of conference travel, UK research or outside UK research) are awarded per individual researcher during their period of doctoral study. A maximum of one grant (for conference travel only) may be awarded following the completion of doctoral study.
  • 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.
  • If it is unlikely that you will receive confirmation from the conference organisers that your paper has been accepted before our closing date, you are advised to submit your application, indicating that you will let us know the conference organisers’ decision as soon as possible. If you wait until confirmation has been received before submitting your application, we will not be able to consider it if it has not been submitted to us in adequate time.
  • Grants cannot be sought retrospectively.

Criteria for Assessment

In making its funding decisions, the Research Support Committee uses the following criteria:

  • A well-written proposal will enhance both the likelihood and the value of RHS funding.
  • Priority is given to applicants who provide clear evidence of the historical significance of their project as a whole and specify in detail how the requested funds will advance and enrich that project.
  • Applicants should indicate the project’s key research questions and (if research is already at an advanced stage) their conclusions thereon.
  • Priority is given to applicants who provide a detailed and economical budget, making use of the cheapest possible travel options.
  • Applicants should demonstrate that they have explored the full range of other available funding, both at their home institution and among relevant scholarly societies.
  • Priority is given to candidates whose progress toward their degree is clearly and specifically attested by their supervisor.
  • Application may also be made for a contribution towards conference registration fees where these do not include subsistence or accommodation costs.

The application process

  • From the 7 January 2020, the RHS switched to a new online system for applications. If you had an incomplete application started before the 6 January 2020, you will now be unable to access or submit your application.  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.
  • You must ensure that you upload on this form a copy of the proposal you submitted to the conference organisers.
  • All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within six weeks of the closing date for applications.
  • If your application is successful, you will need to provide proof of expenditure before any grant is paid to you. This may be submitted before or after travel, however the grant must be claimed within six months of the date of the award. If you are unable to claim the award within six months and do not inform the Society, you will be deemed to have forfeited the offer of the grant.
  • If you have already purchased conference or travel tickets, please do not submit these with your application. If your application is successful, you will be sent full details on how to claim the grant.
  • Successful applicants will be required to provide a full report on the uses to which the grant has been put and the outcome in terms of contribution to the progress of the research within one month of completion of the conference.

Notes for referees

  • The committee would be greatly assisted if referees were to address the merits of the application and specific requests for funding as well as the merits of the applicant.
  • If the applicant is in their first year of a postgraduate research degree, the referee is asked to confirm that the student will upgrade.
  • Priority is given to candidates whose progress toward their degree is clearly and specifically attested by their supervisor.

All enquiries about research support applications should be addressed to the RHS Membership and Administration Officer at:

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